The International Relations and Politics in the European Union program is run by AIM Overseas’ partner in the Netherlands – Maastricht University’s Center for European Studies. Located in the southern most part of the Netherlands, within walking distance of Belgium and cycling distance of Germany, Maastricht has developed a very hybrid culture throughout its history and is now a symbol of pan-European identity.
The course takes full advantage of the location and is a great mix of lectures, sites visits and field trips making the program very dynamic. Over 3 intensive weeks, you will attend 36 hours of classes where you will take an in-depth look at the legal, economic and political landscapes of the European Union. You will also delve into the issues pertaining to international relations with a minor focus on human rights. During the program, you will also visit places such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia in the Hague and the European Parliament in Brussels. The course is ideal for students studying international relations, history and politics, but students should also note that there is content relating to economic and legal issues. This means that the program may be well suited for business students with an interest in the European Union, or law students in combined degrees who focus on international relations.
Hear What a Returned Student Says About the Program
The program offers a comprehensive coverage of the key political and economic policy areas of the European Union with analysis of the different approaches to regional integration throughout the history of the European Union. The course analyses the historical, political and economic bases for the rise of the European Union from its origins in the post-World War II recovery to its historic enlargement in 2004, 2007 and 2013. Most of the present tensions inside the EU directly relate to the economic integration process and reflect on all other fields of European integration.
There will be at least 36 hours of academic classes and seminars across the 3 weeks of the course. Classes will cover the following topics:
- Introduction to the EU
- History of EU/Integration
- International and European Human Rights Law
- The institutional framework
- The four basic freedoms
- Legal aspects of the Economic and Monetary Union
- The EU competition law
- The Council of Europe and ECHR
- The accession of new member states
- The cooperation between EU Member-States in the field of Justice and Safety
- The future of European integration: EU on the way to a political union?
- EU Common Foreign and Security Policy
- Coercive and peaceful settlement in Europe
- Multinational Enterprises and Human Rights
A tentative list of site visits and cultural activities are listed below, these are subject to availability and will be confirmed closer to departure:
- A weekend excursion to Brussels (visits to the European Parliament and the European Commission)
- A weekend excursion to The Hague and Amsterdam (visits to the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia)
- Cultural Dutch dinner night with local students
- Guided walking tour of Maastricht
These activities are designed to give you a feel for Dutch life and culture, as well as give you an opportunity to meet and spend time with local students.
Maastricht University is a public University in the Netherlands, founded in 1976. In 2013, nearly 16,000 students studied at Maastricht University, 47% of whom were international students. About half of the bachelor’s programs are fully offered in English and most of the master’s and doctoral programs are in English as well. In 2013, Maastricht University was the second Dutch university to be rewarded the ‘Distinctive Quality Feature for Internationalisation’ by the Accreditation Organisation of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO).
Find out more about the beautiful city of Maastricht, Maastricht University and the Centre for European Studies below:
Mr. Matt Heckman LLM from the Zuyd University for Applied Sciences.
Matt Heckman has been teaching European law and European economic integration for 22 years at various universities in The Netherlands. He was Director of International Affairs for 14 years at a Dutch University and is currently teaching at various graduate programs (both MBA and MA) in the Netherlands, Finland, UK and the USA. He studied at the University of Maastricht, the University of Lancaster and the Vrije Universiteit Brussels. He holds a Bachelor Degree and a Masters Degree in International and European Law and has gained working experience working for the Commission of the EU
You will be accommodated at the Maastricht University International Student Guesthouse which is located within walking distance from downtown Maastricht behind the Court of Justice. You will receive a map of the city upon arrival so that you can find your way around easily during the first few days. All participants are encouraged to follow the example of the local students and rent a bike to cycle to classes as it is the fastest and most convenient way to get there (Maastricht is flat so no big uphill to fear, but do plan on bringing lots of layers of clothing to keep you warm!).
In terms of room options, you will be given the option of having your own room or sharing with another AIM Overseas participant. All rooms have WiFi. You will have free access to a tennis and basketball court as well as laundry facilities. Linens are provided, but you will need to bring your own towels.
Option 1) Single room, C building
You will have your own room and will share a basic communal kitchen and bathroom with the people on your floor.
There is also a common area with some couches and a TV, where you can spend time with other students. There is an additional fee.
Option 2) Double room, P building
You will be sharing a spacious twin-share room with another AIM Overseas program participant. Each room has a kitchenette. You will share the bathroom facilities with the people on your floor. There is no common area available in this building.
