Friday night alumni of my alma mater Universiteit Maastricht in Shanghai had their first annual Christmas dinner. A couple of years ago I was the only (or at least one of the very few) alumni living in Shanghai, but now there are at least 15 former students working here. Mainly because Shanghai has become quite attractive to work (high quality of life & great entrepreneurial environment), but also because the university has grown quickly over the past years. Maastricht is Holland’s youngest university, and the faculty of business and economics was only founded in 1984.
The university is probably the most international in Holland, and already when I studied there most of my classes were in English (instead of Dutch, like most universities in the Netherlands). Also, the percentage of foreign students has increased a lot over the years (including quite some Chinese). Many of my friends have actually ended up working abroad, either as entrepreneurs or as (top) managers for multinationals.
Universiteit Maastricht is actively promoting its overseas alumni networks, and they even offered to sponsor the Christmas dinner. I think such a gesture is very nice, I am not aware of any other universities that sponsors Christmas dinners for their alumni in Shanghai. And that’s actually the main reason why I decided to blog about the Christmas dinner, I think it’s great they do this.
The dinner itself was of course a nice event, sharing some memories about student life in Maastricht, and discussing a lot about the life and business in China. We started off with gluehwein and beer in Cotton’s, and then had our dinner in Spanish tapas restaurant Azul. We ended the evening in Sasha’s, where we took some pictures for the university magazine. But the quality of the pictures was not too good (never use the camera on an iPhone in low light conditions), so I don’t think they will get printed 🙂 Amiek Krakers, thanks for organizing this evening!