Living on campus | “Everyone here is so nice and talkative”22 May 2017
Jenna Nikkarinen (22), second-year student of International Business and Management at Fontys University of Applied Sciences, likes living in Eindhoven. What's more, she is considering staying on in the city after her degree program and learning Dutch. Because Eindhoven suits her perfectly.
“People in Finland are withdrawn and shy. Everyone here is so nice and talkative. I love that. When I landed at Schiphol, it felt like coming home,” she explains in Luna's spacious hall, the building on whose tenth floor she lives.
It was always her dream to go abroad to study and learn to speak English well. Friends recommended this English-taught program in Eindhoven. “It is much cheaper to study here than, say, in England, and here everyone speaks good English. It is also nice that everything here is close by: my school, the city center with lots of little restaurants, cafes and bars.”
It took her about six months to feel completely settled. “When I had just arrived, the hardest thing was coping with everything that was new to me; everything was strange and unfamiliar. I also found it hard to get used to the English program and the teaching methods I hadn't come across before. So in the beginning I had to spend a great deal of time on my studies.”
Although she misses her family now and then, she feels completely at home now thanks to her international group of friends. “We do a lot of things together. We have already been to Brussels and Germany, we have dinner parties and go out together in the evenings. In my leisure time I like to jog on the campus or down by Karpendonk Lake, because I love being outdoors.”
She thinks every foreign student should buy a bicycle and try stroopwafels, but above all she recommends the hot sausage rolls. “Not very healthy, but delicious.”
Learning the Dutch language will have to wait a while because in September Jenna is going to Lisbon for a Communication minor, and the rest of the academic year will be devoted to her internship. She expects to start a Dutch course during the last year of her degree or to learn the language through a program of self-study. “I already understand a lot, but I can't yet say very much back. And I will need to if I stay,” she says with a laugh.
The quality of education seems to have slipped at TU/e. In the latest Dutch-language guide to universities (Keuzegids Universiteiten), Eindhoven's university has dropped from third place in the overall ranking to seventh place in the course of a year. "It's understandable but it's not good," says President of the Executive Board Jan Mengelers, "and it is all the more reason to push on with introducing an upper limit on student intake to our programs. This is a result of the strong growth in student numbers."
Eindhoven's iGEM team has arrived in Boston. In the coming days, the students will participate in the Giant Jamboree, competing with nearly three hundred teams from all over the world. Their competition entry is their project GUPPI, in which they propose encapsulating tumors in a gel to prevent them growing and spreading.
As well as professors, from now on associate professors (UHD-1) at TU/e may also confer doctoral degrees on PhD candidates. Sixty associate professors were awarded the right to confer doctoral degrees at the start of this academic year after the move was approved by the Upper House of Parliament in the Netherlands shortly before the summer recess. “We couldn't wait to introduce this here.”
Before you google yet another one of my invented diseases and subsequently begin to question the title of this story, let me tell you this. With a new academic year having begun and a shiny new batch of freshmen accompanying it, the university is full of people suffering from the so-called octopus syndrome.