My name is Olivia Coulson and I am an MSc student from America currently following the Aerodynamics & Wind Energy track within Aerospace Engineering. After a stint doing an exchange at this university, I chose to study at TU Delft because of its reputation in the field of aerospace engineering, and its world-class facilities. In spite of its renown, the professors here are very approachable, fielding dozens of questions during and after class. Sometimes you have to take a step back and remind yourself that you’re really in an exceptional place, but you’ve just gotten so used to exceptional that it seems normal.
After the initial excitement of being accepted subsided, it was replaced with mild panic: “What do I do now?! It’s in another continent!” Dealing with the bureaucracy on the American side was easy—it was less easy dealing with the bureaucracy here. There are a bunch of websites you have to join, and the information you need seems to never be where you’re looking. I had so many questions, and I could have saved a lot of time if I had someone who knew where to look helping me. That’s why I joined the Ambassador’s programme—everyone needs a little help sometimes.
In addition to my studies, I am the external affairs officer for Delft International Student Society (DISS),which plans career events for international students, and advocates for their needs within the TU Delft-sphere. I also play the double bass with Krashna Musika, the classical music student society on campus.I really think it’s important for students to become active in extra-curricular activities while they’re here,for a number of reasons; it’s easy to get caught in the sleep-study-eat loop, and this will be the best way for you to make friends who aren’t all in your track.
The biggest tip I have for new students: your first major purchase should be a bike. There’s nothing worse than walking across town in the rain to go to IKEA because the buses had stopped running and you desperately need bedding. Second big tip: buy an OV-chipkaart and take day trips to various Dutch cities. The Netherlands is easy to fall in love with, but you’ve got to take the initiative to get to know it.