And how are things in Bandung?14 October 2016
After having travelled through the whole of Vietnam for 5 weeks, I arrived virtually clueless in Bandung to study at the Institut Teknologi Bandung, the best technical university in Indonesia.
The pre-departure communication of the International Relations Office was rather limited and because we were the first TU/e students to go here, I had no clue what to expect or where to begin. So the first Monday, Youri Meijer (other exchange student from TU/e) and I entered the Service Desk with our Letters of Acceptance and the announcement ‘We are going to study here for six months, what do we have to do?’. And so the exchange semester at the ITB began.
This first encounter with the ITB immediately demonstrates the biggest pitfalls of the University life in Indonesia. The bureaucracy and the lack of communication are the biggest challenges of our faculty in our study. However, once Youri and I finally figured out our courses the fun could finally begin! We were able to schedule all our lectures from Monday to Wednesday, leaving us with a 4 day-weekend. The overall study pace is much lower as opposed to TU/e, but most of the lecturers are very committed to their courses and try to provide as much as possible of the course material in English (2 of the courses are half Bahasa/half English).
Besides the study, Bandung is a really vibrant and creative city that has so much to offer! All the locals are really nice and love to hang out with the internationals, or as they call them bule. Every weekend a different trip to some deserted island with the best surf beaches or beautiful snorkling. And in the weekdays I cruise around on my locally bought Vespa Super 150 from 1978 to explore Bandung and visit one of the many hipster coffee bars. For the coming weeks I’ll be occupied with shaping my own surfboard and a bit of studying for the midterms. Although I’ve been here only for 5 weeks, it seems so much longer and I am loving every moment of it!
For a while now, TU/e student Guido Buntinx and his friend Christophe Westerveld (student of Zuyd University of Applied Sciences) have been attracting a lot of attention with their 'electric beer crates'. Limburg's regional TV station and the TV news program Editie NL also got wind of their creative initiative. The short internet videos showing them riding along on the public highways have been watched multiple times.
The Department of Applied Physics needs to make significant savings: one million euros on a total annual budget of nine million. This was announced last week Wednesday by Departmental Dean Gerrit Kroesen at a staff meeting. The draft reorganization plan must be ready by the end of November and, says Kroesen, compulsory redundancies cannot be ruled out. The Departmental Council is holding talks today with the Departmental Office.
The fourth day of the Bridgestone World Solar Challenge in Australia has come to an end and Solar Team Eindhoven is clearly leading the Cruiser Class. Despite earlier transport problems and the limited window for testing on site, TU/e solar car Stella Vie is performing in the outback “far beyond expectations”. With some 900 kilometers to go, a third world title seems almost a dead cert for the team from Eindhoven - but this is no time for complacency.
For thirty years, Huub Meijer, former Dutch champion and national coach of the Dutch karate team, spent evening after evening in the dojo and the gym of the Student Sports Center working as an instructor. He taught students the intricacies of various martial arts and ran strength-building and circuit training sessions. All the prizes he has won over the years are now stored in plastic bags – ‘they were on show at home for long enough’ – but he looks back on a glittering career with satisfaction, and with even more pleasure on a fine working life as a trainer.
Some rooms in De Plint in Luna are not yet ready to use and so the associations are having to put the brakes on some of their activities. The building contractor has run into delays and current expectations are that everything will be ready by early November. There is evidently so much stuff in the Bunker that it can't all be stored in Luna. Bar Potential hopes to open its doors around New Year's. The cultural associations have just moved from the Bunker to Luna.