Hangin’ Out

All work and no play makes dull boys and girls. So how do Dutch and international students enjoy spending their free time? Arvind Jayashankar (22), from India, MSc mechanical engineering: “It’s been a good start in Delft.

My first semester here is about to close and I can’t believe time has flown so fast, which means for sure that I’m not bored here. There’s never enough time to do all the nothing I want to do. During the winter vacation I travelled to Paris, and was lucky to actually get out of Delft, because the day after my departure heavy snow closed the airports. It was a fun trip and the differences in lifestyle and customs between France and Holland is really evident. Back from Paris, I spent a mad New Year’s Eve partying at the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam.

My hobby is magic: I’m a semi-professional magician, so there’s always some way I can entertain people for a while. Last year I was selected to audition for the Uri Geller show. I went to Amsterdam to show my acts to the TV people, which was followed by an invitation to come to Hilversum, Holland’s media city, to showcase my act for a professional TV jury. After a few weeks I found myself at the SBS6 television station’s studio, where I performed my magic tricks for the audience and the judges. The judges liked my act, but as it’s a Dutch TV show and I don’t speak Dutch, I unfortunately didn’t make it to the live TV round. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic experience.

I enjoy playing the violin in my free time. I also love origami and paper craft; it’s amazing all you can do with just a piece of paper.  I love making pop-out and personalized cards. For me, having fun is doing what you love to do and to love doing it. The minute you consider what you do as ‘work’, that’s the point you stop having fun – both psychologically and physically.

Delft’s a beautiful little town, and there are a lot of nice spots here for hanging out, but I prefer taking bike trips to Rotterdam when I’m bored. It’s beautiful, biking past fields and farms, windmills and greenhouses, and also circling around the airfield. Once in Rotterdam I like to sit by the harbour and just enjoy the view, or to take a boat trip on the river. I also like biking to Kinderdijk, and there’s also a beautiful stretch of gardens hidden behind the university buildings along the Rhine-Schie canal on the way to Ikea, which is a very relaxing place to just sit, talk and enjoy the surroundings.”

 The site offers opportunities for creating groups, writing and sharing news, adding events to the calendar and more. Up until now 260 PhD students have registered at the site tudelft.phdcommunity.nl.

It was initialised by the TU Delft Library aiming to increase the transparency of PhD projects. It believes increased transparency of research will augment the appeal of the university and of individual researchers.

The site will enable faculties, employers and PhD students to aim and share information, news and events more effectively, the TU Library says.

A visit through the site reveals so-called ‘Rooms’ such as business lounge, Urban Studies and Undutchables, ‘News’ (on the Valorisation Centre workshop or PhD prizes), a list of Events and profiles of PhD students.

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