How about studying in the top inventive city in the world? K.V. BHARADWAJ recalls his student life at Eindhoven.

I got to spend the first year of my master’s programme in Environmental Pathways for Sustainable Energy Systems (SELECT) at Technische Universiteit (TU) Eindhoven, Netherlands. Then I moved to KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden, for the second year. SELECT is a European programme offering advanced education in the field of sustainable energy in collaboration with various universities and industries. Exciting research in renewable sources, scope for mobility and a generous scholarship are a few advantages.

The courses provided us with an overview of all aspects of sustainable energy enabling us to decide upon our path of interest. The focus of the programme was on innovation and entrepreneurship of sustainable technologies. Writing business plans on sustainable technologies is a major requirement (including crash courses at ESADE Business School, Barcelona). Moreover, twice every year, there are seminars in various partner universities to mingle with other SELECT students and learn about the university and the city.

The courses at KTH were focussed on sustainable solutions based on integrating various renewable technologies (Polygeneration). There is ample opportunity within the university to pursue research, though many students go to industries for their research. Apart from the climate, Stockholm is a beautiful place to explore.

Pre-departure formalities are simple. The visa is confirmed within a couple of weeks. Moreover, NESO Desk India (An agency that promotes Netherland education) organises pre-departure briefing in major cities in India which includes talks by current Indian seniors. At Eindhoven, unofficial guided tours of the university and city are organised. The introduction week at the university was a wonderful opportunity to network and get acclimatised.

Top inventive city

TU Eindhoven is just a 10 minute walk from the Central station. It is interesting to note that bicycles are the most preferred mode of transport in the Netherlands. Sports is affordable with an annual fee of around 80 Euros. There are various student organisations for each department which students can join depending on their interests. Even though it is a small city, it has been ranked as the top inventive city in the world.

Europe being a traveller’s paradise, one can travel across Europe. Belgium is only 20 km and one can make the trip in a bicycle, Germany is a one-hour train ride away and Paris is just four hours by bus.

Students must consider exploring the opportunities in European universities. Apart from varied research opportunities, universities here are affordable too. Language is not a problem when doing your masters as everyone speaks English, though it is advisable to learn the language.

The writer is a researcher in the field of biofuel sustainability, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm. Email: kvbharadwaj2006@