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Rediscovering student life during the Master Kick-off

Last week, everything on TU/e’s campus was still dedicated to the Bachelor Intro, this week however, all focus was on the Master Kick-off. For three jam-packed event days, upcoming master’s students were introduced to their master’s program at TU/e. But that wasn’t even the main focus of the event: for many of the attendees, simply being allowed back on campus, meeting new people and just having a drink together felt like a relief after a year and a half dominated by corona.

“The Master Kick-off attracted 1014 students, including master’s students from previous years who missed out on the Introduction week of their master’s program due to corona,” Jeanette Schoumacher, project leader of the Master Kick-off, says. “We regularly changed the scenario during the run up to the event because much was still uncertain with regard to the corona measures. We made some changes here and there in the week before the event, but it remained a challenge.”

The visit to a number of companies, a regular part of the Kick-off, is an example of such a challenge. On Wednesday morning, the students left the campus in sixteen busses. Upon boarding, they had to show their CoronaCheck app. Only those students who were fully vaccinated or who had valid proof of a negative COVID-19 test were allowed to come along. “I’m glad that this part of the program could take place, even though some companies weren’t willing to receive that many visitors. ASML for example, pulled out of the event this year.”

Shuttle bus to vaccination location

The impact of corona on the Kick-off wasn’t just apparent from the strict measures, but also from an option that the university offered its international students in particular. “Just like during the Bachelor Intro week, we had shuttle busses driving back and forth between the campus and the vaccination location at the Antoon Coolenlaan this week. Getting vaccinated takes a lot of sorting out for international students in particular. They were welcome at the GGD location without an appointment.”

Happy faces

Still, all these measures didn’t spoil the fun. “You could see the happy faces during the various events, such as the pub quiz in the Zwarte Doos. The students were really glad to be able to do things again that are part of student life. Most of them haven’t been to the campus during the past eighteen months and had to get used again to what it all entails.” The master’s week was a way for students to reacquaint themselves with student life. The Master Kick-off concluded on Thursday evening with several large parties, during which no more than 750 people were allowed to be present per event.

And what about the number of corona infections? “We emphatically asked all of the participants to inform us should they test positive for COVID-19, but we haven’t received any reports so far.”

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