10 things you should know as a student in Maastricht

Welcome to Maastricht! You are about to begin a fantastic few years in Maastricht. You will see that the Netherlands' oldest city is a dynamic place, bustling with activity. To get your stay in Maastricht off to a smooth and easy start, we have drawn up a list of 10 points that you should be aware of as a student here. They will help you to find your feet in our city.

1. Registering with the municipality of Maastricht

Are you moving from outside the Netherlands (and will you be staying here for more than 4 months)? For students who move to the Netherlands during August, September or February, there will be special register sessions,  organised by the Student Services Centre (SSC) of Maastricht University. Please contact the SSC for more information. Students who move to the Netherlands during another month must register directly at the GemeenteLoket (Municipal Service Desk).

Are you moving from another municipality to Maastricht? Then you must register with the municipality of Maastricht. When you are either moving house within Maastricht, or moving to Maastricht from elsewhere in the Netherlands, you can register quickly and simply online.

Are you still looking for a room? Maastricht Housing has several offers for you.

2. Disposing of household waste

Maastricht has a unique system for the sorting and disposal of household waste. We use red-and-white municipal residual waste bags for household waste. Organic waste (e.g. food waste and garden waste, known as GFT) and paper are collected free of charge. You can dispose of plastic, metal cans, glass and drinks cartons - as well as paper - free of charge at the various recycling platforms (milieuperrons) around the city.  On the waste calendar, you can find the dates on which waste is collected in the district where you live. The waste calendar also contains more information about disposing of and collecting waste. Separating your waste is good for the environment and will save you a lot of money.

3. Fire safety in your home

If you come to live in Maastricht, there is a good chance that you will be living in a house or flat with a number of other students. Checks carried out in student houses have shown that fire safety standards are often not being met. You should therefore check the fire safety status of your home. You can do so through www.checkjekamer.nl (in Dutch). That will give you confidence in the safety of your home for you and your housemates. You can also do a lot yourself. For instance, you can take measures to ensure the safe use of electrical equipment and safe cooking, make sure that you are aware of escape routes and keep those routes clear. Fire safety is also a responsibility of the house owner. If something is not as it should be, speak to your landlord about it. For extra information en tips about fire safety check out www.brandweer.nl/opkamers (in Dutch) or read more in the flyer with extra tips (only in Dutch).

4. Cycling in Maastricht

Maastricht is a true cycling city. The university faculties, schools, and other places in the city are easy to reach by bicycle. However, there are a few rules that you will need to be aware of. In the city centre and at the central railway station, you are only permitted to park your bicycle in the provided racks or indoor bicycle parking facilities. If you park your bicycle anywhere else, there is a risk that it will be removed and confiscated. There are more than 5000 public bicycle parking spaces in racks throughout the city centre. We have three free indoor bicycle parking facilities that you can use. These are located at Markt 36, at Kesselskade and at the Vrijthof (beside the underground car park). At the Central railway station, there's an indoor bicycle parking facility that can be used for a small fee. In addition, there is an outdoor moped/motor scooter parking facility at Het Bat, which is free to use and features camera surveillance. Oh, one more thing: you are not allowed to cycle in the pedestrian area of the city centre.

On www.maastrichtbereikbaar.nl, you can find more information on cycling in Maastricht. That website also informs you about what you can do when your bicycle is removed or stolen.

5. Parking

If you have a car and you live in an area of Maastricht in which parking charges apply, you can apply for a parking permit. If you live outside Maastricht and travel to and from the city each day, it is best to use public transport as much as possible. Parking space in Maastricht is very scarce. If you are a student at Maastricht University and you want to drive to the university, park your car free of charge 24/7 at the university site in Randwyck and take public transport from there. Non-Dutch students coming by car every day can apply for a special student parking permit.

If you want to avoid the stress of traffic jams and congestion, consult www.maastrichtbereikbaar.nl for information on how to travel and park smart.

6. Neighbours and other residents

Living in Maastricht is a unique experience. Students here live in residential areas of the city and not in official university accommodation on a campus. Most of your neighbours will be non-students. These residents have different daily routines and lifestyles from yours. Take this into consideration so that everyone can enjoy living in the city as much as you do. Introduce yourself to your neighbours. Then they will know who is living next door and it will be easier for you to make contact whenever necessary. In practice this proves to work very well and this results in mutual understanding.

7. Cultural city

Maastricht has a long history as a city of arts and culture. Also, Maastricht has four municipal cultural institutions. Like Theater aan het Vrijthof, Kumulus, Centre Céramique or Natuurhistorisch Museum. Do you prefer to organise an event yourself? Be aware that in some cases you will need an event permit (in Dutch). Code 043 (in Dutch) can help you organise your event. On www.maastrichtportal.nl you'll find more info about cultural events and other activities in the city and euregion.

8. Lost and found items

You can report lost items (in Dutch) and found items (in Dutch) to the municipality. You can also report lost and found items, or check whether your lost item has been found, on www.verlorenofgevonden.nl (in Dutch). If something has been stolen, you can report it to the police (Dutch website). We recommend that you take a photo of valuable items and save information such as proofs of purchase, guarantee certificates, and registration numbers (of your bicycle, for instance). It is important to have this information if you need to report a lost or stolen item, and it will allow you to prove that an item which has been found belongs to you.

9. Sports in Maastricht

A sound mind in a sound body: who doesn't want that? That's why Maastricht offers its residents a wide range of sports, also for students. The municipality works closely with the university's sports federation UM SPORT in this regard. Students of Maastricht University, Zuyd University of Applied Sciences and exchange students can become a member of UM SPORT. Visit the website of UM SPORT and www.maastrichtsport.nl (in Dutch) to see all the opportunities that Maastricht offers students to get and stay active.

10. Use our parks

Maastricht has plenty of green areas within the city. There are beautiful parks beside the Meuse river and in the historic setting of the city centre. They make a wonderful place to study on a sunny day, or to simply relax in. Be sure to make use of them! We have one request: please leave the park clean and tidy when you leave, and dispose of your rubbish properly.

Bonus tip: news from the municipality

If you would like to be kept updated with news about the municipality of Maastricht? Take a further look at this website, register for our newsletter (in Dutch), follow us on Twitter, or like us on Facebook. Have fun in Maastricht!