An international minor for bachelor students

So, you thought that the only international students at TU Delft were the graduate students? Think again. Besides the English-taught aerospace curriculum, a few bachelor-level minors are taught exclusively in English.

Designed to facilitate study abroad exchanges with foreign universities, these programs annually host English-speaking bachelor’s students from cooperating universities for half an academic year. Last month, students who have just finished the Sports Innovation minor in the industrial design faculty gave their final project presentations during a day-long symposium.

“It’s good, I guess!” said Robert Bye, a third-year exchange student on what it has been like to be one of two non-Delft students this year. He acknowledged his subtle notoriety with a nervous laugh. Being one of two international students in a program that accepts between 20 and 60 students each meant that everyone in the program knew who he was. The other exchange student comes from Spain and left the symposium directly after having given his presentation.

Last year, according to Arjen Jansen, professor of industrial design and coordinator of the Sports Innovation minor, there was one exchange student from France. “Unfortunately, he stopped participating right after the first week due to a mismatch between his expectations and our program.” In general, the minor keeps an open-door policy by not only actively promoting study abroad but also by encouraging inter-disciplinary education.

Bye, who has returned to Brunel University, in London, to complete his fourth and final year of his degree, was optimistic about his team’s project, which devised a method to measure fluid intake during cardiovascular activities such as competitive running and cycling. Each student in the team brought a unique educational background and experience to the table, as the minor accepts students from every bachelor’s program.

The innovation projects were developed in partnership with European design companies, whose representatives attended the presentations as clients. One client was a footwear developer with Asics, the athletic company, who had hoped for a more bio-mechanical treatment of his shoe insole project. “I think this project was a little too hard for the students,” he said, while acknowledging that the work would have been better suited for students from mechanical engineering.

A quick snowball fight before the last presentations erased any hardship in the group. What good sports.

Redacteur Redactie

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