FAQ

 

FAQ

Is it necessary to have some knowledge of the oriental language before applying?
None of the three foreign languages (Arabic, Chinese and Japanese) require any prior knowledge, since we start at beginners' level. It is, of course, an advantage if you have a feeling for languages and if you are interested in the language of your choice.

How important are business and economics in the programme?
It is possible to enroll as a student without having taken economics or  business classes at secondary school. The proportion of business-related courses in
the programme largely depends on your own preferences and the specialization you choose. In the first two years, an introductory course of economics and business will be part of the programme, including a marketing course and an export management course. These courses can be followed without any prior knowledge. At the end of the second year, you choose a specialization. If you opt for the business specialisation, the business component will obviously increase.

How demanding is the programme?
Success rates are hard to give, since success or failure very much depend on the quality of the individual student, and his or her strengths and weaknesses. A lot depends on your motivation and the time and effort you are prepared to invest in studying. What you can do, however, is decide for
yourself whether you
- are interested in languages and whether your linguistic competencies are above average- are interested in other countries and other cultures;
- are prepared to work intensively together with other students, and whether you are capable of doing work in groups;
- have sufficient self-discipline and perseverance;
- keep up with recent events in the Middle and Far East;
- would like to work in an international setting.

The more of these questions get 'yes' as an answer, the better prepared you will be to become a successful student.

How many hours of class will you have each week?
The academic year is divided into four blocks.Each blocks has its own timetable, which means that for you as a student the timetable will change at least four times each year. There may be some variation in the number of lectures per week, one block having more hours of lectures than the other, but
on average you can count on 16 – 18 hours per week. In days this could mean that in one block there could be 3 or 4 days of classes each
week, whereas in the next block there could well be 5 days. Apart from lectures, most of which are mandatory, you can expect group assignments, individual (project) assignments, exam preparation hours and so on. You will need a minimum of 40 hours each week to do the programme

Do you have time for side jobs and going out?
Yes, most students do have time for side jobs and for going out. How many hours you can work and spend on leisure activities is your own decision, of course. You are responsible for your own results and we expect you to be responsible enough to make sure your study is your number one priority.

Is class attendance mandatory?
For most courses, class attendance is mandatory. We strongly advise to come to all classes that are listed on your timetable. This is especially relevant for students in the OTC programme, since you will easily fall behind if you miss classes. After all, you are in a language programme. This can be compared to a running train. If you do not remain seated until you reach the final station (the fourth year), but get out at in-between stops, the train will not wait for you to board. Languages like Arabic, Chinese and Japanese cannot be learned by cramming a few days at the end of the block before the test period begins. Another thing is that students sometimes work on group projects, which makes other students depend on your contribution and discipline.

Is there a maximum number of students that will be admitted?
No, there is no maximum, so no selection or lotery system applies. If you meet the entry requirements, you can start in the new academic year.

What is a 'minor'?
In the fourth year, there is a so-called 'minor' block in which you can follow a special course. Each HBO student in the Netherlands is expected to choose a minor in the course of his or her study. A minor can be an in-depth continuation of an aspect of the programme you are interested in, but it can also be a subject outside of your own discipline, something that serves to broaden your knowledge. Additionally, you can opt for the writing of a thesis. You can choose from a number of minor options offered by Zuyd Hogeschool or, in consultation with your supervisor a minor offered by an external party. In selecting your minor you can follow your own interests and ambitions.

Can students participate in the school's decision-making process?
Yes. In the Netherlands, student participation in faculty organization is, in fact, required by law. Apart from this formal participation, there
are informal sessions, arranged on a weekly basis, to discuss organizational issues with the head of department.

What is the drop-out rate?
After the first year, about 55% of the student population continues on in the second year. Most of these students will in due time complete the programme.

What about job prospects?
The main aim of the programme is to train prospective professionals who, for the benefit of international companies, government institutions and non-profit organisations, can act as liaising officers in order to establish and maintain contacts with relations in China, Japan or the Arabic-speaking countries. These contacts can be commercial, cultural or social. As a graduate, you can aim for a commercial career or a career in the field of communication and human resources, in a job in the Netherlands or overseas.

Is there a dress code at school?
There is no formal dress code, but we expect you to dress professionally for interviews and appointments with external parties, in the context of your work
placement and on other important occasions. As an OTC student you represent the organization outside the school.

