My friends back home always ask me how I find the studies in Netherlands and I always tell them it’s different. And then I proceed to tell them how. So today I will tell you some things related to study and how things work around here.
The Good Part:
The first major difference between the studies back home and here is the approach. The studies here are practical in nature and up to date with latest developments. This way, when you graduate and step out into the industry, there is no gap that needs to be filled.
Next up is Blackboard. Blackboard here is much more than the usual blackboard we had back home. Blackboard is the TU Delft student-studies connection software. You enroll for your courses, you download softwares, the lecture slides are uploaded here, to order the readers (textbooks) and much much more. I cannot imagine life without Blackboard now. It has even simplified the interaction between the professor and the students enrolled for the course.
Then the library website Discover where you can see if the book you need is available or not. If it has already been borrowed, you can always reserve it from the comfort of your home and when it is returned, you can go pick it up from the library. Now that is so convenient. Although I wish they had more than a couple of copies of each book, looking at the collection of books in the library, there might be a problem of storing them :D
Facilities: If you need it, you can get it. If you are working on some flight simulation project and would like to use the flight simulator Simona, you can always put forward a proposal and it can be arranged. The way things work here is simply straight and to the rules. It feels comfortable working in such an atmosphere.
Lastly on the good side is the flexibility. It is really something when you can tailor your course according to your needs. You can highly streamline your stream and work towards your thesis in the same stream or you can keep it normal, try everything out and then choose the topic u like to write your thesis on.
And I have to add that there is no race for excellence or cut throat competition here. Everyone does what they love. On a scale from 0-10, 6 is usually the passing grade. Although 10 might be on our mind, but 6 is pretty good in itself. People here value how much you have learnt rather than how much you score. Of course you can argue that if you know it, you can score better but lets leave that for a debate later ;)
Since the atmosphere is so relaxed and its all you and no one else that matters, people tend to join clubs like the Energy club or the Rocket club Dare or the Hydrogen Car or even the Solar car (Nuna) club. They do more with their lives and that helps them get out of the books and apply what they have learnt. Student here are involved in so many different projects in different countries trying to make a difference where it is needed. Rank, marks or competition hardly holds here. And maybe that is the reason why it does not matter if you fail once or twice or if you score less. You can always take the exam again and the better grade is taken.
Sorry for the long post. Guess I ll have to shift the Bad part to the next page :)
PS: Will be sharing some important tips so do check it out ;)