Hear the experiences of other students on this program
“Maastricht is truly a university city, akin to how the University of Wollongong is, but in similar and dissimilar ways – even though a fair percentage of the city is only students, with Maastricht University housing a population of 14,497 students. What makes Maastricht a true University city is that there is no true campus, with the Library, and the Faculties spreading from one end of the city to the other – The School of Business may be near the city centre of Vritjoth, but another faculty may be on the opposite side of the city across the River Maas.”
- Oscar Jeffreson, Bachelor of Law/Bachelor of Information Technology. READ MORE
The Netherlands is a small densely populated country home to about 16.8 million people located in Western Europe. Tradition and innovation intertwine in this country: artistic masterpieces, windmills, tulips and candlelit cafés coexist with groundbreaking architecture, cutting-edge design and phenomenal nightlife.
Geography plays a key role in the Netherlands’ iconic landscapes. More than half the pancake-flat country is below sea level, and 20% has been reclaimed from the sea, making rows of polders (areas of drained land) omnipresent. Uninterrupted North Sea winds have powered windmills since the 13th century, pumping water over the dykes, and milling flour and more. Some two-thirds of the surface is devoted to agriculture, including fields of tulips.
The flat, fabulously scenic landscapes make cycling in the Netherlands a pleasure (headwinds not withstanding). Cycling is an integral part of life and locals live on their fiets (bicycle): more than a quarter of all journeys countrywide are by bike, rising to more than a third in big cities. The canals that run throughout the city are lined with little cafes that act as social hubs for the locals and visitors.
Maastricht, located at the very bottom of the Netherlands, has both Spanish and Roman ruins all around, sophisticated food and drink and lots of bars and cafes. It also holds French and Belgium twists in architecture. The location of Maastricht is crucial as it lies a short distance between the German and Belgium border therefore being an interesting mix of the two countries. Maastricht is the epitome of a student town perfect for travelling to as a student, the locals are bilingual in English and Dutch and are extremely welcoming to all visitors. Maastricht is a warm and energetic city with appeal and allure out of proportion to its size.
All our programs are designed to count for credit as electives. However, it is up to your university to decide whether they will approve some credit for your participation in one of our programs. Normally it is a course convenor, Head of Department or program convenor who approves your credit.
Your course convenors will not be able to approve credit for a course unless you have a copy of the syllabus so you should not visit your course convenor until you have received a copy of the course syllabus from AIM Overseas. You will receive the syllabus upon being assessed as eligible for the program.
You might be able to obtain the $6000+ OS-HELP loan, as well as a scholarship from your university, when participating in an AIM Overseas program.
Our programs are designed so that eligible Australian students can access the OS-HELP scheme, which can provide funding of over $6,000 for international study experiences.
We give you detailed information about OS-HELP and how to apply for it in your Initial Consultation with us, which we further outline in an email following your Initial Consultation.
Many Australian universities offer scholarships for their students to take part in overseas study programs. We will provide you information on scholarships that we are aware of at your university as part of your application/acceptance for a program. You can also check your university’s international office webpage to see what might be offered.
Applications are now open for this program. Early application is recommended as places are limited.
The application process for this program are as follows:
2. You’ll be prompted to send us a copy of your full academic results from your studies at university so far after submitting your application.
3. We’ll review your university results and application and, if you are eligible for the program, we will invite you to book an initial consultation by phone with one of our Student Experience Coordinators. You will also be sent the course syllabus with more program info.
4. You’ll pay our $55 application fee and book in your phone consultation at a suitable, available time with a Student Experience Coordinator.
5. The phone consultation lasts about 20-30 minutes and we’ll cover detailed information with you about credit, funding, the program, your application and what happens next.
6. After your consultation we’ll send you a follow-up email with instructions on what to do next, an invitation to join a program specific Facebook group to connect with other students applying for the program and a process document, which we have developed in conjunction with your Australian university, to guide you on how to apply for credit and funding.
7. Once you’ve completed the next steps in that follow-up email we’ll do a final review of your application. If all is in order, you’ll be accepted onto the program.
8. Upon acceptance, you will receive three emails containing your AIM Acceptance letter, steps for applying for credit and funding at your Australian University, as well as your downpayment invoice. Note: Your downpayment is due in two weeks from the date of your acceptance and secures your place on the program.
9. Once you’ve paid your downpayment, your application will be sent to the host university for them to process and review and they’ll send us your final official host university acceptance letter which we will send to you.
10. The full program fee (as shown on the website) minus the downpayment and application fee already paid, will be due at the absolute latest by 28th October 2019.
Programs are usually over-subscribed, so it is really important that you take care of things as quickly as possible. We’re here to help and will provide you with information and reminders about what you need to do at various stages.
For more information, see our . Alternatively, you are welcome to or . Registering your interest means you’ll receive updates (via email and phone) prior to the application deadline.