For these Chinese students, keeping fit is the key to surviving gruelling academia.
Sport is the survival mantra for these guys. Ruimin Yang (27), a PhD student in microelectronics, and Chao Chen (24), an MSc in electrical engineering, agree that the biggest fringe benefit of studying in TU Delft is the luxury to enjoy life outside the classroom. Yang gets his sport fix playing badminton regularly, while Chen enjoys a good game of soccer.
What drew you to TU Delft?
Yang: “I came to Delft because the microelectronics department here has a great international reputation. I wanted to develop myself to be a better engineer in this field.”
Chen: “I came because TU Delft leads the world in the field of research in microelectronics, especially IC design.”
How does doing a PhD/MSc here help in the long run?
Yang: “The way a PhD is conducted here has taught me many lessons: independent thinking, being critical of one’s work, and always brainstorming with colleagues. There are world class professors and colleagues around, so the research environment is excellent.”
Chen: The way the course is structured not only improves my knowledge of electrical engineering, but also gives me a rigorous scientific attitude, which will surely be helpful in my future research career.”
Are you part of any projects outside of class?
Yang: “I’m currently chairman of the Chinese Students Association in Delft. I’m also the secretary of Mest (Micro electronics system and technology association), which is a student union in the department of microelectronics.
Chen: “I was a team member of Delft’s Formula Zero student team, Forze, in my first year.”
What was your biggest adjustment problem when you first arrived here?
Yang: “The biggest problem in the beginning was, of course, language. Besides that, learning to do everything myself was another task.”
Chen: “In the first month of my MSc I spent lots of time on improving my communication skills with professors and classmates. In Delft, one must teach himself to get used to a large variety of English accents and different cultural backgrounds, because there are students from all over the world.”
Any survival tips for new students?
Yang: “Socialise. It helps ease the homesickness. Keep playing a sport, as it helps with everything. And, of course, learn how to cook. It will greatly improve your quality of living.
Chen: “The study life in Delft can be quite tough, but don’t forget to exercise sufficiently in your spare time.”