TU Delft students go to China

Four TU Delft students recently spent seven weeks in Hong Kong and Taipei as part of the Netherlands-Asia Honours Summer School (NAHSS) program.

The NAHSS, which started as a pilot program in 2012, is a unique initiative involving Dutch universities, companies and government ministries. These partners have acknowledged that Asia, and China in particular, is increasing in importance to the Netherlands. According to the NAHSS website, they have “joined together in order to introduce the younger generation to the dynamics of Asia and the opportunities that the continent presents to the Netherlands.”

Nanda Zaanen (Mechanical Engineering), Wyona Boers (Civil Engineering), Leon Zhu Feng van Rossum (Aerospace Engineering) and Pascal van den Bosch (Applied Mathematics & Physics) were selected to be part of a group of 75 top students from around the Netherlands to participate in the NAHSS. The students attended one month of intensive courses at one of three universities (Chinese University of Hong Kong, National Chenghi University of Taiwan and National Taiwan University.) In addition, they spent a week in Shanghai together attending a business week where they visited Dutch companies and entrepreneurs located in China.

Van Rossum followed summer school courses at National Taiwan University. When asked what he got out of the program, van Rossum, who is half Chinese said, “A lot of real life insight in the Chinese culture, especially the business culture and opportunities. In Taipei, we had some really interesting talks on the roots of Chinese thinking, Confucianism. This enhanced a deeper understanding of Chinese way of living.” Van Rossum also said that both Dutch and Chinese businessmen stressed the importance of learning Chinese to be successful in China. He went on to say, “Besides the fact that the NAHSS was good for my CV, it made me gain priceless cultural and professional experience with the new superpower.”

Van den Bosch spent his first five weeks studying at Chinese University of Hong Kong. He felt that he learned a great deal because the courses were so different from the courses he has taken in the Netherlands. “Besides the experience I got from the summer school,” said van den Bosch, “being among Chinese gave a better understanding of the Chinese culture. This is an experience that is very hard to learn from books and I think the opportunity to go to Asia with the NAHSS should definitely be taken for this reason.”

The NAHSS program aims to have hundreds of students become acquainted with Asia each year, helping to build bridges between Dutch and Asian students and cultures. For more information visit

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