SidYaj
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Hello everyone,
I am planning to do my BSc in Physics abroad. I have currently applied to five different programmes; BSc Physics at the University of Groningen, Maastricht Science Programme, BSc Science at the University of Hong Kong, BSc Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology and the Hokkaido University Integrated Science Programme in Japan. The two universities in Hong Kong are the most expensive, the Dutch universities are mid range and Japan is the cheapest.
Anyone with any knowledge of the programmes or universities please do give me your inputs.

EDIT: I’ve also applied to Amsterdam University College for a major in science. Anyone with any experience or knowledge of AUC, please do give me your inputs.

Once again thanks everyone!
Last edited by SidYaj; 1 year ago
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KaiHendriks
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Hi SidYaj,I'm a 3rd year student at the Maastricht Science Programme focusing mainly on theoretical physics, so I can probably provide you with some information. The unique aspect of our programme is that we have a so-called open curriculum; instead of having a set of pre-determined courses that you have to take, you are free to choose the courses you want. This means that for each period, you have the opportunity to choose the courses you think are most interesting and relevant for your future. Additionally, our educational format is different from the traditional lecture-based form. For a course, which lasts 7 weeks, you will have 1 2-hour lecture per week, and 2 2-hour tutorials per week in which we use the so-called problem-based learning method. Basically, in a group of around 10 people, we discuss whatever the lecture was about and do exercises based upon it. Per period (7 weeks) we have 2 of those courses and 1 practical course, which entails that you spend one day per week in the laboratory to do experiments (or in a computer room if you choose to do a programming practical). Also, the last 4 weeks of each semester are completely dedicated to a research project that you will be doing. In groups of around 10 students, you work on a research that you signed up for, where your final product is a research paper.Do you have specific questions about courses or anything else? Feel free to ask Kai
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SidYaj
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Hi Kai!
Thank you so much for your response. I'm most curious about the quality of teaching, especially physics. How is the physics faculty at the Maastricht Science Programme? How has your experience with the professors and the programme overall been? Also, how are the various labs, etc.?
Besides this I wanted to know what is the final qualification you get? Is it a Bachelor's in Science or Bachelor's in whatever you take most of your credits e.g. BSc Physics, BSc Chemistry, etc.? What are the prospects specifically in physics after completing the MSP?
Lastly, I wanted to know, if one is sure he/she wants to do physics, whether you would recommend a purely physics programme like the one the University of Groningen offers or a broad science programme like the MSP?
Thank you very much
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KaiHendriks
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Hi SidYaj,

So overall, especially since MSP hired two new physics lecturers in the summer of 2017 (a theoretical gravitational physicist and an experimental particle physicist), I've experienced that the quality of teaching is quite high. I still would think we lack some mathematical background compared with full-on theoretical physics bachelor programmes in the Netherlands. I might experience that gap once I will start my Masters degree, but I think it should not be a problem especially since we do get a really good conceptual understanding of all subjects, and we already have a lot of experience with doing (group) research. NB: the last semester (30 ECTS) of MSP is fully dedicated to a bachelor's thesis, where you gain experience in doing scientific research (on your own!).

So, officially, we are called a "Liberal Arts & Sciences" programme, so you would get a bachelor's degree in liberal arts & sciences. When applying for a masters, you just send in your course list to your masters programme and they will get you through the admission process. What I've heard from MSP physics students is that so far nobody has had any issues with getting into a masters programme. Considering your last question: it really depends on your style of learning. Since our education methods are really interactive and small scale, they are very different to traditional lecture-based learning like they have in Groningen. Also, our programme is also research-based, i.e. you learn everything with the idea in mind of doing a research master and PhD afterwards. To really get an idea of this, I would recommend signing up as a "student for a day", so you can experience what our classes are like.

Kai
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SidYaj
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Hi Kai,Thank you so much for your time to respond to all my queries. I just had my interview with Maastricht over Skype a few days back and they’ll get back to me in three weeks. I’ll surely consider attending the MSPThanks once again!
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