Humans of TU Delft: Melanie Rumpf

Who are the people who study and work at TU Delft? We meet them in Humans of TU Delft where they talk about their work or other activities. Today Melanie Rumpf, a master’s student in strategic product design (IO), who wanted to experience something different from her life in Cologne, Germany. Spending three months in Ecuador gave her just that.

“Before I started university I had sort of a gap year and I wanted to see something completely different from Germany. I knew someone who worked in Ecuador sometimes and he recommended a place for me to go. I spent three months there and I worked as a volunteer in a kindergarten.

‘A lot of small gestures can make you feel welcome’

I stayed in a parish, the part of a church where the priest lives. His mother also lived there and another worker from the church and other volunteers. There were a lot of people and it was a really good experience. I think it was even better than staying with a family because it allowed me to be in contact with a lot of people. It was easier to learn the language and the culture that way. I knew some Spanish, but it was only the basic skills. Being there for three months really helped me because the people there couldn’t speak English.

What I really enjoyed was the people. They were really open minded and friendly and just came to you. Sometimes they gave me small gifts as a sort of memory of the experience. Even though it was something small, it made me feel really welcome. In general, the whole atmosphere was really friendly and people just invite you to things. If you go somewhere, people greet you, you feel welcome, and they share things. A lot of small gestures can make you feel welcome. I would really like to go back to visit because I still have friends there.”

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Heather Montague / Freelance writer

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