Meet the Society: Indonesian Student Association

The Indonesian Students Association of Delft was established in 1963 to strengthen relations between Indonesian students living and studying in Delft.

The organization is also known as PPI, or Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia in Bahasa, the language of Indonesia.The Delft branch is just one of several throughout the Netherlands and there are many branches of PPI around the world. The intent of PPI is to support the entire community of higher level Indonesian students living abroad. In the city of Delft, that means PPI members come not only from TU Delft, but also from UNESCO-IHE and the Hogeschool.

According to their website, PPI also aims to “encourage the formation of networks of science and technology for the nation of Indonesia.” For current PPI Delft chairman Julianto Silalahi, that means something personal. Silalahi, who is nearly finished with a master’s degree in Civil Engineering, plans to go back to Indonesia when he finishes. As a civil servant in Indonesia, he feels there is a lot that can be learned from the Dutch. “We can learn the perspective in the Netherlands and use it in our work in Indonesia,” he stated. “For example one area that is important to learn is how the Dutch use and live with water, like building houses above water.”

Aside from learning, PPI Delft also tries to foster relationships in the local Indonesian community by organizing regular activities. Sometimes they sponsor an event like a barbecue for Delft members and other times they do joint activities with other PPI groups from around the Netherlands. For example, they organise an annual Fun Bike with PPI members from Den Haag and Rotterdam where they cycle and explore different parts of the Netherlands together. In addition, PPI Delft also regularly participates in multicultural events hosted by TU Delft.

Silalahi, who has lived in Delft for a little over a year, says that adjusting to life in the Netherlands for Indonesians has its ups and downs. “I quite enjoy the Netherlands,” he said, “because to be honest, I can find a lot of Indonesian food here compared to other European countries.” In addition, Silalahi said that Indonesians have a culture of greeting each other on the street and in his experience Dutch people have also been very friendly. The down side comes in the form of weather. “We have very tropical weather in Indonesia so the cold, rainy weather here has been the hardest thing to adjust to” says Silalahi.

For more information about PPI Delft visit

This is part of our ongoing series Meet the Society which highlights different student groups and societies at TU Delft. If you’d like to suggest an organsation for us to cover, please email us at

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