Meet the Society – ISC Delft

A home away from home. That is what International Student Chaplaincy Delft (ISC Delft), an ecumenical group of students, alumni, young professionals and families, aims to offer the internationals of TU Delft.

According to Waltraut Stroh, one of the two chaplains of ISC Delft, the organisation traces its beginning back to the 1930’s when a Dutch pastor was sent to Indonesia as a missionary. On his journey he encountered a group of Muslims who were travelling back home from The Netherlands. They complained that the Dutch churches had not welcomed them. As the story goes, the pastor eventually returned home with the idea of finding ways to make international students feel welcome in the Netherlands.

ISC now has chapters across the country, mainly in places where there is an international university community. Although they are a religious based organization, Stroh emphasised that they are not trying to evangelise. “It’s more about helping students where they are and addressing their needs,” she said. The support offered to students can be on many different levels including personal counseling, family issues, faith and decision making.

Celebrating unity in diversity is one of the cornerstones of ISC Delft, said Stroh. One of the ways they put that into action is through a monthly event called Global Meeting Point. They feature speakers, films and discussions about issues that are relevant, such as living with cancer, women’s issues and the Israel/Palestine conflict. Prasanna Ponnusamy, an aerospace master’s student from India, said the first time she attended one of these events the discussion was so interesting that she wanted to keep coming back. After becoming more involved, she said, “The emotional support is great, it’s like a family.”

In addition, ISC Delft has an annual Interfaith Conference to bring people together from different faiths and religions, including non-believers, in order to promote dialogue and understanding. Other activities include a choir, yoga and meditation classes, study trips abroad, Bible study and a Sunday service that is offered in English and brings people of different churches together.

Ashish Kurian, a master’s student in telecommunications, said that ISC is a place where everyone can come, share their views and ask questions. “When I joined the choir, it was the first time I had seen so many nationalities in the same room,” he said. That diversity is what makes ISC Delft unique. “It’s important not to stay in your own comfort zone,” said Stroh. “We want to create a space to interact with people globally, to share ideas and look at things through the eyes of other. It’s our little way to contribute to peace in the world.”

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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 organisation for us to cover, please email us at

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