How does OTC differ from academic/research university studies of Arabic, Chinese or Japanese?
The School of Oriental Languages and Communication is a school of higher professional education; hence it focuses on practical aspects more than a university would, which is more interested in theoretical aspects and in research. In a university curriculum, literature, history, philosophy, sociology and anthropology play a prominent role, whereas our curriculum clearly has a linguistic orientation. However, we do have courses in Culture and Institutions that help you gain greater insight into the culture, the recent history, and the economic and social structures of the relevant country or region. We also emphasize the importance of communication and business as practical contexts for linguistic skills.

How do I know whether I am qualified?
You could find out about the programme by reading our brochure, visiting our Open Days, applying for a trial day, and trying to get in touch with some of
the students who are participating in the programme. It is important that you know something about the curriculum, but it is equally important to feel what it is like to be a student in Maastricht.

Can I be an auditor for one day to see what the school is like?
There is also a possibility of pairing up with a first-year student in order to experience what a day at school is like. This is, however, only an option for
prospective students who have attended one of our open days. If you are interested, you can fill in a form on one of our open days. You can also
send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Do not forget to give us your name, address, phone number, e-mail address, previous and / or current education and
what year you're in. We will pair you up with a student and the two of you can work out things yourselves.

What is the average age of first-year students?
The majority of students are havo graduates, about 18 years old, There are older students as well, usually students that have switched from one type of
education to another.

Is it possible to start in January or February?
Sorry, this is not possible. You can only start in September.

Does the school offer any study guidance by tutors or student advisers?
As a student, you will take part in a special programme to help you plan and monitor your progress. In the course of the academic year, you will
see your student adviser a number of times to discuss your academic progress, your learning strategies, your future plans and any personal issues that you believe to be relevant. The programme includes class sessions as well; they focus on the knowledge and skills you need to control your own development. Learning styles, learning strategies, personal development planning, and the role of the supervisor are all topics that will be addressed. You will also be introduced to methods of managing yourself and other students.

Does Zuyd University have student counselors?
Students can turn to the Student Counselors' Office if they want to discuss personal issues that are related to study progress, planned or unplanned
interruptions of study, support for disabilities and physical or mental health difficulties, transfers to other programmes, or issues concerning laws and regulations. Ms Lizette Colaris is our Faculty's student counselor. She can be contacted through the Reception in the Brusselseweg building or by phone (043-3466666).

What does it cost to study in Maastricht?
Costs of study include tuition, books, accommodation and living expenses. You may also have to take out a health insurance to cover expenses in the Netherlands. All in all, studying comes at a price. Dutch nationals are eligible for a government grant which covers part of the costs. However,
most students have to get a loan, rely on parental contribution, or find a part-time job. For the 2015-2016 academic year, tuition fees are € 1951 (the amount can be paid in installments); as for additional costs:
-introductory programme for first-year students: € 25
-first-year books: € 550 - €1300 (dependent on the language chosen)
-€ 80 - € 200 for readers and block books.
In the third year, there will be additional expenses because of the semester of study abroad. These vary, depending on the destination, partner university, currency fluctuations and so on, but they generally run up to an amount between € 4000 and € 7000.

Where can I find information about the city of Maastricht?
There is some information on the school website (www.zuyd.nl), but the city also has its own website with more detailed information about the city, local events, and so on. For tourist info you can go to www.vvv-maastricht.eu.

Is there an orientation period at the beginning of the academic year?
Yes, there are two New Student Orientation periods, one of which is organised by INKOM and serves as a general orientation programme for all new students that have come to Maastricht. If you participate in INKOM, you will get to know Maastricht, student life in the city, and a large number of first-year students from a variety of educational institutions. After INKOM, there is a second orientation period that is organized by the Faculty itself. This second orientation enables you to get to know your fellow-students, the staff, the school building, the programme and the timetable.

What is the best way to find accommodation in Maastricht?
It is best to register with Kamerburo, a student housing organization. The organization services housing offered by both housing corporations and private owners. All mediation takes place through their website www.maastrichthousing.com. Address: Bonnefantenstraat 2 Maastricht.; e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; Phone: 043-3885300 (Mo-Fri., 09:00-13:00hrs). Another source could be Kamernet (www.kamernet.nl). On this site, accommodation is on offer in cities throughout the Netherlands.

Any other questions?
More information can be found on the FAQ pages of the various languages (Arabic, Chinese and Japanese). If still have any questions left, please send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .