Impressed by the state-of-the-art facilities and research labs, Preethi Ramamurthy writes about her experiences in The Netherlands.

I am currently pursuing my master’s in embedded systems at Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. This is a top-ranked technical university in Europe. All graduate courses are taught in English, making TU Delft a sought-after destination for international students.

Adapting to the Dutch culture majorly means getting used to the unpredictable weather and learning how to use the bike efficiently. The bike being the most common means of transport in the Netherlands, is naturally the student’s choice too.

The city of Delft is famous for its blue ceramic ware and the bridges over the canals which connect various parts of the city. Dutch people are known for their friendly and down to earth nature. The most notable feature about the Dutch is that they are straightforward and have the ability to speak their minds, which can be easily mistaken for rudeness at times.

The introduction week which is organised by the international office helps students get acquainted with the city, the Dutch culture and the campus before they begin their formal studies. Various ‘survival’ activities organised as part of the introduction week bring students from different countries and cultures to work in small groups.

Academics

TU Delft follows a quarter system, which is quite different from the semester system followed in India. The exams happen once in every two and a half months. The first year is dedicated to classroom study and related project work while the second year gives the students the opportunity to take up internship at an industry or faculty, followed by the master’s thesis work.

Cool campus

The campus hosts eight faculties with state-of-the-art facilities and research labs. The TU Delft library has been rated as one of the seven coolest libraries in the world with its external structure resembling the shape of a cone, piercing the grassy hill roof top. The sports and cultural centre in the campus is abuzz with activities throughout the year. One has the opportunity to learn yoga, aerobics, painting, dance and take up various sport activities. The student associations from various countries also host events from time to time to celebrate the festivities and special days of their country.

Networking

There are certain master programmes which are collectively hosted by the three technical universities (3TU) in the Netherlands, TU Delft, TU Eindhoven and Universitei Twente. My course Embedded Systems, being a 3TU course, gave me the opportunity to work with the students from TU Eindhoven and Universiteit Twente as part of the course work. International bonding is the highlight of student life at TU Delft as you get to mix with students from different countries as part of the course work for projects. Bonding with fellow Indian students is possible through the network ‘Indian Students Association in Delft’ which regularly organises visits to the temple, Gurdwara and Indian movie nights for Indian as well as international students.

Industrial exposure is encouraged by the university and one has the option to do an internship or master’s thesis anywhere in the world, be it Germany, France or the U.S. I did my internship at Philips Research, Eindhoven, which taught me many things technically and also about the corporate life abroad. I am currently working on my master’s thesis work at Fraunhofer ESK, Munich, which will be the final part of my Master’s course.

The writer is pursuing her master’s in embedded systems at TU Delft, Netherlands.