University of Maryland (College Park)
University of Maryland is an exchange destination for University College Utrecht students in College Park, Maryland, USA.
|Number of places available
2 per semester
Fall Semester: Late August – late December
Students must have a 3.2 GPA (minimum)
|Language of instruction
UMD is divided into 14 Colleges and Schools, of which the College of Arts & Humanities, College of Behavioral & Social Sciences, and College of Computer, Mathematical & Natural Sciences may be of most interest to UC students. These Colleges offer courses in many disciplines, but other colleges or schools are open to exchange students as well. In general, students should not expect to take more than 2 or 3 classes in one department. Departments with high enrollment/limited class size courses are Biological & Environmental Sciences, Communication, Computer Science, Crimionology, Economics (Economics majors do have priority here), Government & Politics, Journalism and Psychology. If you want to take courses from these department, you need to be very flexible in your course choice because registration is not guaranteed.
Apart from this, UCU has an agreement with the UMD Honors Program. This means that you can also take honors courses: courses with a smaller class size, a large amount of participation, extra debates, etcetera. Information on the Honors College can be found here. Honors students take a mix of honors courses and ‘regular’ courses.
The list of courses available each term can be found in the course catalog.
Course numbers at UMD have a 4-letter academic department code followed by a three-digit course number.
The course numbers indicate the following:
UMD credits convert to ECTS by multiplying by 2; i.e. 1 UMD credit = 2 ECTS. So, you’ll have to take 15 credits to do a course load equivalent to UCU full time credit load. Conversion: 15 credits = 30 ECTS
Undergraduate exchange students are advised to apply for on-campus housing. In most cases, they will be assigned a double room in specific undergraduate dorms, generally in the South Hill or Leonardtown Communities. Students who are assigned traditional campus housing without a kitchen are required to purchase a Resident Dining Plan (different options). Students who are assigned a room in on-campus apartments with a kitchen are not required to purchase a dining plan, but they can purchase an Apartment Dining Plan should they not wish to. Students may also choose to live off-campus, but this is not recommended. For more information please see the residential life website
Undergraduate on-campus dorm or apartment fees vary. For one semester, they are between $3,600- 4,600. The meal plans cost about $2600 per semester. Generally, you need to show proof of $7,500 for one semester to be admitted and (as a next step) apply for a J-1 student visa. The UMD Student Activity Fee that is required for all exchange students is about $40. More information about costs can be found here.
In addition, exchange students are required to participate in the Student Health Insurance Policy (SHIP) at UMD. Approximate costs are $900 per semester. This is mandatory even if you already have coverage elsewhere.
All exchange students must attend the required Incoming Exchange Student Orientation at the beginning of their first semester.
The orientation takes place over the course of 3 days and begins about a week before the first day of classes for the semester. The following topics are addressed: academics, student code of conduct, housing, immigration, campus tour, health & safety, adjusting to American cultures. Students will also be provided with the opportunity to do an excursion to DC.
The university is located about 20 km outside Washington, D.C., a city of 700,000 people and the capital of the United States. It is home to many historical monuments and the center of power in the United States.
Washington DC is a humid, subtropical climate with hot, humid summers and winters that are comparable to Utrecht, usually with some snow.
The campus is a 1,250-acre oasis in suburban College Park, with green lawns, shady oak trees,and stately architecture. The campus is a short Metro ride from all the culture and opportunities of such an international city—including dozens of embassies and potential internships at places like the National Institutes of Health, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund. You’ll be a car, bus, or train ride from Annapolis, Baltimore, Philadelphia.
There is a very active student life on campus. There are about 40,000 students at UMD. There are many student sports clubs, as well as many social and cultural organizations. As on most American universities, there are also many sororities and fraternities (Greek societies). The University Career Center offers a database of on and off campus jobs called Careers4Terps as well as services to assist resume and cover letter writing, building interviewing skills, and networking tutorials. Students on the J-1 visa can work on campus part time or be approved to work off campus as long as the position is directly related to their area of study.
The workload is generally quite high but easier than at UCU. The students who have gone to UMD recommend taking lab courses! They also say that it is wise to sign up for courses as much in advance as possible. Also keep in mind that many courses have prerequisites. Small courses are generally of a higher quality. There is an active student life on campus: “It's is like its own city!” Sports is a big thing on campus and many teams are easy to participate in. There are plenty of things to do in the area and DC is very close by as well.