Ten tips for the TU’s new arrivals

A veteran international student shares offers some helpful inside info to the new kids on the block. ‘Delft 15 minutes’Classes at TU Delft start at 8:45, but most students act as if they start at 9:00.

This 15 minute delay is called ‘Delfts kwartiertje’ (Delft 15 minutes). Remember that this ‘Delfts kwartiertje’ is only excusable during the first hour of the day, so not after the lunch break. And if you want to be on time, beware of the bridges, especially the dreaded Abtswoudsebrug, which just loves to open when you’re in a hurry for an exam. Best to always add an extra five minutes of ‘bridge-opening’ time to your daily travels.

In short
BG stands for ‘begane grond’, which means ‘ground floor’ in English, and is useful to know in elevators; Bieb is short for ‘bibliotheek’ or library; Pils is an alternative word for ‘bier’ (beer); t/m means ‘tot en met’ or ‘up to’, so, for example, ‘september  26 t/m 28’, means from September 26 to 28 (including the 28th); v.a. means ‘vanaf’, meaning ‘from’, and is mostly used for product prices; Witte week (or white week) is the week before the exam week, when there are no classes, so that students can study for exams. This is the busiest week in the library.

Ready, set, go!
If you already have a Sports Centre card, then you’re probably familiar with the enrolment system. But remember this: some activities are surprisingly popular at TU Delft, like Pilates, Spinning and Aerobics. The online enrollment starts at 13:00 on the day of the class, so try to set your alarm clock for 12:59 and then be behind your computer at 13:00 sharp. Because sometimes these classes are full by 13:05!

Soap is food
About your first eating experiences in Delft. First, there’s a decent breakfast on offer at Ikea for 1 euro, every morning between 9:00-11:.00. You also might find that Dutch people eat weird things for lunch. Yes, they do make odd combinations with bread, butter, cheese, meat, sweets and milk, but sooner or later you’ll start eating the same, and they do eat healthy. Try the interesting Dutch student association dinners (‘eettafels’), Dr. Oetker’s pizza, microwave lasagne, wraps, pancakes (they do eat pancakes for dinner) and the occasional ‘stamppot’. The Dutch also have a ‘different’ way of washing the dishes, which doesn’t include the rinsing part, but they all say that there’s nothing wrong with having a bit of dish washing liquid in your stomach!

Poster boys
There are lots of student associations in Delft, and you’re going to see lots of houses with posters in their windows, especially those saying ‘Virgiel’. No, Virgiel is not a Dutch rock band nor anything to do with virgins, but rather the name of a student association, like DSC, Sint Jansbrug, Proteus, Laga and many more. Such posters in the window mean that members of that particular student association live in that room or house.

Beer bluff
When you’re trying to make friends, remember this: Dutch students are obsessed with beer, and if you’re trying new beers with your new Dutch friend, be careful when sharing your (honest) opinions about that beer, because the beer you just said tastes like toilet water might come from the same city as your friend! And trust me, they do get offended.

Boring? Nah!
Some students complain that Delft is boring, but it’s not when you know where to go. Here’s a brief list of some fun weekly activities. Monday: soccer-tournament @ sports center; Tuesday: Bouwpub @ Architecture, faculty films @ cultural center, live jazz @ Café Bebop; Wednesday: ID-café @ Industrial Design, International students evening @ Café de Ruif; Thursday: market @ Delft Centre, Bouwpub @ Architecture, students night everywhere; Friday: Friday Night event @ cultural center; Saturday: food and second hand market @ Delft Centre; Sunday: sneak preview @ Filmhuis Lumen, Salsa Sunday @ Speakers.

Old shoes
What you should not miss in Delft are the student house parties. Highly recommended places to be are the Jacoba van Beierenlaan (JvB), Marcushof and Flatfeest. Every year when the academic calendar calms down, the flats in JvB and Marcushof choose a theme, create a bar, paint their walls, hire DJs and party all night! Flatfeest is also once a year (around November) and is known as the biggest house party in Europe. Two things to remember for these parties: put on your worst shoes and lightest clothes, because the floors are filthy and it’s hot as hell inside!

Party around
Delft is in the heart of what the Dutch call the ‘Randstad’, a conurbation consisting of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Den Haag and Utrecht. All these cities are within a one-hour train ride. Rotterdam and Den Haag are only 10 minutes away and their clubs packed on Friday and Saturday nights. Thursday nights are also ‘student nights’ everywhere, with free entrance for students. Rotown and anywhere on Witte de With-street in Rotterdam are always good, as are the Paard van Troje and the bars on the Grote Markt in Den Haag. But remember that night trains run only once an hour after midnight, so know the departure times to avoid long waits in cold stations.

Girls gone…missing
So you’ve arranged your classes, moved into your new house and now know your way around Delft. Time to work on your love-life. Girls are lucky in Delft, as there are boys galore, but for you guys, here’s the bad news: There aren’t many girls at TU Delft! Better to go to Leiden or Utrecht to meet them, and be confident, because they love engineers there! Closer to home, you could try visiting the TU’s architecture, industrial design and aerospace faculties, where there are more girls around. 

Sine Celik is a third-year international BSc architecture student from Turkey. When not studying diligently in the library, she can be found cycling-running-dancing-skating around Delft.

Vorig jaar oktober constateerde een interne Taskforce Promotiebeleid al dat het exacte aantal bursalen, merendeels buitenlandse promovendi met een beurs uit het land van herkomst, onbekend was.

Wel waren er gevallen bekend van beurspromovendi die van zeer weinig geld moeten rondkomen en problemen hebben op het vlak van gezinshereniging. Een van de aanbevelingen van de taskforce was een inventarisatie te doen naar de aard en omvang van de problemen van deze groep.

In een voortgangsrapportage uit september staan nog steeds geen getallen, tot onvrede van de ondernemingsraad. “Waar blijven de bursalen?”, zei Henric Corstens namens CMHF.

De taskforce schreef vorig jaar ook al dat studentendecanen en –psychologen regelmatig aanvragen van voornamelijk internationale promovendi krijgen voor gesprekken. Er spelen vaak zwaardere problemen, die verergerd worden of moeilijker oplosbaar zijn door het ontbreken van een ‘eigen’ sociale omgeving.

Er zijn echter te weinig studentendecanen en –psychologen om deze promovendi te helpen. Het gebeurt tot nog toe wel, maar door de toename van internationale studenten is er een enorm capaciteitstekort ontstaan en lopen de wachtlijsten op, zo schreef de taskforce in oktober 2007.

De taskforce stelde voor goed uit te laten zoeken of de bestaande service wel goed inzetbaar was voor de knelpunten waarmee buitenlandse promovendi geconfronteerd worden en welke extra capaciteit nodig is.

Volgens de voortgangsrapporatge is er echter nog geen precieze beschrijving van de knelpunten en extra werklast beschikbaar. Wel wordt gewerkt aan een goede doorverwijzing naar het bureau Mens & Organisatieontwikkeling. Dat heeft al een trasining ‘Promovendus op koers; het coachend begeleiden van phd’s gegeven.

Editor Redactie

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