The best of Delft

Best Delft recently hosted 22 students from various universities across Europe, here for wind energy lectures and workshops and to experience the local flavor of student life.

Traveling as a tourist cannot compare to experiencing places up close and personal with the locals. As such, Best (Board of European Students of Technology) offers students chances to discover Europe through participating in various Best courses, competitions and cultural exchanges. The Delft wing of Best recently organized a 10-day spring course, ‘Gone with the wind and returned with energy’, in which 22 students from various European universities participated in lectures, workshops and practical experiments about wind energy.

“We organize courses that bring people from across Europe together under the same roof for a couple weeks of working and having fun through social activities,” says Ujwal Kumar, a computer science MSc student from India and Best Delft member. “This makes the whole aspect of cultural diversity easy to absorb and fun.”

For the international students visiting Delft, the wind energy spring course featured compelling workshops, like kite-building, and lectures delivered by professionals from leading firms like Siemens. The students also enjoyed city rallies in Delft and Den Haag.

The visiting students were keen to share their opinions about the course and offer comparisons with their home universities. “Wind energy’s long been my subject of interest, and TU Delft’s reputation in this subject was a major motivating factor,” said Lauriane

Fillot, an engineering student from Ensta Paris Tech in France. “Besides, it was an exciting chance to experience Dutch culture, as I’d never visited the Netherlands before.”

Diogo Palma, an aerospace engineering student from Portugal’s Instituto Superior Tecnico, added: “Apart from my great passion for wind power, I’d heard that the ‘best’ way of going about the courses involved lots of partying and meeting people from various parts of the world. Interacting with them was exciting.”


As for differences between TU Delft and their home universities, the visiting students found many. Palma was impressed with Delft: “Compared to Lisbon, the variety of international students here is tremendous. It brings minds thinking in very different ways to work together.” France’s Fillot was similarly impressed: “I’m amazed by the infrastructure offered to students here – the buildings very well designed, the labs equipped with the latest technologies.” She was less impressed with the TU’ campus vibe: “Compared to my home university, the spirit of campus life is missing here.” She was however pleasantly surprised by Delft’s lack of student-teacher hierarchy: “I‘m used to a conventional teaching methodology: professors are authorities and usually there are no arguments. But here the student-professor relationship seems to be a level field. In fact the interaction is so different that professors here even crack jokes.” Emre Barlas, a mechanical engineering student at Technical University Denmark (DTU), has studied at various universities in Turkey, Germany and Denmark: “The studies at both TU Denmark and TU Delft are similar, but the atmosphere here is dynamic. You can see the passion in the students here.”

As for the challenge of working in teams comprised of students who just met, Tanya Boichuk, a student from St. Petersburg State Polytechnical University in Russia, was glad for the experience: “Throughout the 10-day course we remained a close-knit group. It was a learning experience: not just learning something new about wind energy, but also how students from different cultures approach a project.”

Best course are also good PR for TU Delft. “The courses help the university broaden its reach, with participating students experiencing the high standards set in Delft,” remarked Jonathan Ramirez, a TU Delft sustainable energy technology student. To which Basil Vereecke, the president of Best TU Delft, added: “There have also been many cases where these participants return to Delft for an MSc program or even PhDs.”

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