Portrait of Anna Bazarova and Yongxing Loo
Yongxing Loo and Anna Bazarova: “Our goal is to have a home, an actual physical place where we can bring people together.” (Photo: Heather Montague)

The Delft International Student Society thinks there’s a lot to learn from big Dutch associations. “They create this community that we internationals don’t have per se.”

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The Delft International Student Society (DISS) already does a lot for the international student community at TU Delft. But this year, President Anna Bazarova and Internal Affairs Manager Yongxing Loo want to make it even better by connecting more people and creating a home. Delta spoke to them.

Anna: “I’m from Poland but I’m also part Russian. This is my third year at TU Delft and I am doing a bachelor’s in Applied Earth Sciences at the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences.

Yongxing: “I’m also studying Applied Earth Sciences but I’m a second-year student so I’ve only been in Delft for about a year. I’m from Switzerland, I’ve lived my whole life there, but my parents are from Singapore.”

Anna: “This is the third year I’ve been involved with DISS and I’ve held almost every role except for Treasurer. As President I want to guide the board and I want to connect with them because if we connect, we can create a community and help international students better. I’ve been doing this for two years and it’s been good, but I know it can be better so I want to help improve things. We have lots of ideas on how to do that. For example, there’s the Diversity & Inclusion grant that we’re currently working towards. We are working on the plan and drafting the application. Our motto in the past was ‘embracing diversity’ so I wanted to come back to that and see what we can create for internationals. But it’s not only for internationals, we want to include Dutch people as well because our aim is to connect internationals with Dutch people.”

‘We want to have a little bit of Dutch culture’

Yongxing: “I’m more of the organisational person behind DISS. In Applied Earth Sciences I meet so few people from other studies. I joined DISS because I think there’s so much opportunity in this organisation because there are so many international students in Delft. The Dutch students have big associations like Virgiel and DSC and I think there’s a lot to learn from them, that they create this community and student life that we internationals don’t have per se. Our goal this year is to create a home and a community for international students. Our goal is to have a home, an actual physical place where we can bring people together, have a chat or a drink and nice shared experiences. We’re in talks with Duwo about a possible place in the future.”

Anna: “We do have some events coming up. This week we have a pizza evening planned and we are collaborating with MoTiv, an organisation that deals with mental health. It’s going to be at their place. Then we have a language café at X and a festival where we collaborate with AEGEE-Delft (in Dutch). We also want to have a little bit of Dutch culture, so we are hosting Constitutional Drinks on 20 October. This is something new we are doing; we had the first one last year. We have drinks to welcome new members because we are growing and got quite a lot of new members this year. And then there is The Base Festival which is a joint project with all the associations in The Base, which is a corridor in one of the Duwo complexes (Kanaalweg 4) where most of the international associations are housed. It’s an event to connect and create something together. There will be drinks, food trucks and live performances for basically a whole day.”

Yongxing: “We have more than 200 people signed up already. This event is in collaboration with Duwo, they provide the funding. Our goal this year is that we really want to make DISS known to everyone, that even if they’re not part of it they hear about it and they know what it is.”

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