Make the most of being at TU Delft, say these Mexican students.
For these Mexicanos — David A. Calvillo (30), a PhD student in the electronics research laboratory Dimes, and Marcelo Huet Munoz (27), a recent MSc graduate in Offshore Engineering – the trick to surviving TU Delft’s academic challenges is to celebrate the fact that you made it here. Their mantra is simple: make the most of where you are and always remember where you came from. They are both active members of the Mexican Students Association (MexicanosEnTUDelft.org).
Calvillo: “I came here in 2007 for my MSc in Electrical Engineering. Initially, I started looking at universities around Europe because I wasn’t too keen on sitting all the exams needed for the US. While looking around for MSc courses six years ago, I realised TU Delft was among the best institutions in my field.”
Huet Munoz: “I worked with a Dutch offshore engineering company in Mexico and two of my colleagues had studied at TU Delft. I really liked their approach to work and how they tackled technical issues. So, in 2008, when the financial crisis hit, I decided to pursue an MSc and this was my top option.”
What do you outside the classroom?
Calvillo: “Sport helps me relax, so, I took up swimming with TU Delft’s swimming club. I also belong to a salsa dancing club (SoSala.nl) and sometimes play the guitar.”
Huet Munoz: “I took up fencing when I came here and was part of the team for a while, which really helped with the homesickness. Now, I’m learning how to play the violin.”
What was the biggest adjustment problem you faced when first arriving here?
Calvillo: “I was very surprised by the bad weather. I came in August, which is supposed to be summer, but we never really saw the sun.”
Huet Munoz: “The food. In Mexico, we like to sit at a table and have discussions over a leisurely meal. Lunch, especially, is very important. Here, people had quick sandwiches on the go. I think I was hungry all the time for the first three months!”
Any survival tips for new students?
Calvillo: “Realise that you have a great opportunity because you are here. Get to know people, expand your network, professionally and socially, and get to know other cultures.”
Huet Munoz: “Coming here from Mexico isn’t easy. You have to have excelled and worked very hard to get here, so enjoy the fact that you did. Embrace the good and bad. Use the loneliness as time to reflect. And don’t forget where you came from. It’s easy to get dazzled by everything, but remember your roots.”