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Updated: September 24, 2012 18:06 IST

Learning by doing

Aditya Dhathathreyan
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Aditya Dhathathreyan
The Hindu
Aditya Dhathathreyan

With proper time management, it is possible to have a stress free working environment which can leave students with time to play sports or use the excellent library facilities available at the university

My interest in electrical engineering coupled with my obsession for energy issues led me to do the Master’s programme in sustainable energy technology at the Technical University of Delft (TU DELFT), The Netherlands.

When I arrived in Delft and started interacting with the faculty at the department, I realised that study at TU DELFT is highly problem-oriented and focuses on learning by doing. I am now in the second year of the programme and TU Delft, like many European universities follows the quarter system as opposed to the conventional semester system in India. The transition to the quarter system is probably the most important adjustment that an Indian student has to make when joining any course at Delft. In addition, most of the courses are self-study based and a student needs to first learn to manage his or her time efficiently. Most programmes have extensive individual assignments that are pretty taxing and are usually designed for weekly submissions. At the end of every two and a half months, the individual exam week begins with the passing grade being 6 on 10. With proper time management, it is possible to have a stress free working environment which can leave students with time to play sports or use the excellent library facilities available at the university.

One of the best aspects of studying in TU Delft were the group assignments that gives a chance to interact with people from various countries. Therefore one learns early on to work as a team and also manage their time better. The university is also known for being one of the best institutions in Europe for research and the professors always welcome students who are inclined towards research. Finding a paid research assistantship or lab work maybe a long shot but there are good opportunities that should not be missed. Many engineering companies do offer part funding for applied research.

Throughout the year the Institute hosts a number of activities that make life very entertaining and pleasant with nice multicultural events hosted by the various student associations from the TU. The university also has a good sports facility with football and hockey being the favourite of the Dutch. Rowing is also widely followed due to the numerous canals throughout the country.

Delft is known for its blue ceramic products, has a large number of monumental buildings, and in many streets there are canals which are connected by typical bridges, making this a notable tourist destination. With the student smart cards from the University, one can get concessions in local pubs, cinemas, museums and concerts and in some restaurants.

The most used and popular form of transport are bicycles and separate lanes for using them make the riding experience truly remarkable and safe. They are also the most stolen items in Holland and are most expensive to service and repair so it is always better to have a bike repair kit for our own. Travelling in and around Holland from Delft is easy because of good train connectivity and Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland are all very close by and can be easily visited over the weekend.

Studying in Delft has been an enriching experience for me and has definitely opened many windows to an exciting world

Master Student, Sustainable Energy Technology

TU Delft, The Netherlands

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