Simone De Rosa is savoring an original Dutch ‘krentenbol’ (currant bun) in the Auditorium. A few minutes ago, along with several hundred other aspiring students, he has been listening in the Blauwe Zaal to representatives from bodies including the International Office, student association Cosmos, the My Future platform, the LGBT+-community Compass and the Studium Generale office.
Simone has been in Eindhoven since Friday, in a temporary apartment from which he will move next weekend to The Student Hotel for the remaining portion of the year. He is taking part in a double degree track which he hopes will after this year bring him the certificates for both his Mathematical Engineering course in Turin and for the TU/e master’s degree program Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Eindhoven he only really knew from football – PSV – and he does not know a lot about the Netherlands for now either. “Of course, I had heard about Amsterdam some time, from friends who had been there.”
Plenty of opportunities
His first impression of TU/e is “very good. There are so many opportunities here for everything, as in many associations, sports clubs and other ways to relax”. Cooking and food here will take longest to get used to, he expects. “It will take some searching to find where I can get everything I need.”
Also, he is going to miss his friends from his students’ residence in Turin most. His girl-friend, whom he also got to know there, is not among them, for that matter - which is positive: “She is taking part in the Erasmus program and is going to live near Brussels in a few weeks’ time. Then the distance will be shorter than between the cities in Italy where we come from”.
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At a table a few meters farther we meet Selima Curci, who hails from Sardinia. She has been living in Eindhoven for a year now, works here at the StudyPortals platform and has meanwhile obtained her TOEFL certificate (for her command of English as a second language). Selima came to the Netherlands together with her friend, and they live in an apartment near the city center. So they both dealt with most of the administrative fuss and bother a year ago already; this week Selima especially hopes to get a grip on TU/e-specific matters such as registration for courses.
The Italian girl is going to follow the Data Science in Engineering master’s program here. Her first impression of TU/e? Huge. “This morning it took me a while to find the right building.” When hearing about the relatively compact size of the Eindhoven campus she laughs: “My university on Sardinia has just one building.”
Eindhoven and the Netherlands quite agree with her. “We have got to know a lot of people by now and visited beautiful spots.” Utrecht appealed to her in particular, and among other sites that she visited was the Keukenhof: “Although there were too many tourists there. I prefer places that are a bit quieter”.
Among the many internationals, most of whom are from Europe and Asia, we also come across the Dutch fellow-students Pepijn Jansen and Rik Martens. Both studied business economics at Tilburg University and jointly they are now switching to the Eindhoven Operations Management and Logistics master’s program, following on from a contented acquaintance. After some mail correspondence they can start on this master’s study at once, in addition to three compulsory courses and two from the pre-master’s program that are strongly recommended.
Back at your parents’ home
Pepijn and Rik expect they will be in Eindhoven predominantly to study. Pepijn is attached to his social student life he has built up in Tilburg so far and is not moving from there. In contrast to especially all the international master’s students, who have left home and hearth behind them for their studies in Eindhoven, Rik crept back under his mother’s wings; he gave up his digs in Tilburg and temporarily moved back in with his parents again in Asten. To be honest, apart from conveniently drawing up a chair for supper every night, that is “quite difficult”, he admits. “All of a sudden I have to do all kinds of minor chores again.”
The two friends are not bothered about the fact that today at the Master Kick-off they constitute a very small minority as Dutchmen; in Tilburg they already got used to the presence of many internationals around them. They hope that this week, during the workshops for instance, they will get to know some more people before their master’s program is really taking off next Monday.
Today will be devoted mostly to all kinds of administrative matters, like opening a bank account, arranging insurances, residence permits or registration at the municipality. There is also an information market on which various organizations and associations present themselves. TU/e supports the newcomers wherever it can, as Sarah van den Nieuwenhof from the International Office emphasizes in her word of welcome, “so that you can soon start on more interesting things: your studies and lives here in Eindhoven”.