TU Delft is a melting pot of world cultures. Every year nearly a thousand international students join the university, bringing with them a little more of the global footprint that makes the university truly international.
2014 has the highest number of international students yet. 1,189 international students enrolled this year, with 977 for an MSc, 126 for BSc programmes and 86 exchange students.
This year, the two-week long Welcome Programme organised by the Central International Office kicks off on August 15 with an added focus on integration. A number of events during this time will be held jointly with OWEE (the introduction programme for Dutch students) so international and Dutch students can get to know each other right from the start. “The Introduction Programme is all about giving TU Delft international students the best start in their student career and their life in the Netherlands. In the future we aim to provide even more integration between international and Dutch students,” says Sophie Vardon, Manager, Introduction Programme.
Aside from joint sessions with Study Associations and Student Bodies, students will get an early introduction to the most exciting Dutch tradition – Koningsdag! “We’re hosting a second Koningsdag of a sort. Not only will people be dressed in orange things, but students will also play traditional Dutch games such as Koekenhappen,” says Vardon.
Other introduction activities include team project work, happy hours at the Welcome Cafe (in the Aula) and the multicultural closing event. The Welcome Cafe will also host a number of lunches and dinners on themes such as Meet the Dutch and Dinner with the Study/Student Associations. “One feedback we got from last year was that students wanted to be introduced to their faculties sooner. This year we have introduced new activities around the Faculty Sneak Preview day, during which students will be taken on a tour around their respective faculties.”
In order to help with the Introduction activities, the CIO put together a team of forty-five specialised coaches – student assistants who took intensive training workshops on areas such as team building and leadership. Keeping with the focus on integration, a number of chosen coaches are Dutch. One of them is civil engineering student Martijn Hollestelle. “I’ve never had the chance to study abroad, but I love the atmosphere of a global community (like in student hostels) and thought it would be a great idea to sign up as a coach. I enjoy living and studying in Delft and I love welcoming new students here and helping them get the best possible start for their time here,” says Hollestelle.
According to one student coach, the pub crawl is among the most exciting aspects of the introduction programme. “Delft is a beautiful city and has some excellent pubs with a fine selection of beers and I enjoy sharing my favourite spots with the new students. Even for those that don't drink, I think the atmosphere in the centrum with all the new students will be infectious and make for a great night out,” says Suparshav Tandon from South Africa, a BSc student at the Aerospace Faculty. Like last year, the official Opening of the Academic Year will be in English and DISS will be involved in the ceremony. ¨This is another opportunity for international students to feel welcome and integrate into TU Delft university life,” adds Vardon.