The Dynamics between Local Residents and International Students in Maastricht: Linking Town-Gown Dynamics to Place Attachment

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This paper investigates the relationship between local residents and international students in the city of Maastricht. The paper aims to answer the following research question: How are the dynamics between international students and local residents in Maastricht? This question is seen through a geographical lens, and since we are dealing with humans and their experiences, thoughts, and feelings, it is the theory of humanistic geography on which the focus lies. Related to this is the idea of place attachment, for which the PPP framework by Scannell and Gifford (2010) is used. After the theory section, the paper turns to the methodology section. Thereafter, this paper gives an overview of some contextual topics, such as a brief history of the city of Maastricht, of Maastricht University and of the internship organisation StudentCity. Hereafter, the concept of town-gown is discussed, which turns out to be a relevant topic in this debate seen from a humanistic perspective. The analysis, eventually, provides citations and quotes relating to the PPP framework. The opinions, feelings, and recommendations of five locals and five students are discussed. One main conclusion is that there are rarely any dynamics, or any relationships between international students and local residents. Key words: humanistic geography; place attachment; PPP framework; Maastricht; town-gown; international students; local residents; bubbles.
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