Summer Programme in European Studies

Get ready for the best summer ever! The six-week Summer Programme in European Studies (SES) is designed for adventurous students looking for an authentic European study experience while earning credits towards their major. Choose from a variety of courses taught in English at Maastricht University (UM), one of the highest-ranking universities in the Netherlands. Course topics fit most majors and have a distinct European or international theme.

Why this programme?

Maastricht, birthplace of the European Union (EU) and situated on the border of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, is a picture perfect European town, with layers of history waiting to be discovered in its medieval city centre. The Summer Programme in European Studies at Maastricht University is an ideal way for students to experience Europe inside and outside the classroom.


The programme starts with an introduction period to get to know Maastricht and the university. It includes a 4th of July BBQ, CES services and a Maastricht day.

Inspiring Courses

Courses focus on the economic, political and socio-cultural aspects of Europe and European integration, as well as health, science and psychology-related fields. All classes include exciting hands-on experiences such as field trips, museum visits and seminars on location. Visit the location where the Maastricht Treaty was signed, discuss business challenges with local entrepreneurs or attend a lecture about the Dutch Golden Age while examining the actual artwork in the museum. Learn how modern Europe emerged from the wars and hardships of the 20th century, discover the common foundations of European law or compare European public health systems.

Maastricht University, the most international university in the Netherlands, stands out for its innovative approach to learning and international outlook. Classes are typically interactive, with a limited number of students to give you easy, personal contact with the professor and fellow students. Students will have classes four days per week and engage with other international students in a range of stimulating and challenging topics.

Programme dates:

  • Summer 2024: 21 June - 2 August 2024

What can you expect from CES?

At CES we have a small team of young-hearted, dedicated people ready to help you, so you can focus on the things that really matter during your stay abroad, whether that is selecting the right courses, getting to an airport for your flight to Barcelona, finding a volunteer opportunity, meeting Dutch students, buying a bike or more. Read more.

Before you get here...
You will have one person responsible for your programme, who will guide you through the application process and the preparation of your stay abroad. The programme coordinator will sign you up for classes, arrange housing and order insurance (if applicable), as well as organise the airport pick up and the introduction programme. You can contact your coordinator with any question you might have.

After you arrive...
Once you're here, your programme coordinator will be here for whatever you need. There are no limited office hours, our doors are always wide open and you can reach each programme coordinator on their cell phone 24/7. Just walk in, we are always happy to see you.

General overview of CES services

  • Advice and assistance during application
  • Direct enrolment at Maastricht University
  • Academic guidance
  • Housing reservations
  • Tour of Maastricht University
  • Airport pick up & drop off (on the official arrival and departure day of the programme)
  • Extensive introduction programme
  • Integration into Dutch student life
  • On-site support throughout the programme
  • Library and IT services
  • Transcripts
  • Disability Management
  • Insurance
  • Dutch SIM cards
  • 24/7 emergency assistance

Courses & curriculum

The summer programme is divided into two 'block periods' of 3 weeks each. You take 2 courses in total for a full workload: 1 course per block period. In the table below you will find an overview of the courses and in which block they take place (1 or 2).


Maastricht University uses the ECTS (European Credit Transfer System) to measure academic progress. Maastricht University courses typically have between 5-12 ECTS. How ECTS transfer depends on a student’s home university or college. Generally a 5-6.5 ECTS course is the equivalent of a full semester course (3 American credit hours).

You can earn a maximum of 12 ECTS for a Summer programme at CES. CES advisors help students select classes to meet the requirements of their home university.


During a regular course (5-6.5 ECTS), students spend an average of 4-6 hours (240-360 minutes) in class per week. For every hour in class students are expected to spend an additional 2-3 hours on study. The total workload for two regular courses or one intensive course is around 40 hours per week.

Rankings & recognition

High Academic Standard

CES programmes are designed for enthusiastic and intellectually curious students dedicated to expanding their academic horizons while abroad. To ensure that students do well, CES offers extensive academic advising, workshops and regular monitoring. Maastricht University uses Problem-Based Learning (PBL), a student-centered teaching approach. Small groups of students (12-15) work on academic or practical cases prepared by their professors. Faculty act as guides to students who are in charge of their own learning and are expected to be committed, active and self-motivated.

Admission requirements

Acceptance to the open enrolment programmes is competitive and early application is recommended. While most students participating in our open enrolment programmes are undergraduates at the junior or senior level, applications by motivated students at the sophomore and/or freshman level with a good GPA will be considered too.

You should have a minimum GPA of 3.0 in order to apply for a CES Open Enrolment Programme. If you have a lower GPA you can request to be considered if you can show a recommendation from a professor or academic advisor at your home university or college with specific details about your academic development so far.

Applicants must be proficient in English (comparable to level B2 of the Common European Framework of Reference). Non-native speakers are required to demonstrate proof of English language proficiency.

EU-nationals and students with an International or European Baccalaureate diploma are exempt from providing proof of English proficiency. International students who are enrolled as full-time students at a university or college in a country where English is the official language or where English is the language of education are also exempt from providing proof of English proficiency.

All other prospective students must present a current TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) or IELTS (International English Testing System) score before they can be admitted. When registering for the TOEFL, please make sure to use the code of Maastricht University which is 7102.

Your TOEFL test score has to be at least:

  • 575 points (paper-based version)
  • 230 points (computer-based version)
  • 90 (internet-based version)

Your IELTS test score must be at least 6.5.

Application procedure

Complete and submit the online application and send all additional information mentioned below via email to your coordinator. Your CES coordinators will contact you within a week after receiving your application and additional information to assist you in the registration process and the preparations for your stay in Maastricht.

Additional required information

  • Official transcript
  • Letter of recommendation from teacher or study abroad advisor
  • Motivation letter
  • 1 colour passport picture (digital, in jpeg format)
  • Scan or a clear copy of your passport (information page with photo and any other pages with stamps, etcetera)

Please note that once your course list is finalised you will receive a course approval form which you will need to fill in with the help of your home institution.

CES Cancellation Policy

The Center for European Studies incurs costs for each student we register. CES applies the following cancellation regulations:

  • If a student withdraws 8 weeks or more before the start of the programme, no costs will be charged with the exception of any non-refundable visa fees, where applicable.
  • If a student withdraws between 8 and 4 weeks before the start/arrival day of the programme, CES will charge 25% of the tuition fee and any non-refundable visa fees, where applicable.
  • If a student 

    withdraws between 4 weeks and the start/arrival day of the programme, CES will charge 50% of the tuition fee and any non-refundable visa fees, where applicable.

Exceptions to the above mentioned cancellation regulations will be reviewed by CES on a case-by-case basis.

Application deadline

  • Summer 2024: 15 April 2024


Kyra van Leendert

International relations officer
Monday - Friday

+ 31 43 388 5289