This February, the university welcomes 275 new students from the far corners of the world. The new arrivals include exchange students, free mover students and master’s students, most of whom will be in Delft only for the next six months.
Statistics about the newcomers reveal a shift in TU Delft's position as a globally-known university. This year, there are 14 students from Australia, 12 from Canada and 28 American students. "This is definitely a change from previous years. Usually more exchange students come from European countries but we are pleased that students from more universities are coming to TU Delft," said Sophie Vardon, Introduction Programme Coordinator, Central International Office (CIO).
In the past few years, the university has marked out many more exchange programmes with countries around the world and these numbers seem to signify that their outreach is starting to pay off.
The highest number of incoming students in this batch are from Italy (33), followed by Chinese (22) and Spanish (21) students. Unlike the Introduction Programme held in August, this one is less than a week long and will be held from February 7 to 10.
The programme is hosted by the CIO along with a number of student volunteers who act as coaches during the various activities. Their big challenge while designing the Spring edition is to think of ways to help exchange students make the most of their brief stay in the country. "Since most of these students will be here just for one semester, we want to get the ball rolling on helping them integrate and getting to know the university," said Vardon.
The week kicks off with the shuttle service from the airport to the university and a Welcome Cafe at the Aula. Aside from the mandatory events such as the team projects, the opening lecture and the team lunch, every evening has is a different line-up of welcome activities. They include lacrosse training, a Dutch beer quiz and pub crawl and an event titled How to improvise when a Dutch person is too direct with you.
"We're trying something different on the technology side. There's going to be an Interactive Wall," said Vardon. The giant touch screen will be an interactive calendar of events and students can sign up for the activities on the wall itself. The screen is meant to complement the Introduction Programme app, which lets students access their calendar and keep track of which activities are mandatory and which optional. Last summer there were 2,000 downloads and the organisers believe that some of those downloads may have been parents eager to get an idea about the university and catch a glimpse of their kids in some of the live updates.
Student assistants helping with the programme will also be filming a video throughout the week, which will be uploaded on YouTube. There will also be a platform for the various student communities of the university to offer information about their activities. "Students are motivated to form social networks and make the most of their time and this is something we have done in the past and we know it's worked."