A special week for foreign students

Delta nr 27, September 2005

Studium Generale and Aegee have combined forces to organize a week of events in English for both international and Dutch students and staff. From Monday October 3 to Friday October 7, there will be a wide range of activities on offer, from city tours to stand-up comedy and concerts.

"Over the past year we have received more and more requests to organize lectures in English," says Els Koppelman of Studium Generale, the small TU department that aims to broaden the general knowledge of students by providing lectures and workshops about social, cultural, technological and scientific issues and subjects. "As most of the university's degree programs are in English, we figured we could also do more to meet the demands of our international students."

Studium Generale contacted Aegee, which has years of experience with organizing events aimed at the integration of Dutch and foreign students, and the idea of an International Week was born. "If all goes well, we do intend to make this an annual event," Koppelman says. "We plan to organize more activities that are in English throughout the year. One idea is activities with themes, based on different countries. We could then deal with various issues, from local politics to cuisine."

But how much Studium Generale will eventually organize for international students largely depends on the amount of interest International Week generates among the TU's foreign students.

Aegee and Studium Generale have succeeded in putting together a very diverse program of activities. Koppelman: "There's a little bit of everything. We didn't want to make it too serious, but then again we didn't want it to be all fun and games either."

Except for two workshops, all activities are free of charge. However, reservations are required for most events. "If we know the number of reservations for a certain event, we will then be able to change the venue if necessary to prevent a room from being too full or too empty," Koppelman explains.

International Week will kick off with a guided tour of Delft's city center on Monday, which includes a tour of the town hall building. There's also the possibility to visit the renowned Army Museum, which has an extensive collection of weapons, vehicles and uniforms, as well as paintings and handwritten documents. Free tickets for the tour and museum are available from the Aegee office, but reservations are required.

After the guided city tour, the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management will be hosting an afternoon program, in which a group of foreign students will share their experiences of life and study in the Netherlands. Students who want to get a taste of the local student societies can join the 'Tour of Student Societies' on Thursday evening. Several societies will be open to non-members, providing a perfect opportunity to experience Dutch student society life firsthand.


For those who'd rather train their facial muscles, on Tuesday afternoon the TU's Cultural Centre will host a theatre improvisation workshop. This workshop will include a performance by a group of stand-up comedians, who will entertain their audience with amusing stories about Dutch life. As improvisation is the main focus of their 'theater sport' show, audience participation should be expected.

Throughout the week, several serious issues will also be addressed. On Monday evening at Speakers, there will be a lecture on the human aspect of sustainable development, organized in cooperation with Osiris. If you are interested in Dutch politics, Speakers is also the place to be on Tuesday evening: There will be a debate on the differences between Dutch and European legislation, with issues like drugs and the position of women being discussed.

Wednesday evening offers the chance to sit down and have a chat with the TU's Rector Magnificus, Jacob Fokkema, about the internationalization of higher education. If all goes according to plan, the Dutch State Secretary for Education will also be present at Restaurant De Ruif. Reservation are required for both events.

Various workshops are part of the International Week's program, too. On Tuesday morning you can learn to speak some Esperanto, the only true universal language, in a two-hour workshop that is open to students and PhD's only. Admission is free and reservations are required. Tuesday afternoon offers three different language workshops: Dutch, Bissa (an African language) and Chinese, for all of which reservations are obligatory. For the workshop 'Chinese in two hours', participants must pay 3 euro.

In addition to the language workshops, there is also a workshop for lovers of world music or for those who want to learn more about this musical genre. The world music workshop is on Thursday at the Faculty of Industrial Design. Not only will participants be able to listen to world music, but they can also try their luck playing various instruments. World Music band Kayu will entertain and assist interested PhD's and students. Admission is 5 euro and reservations are required.

To top it all off, the organizers have even thought of food: during International Week the chefs at the Koornbeurs will be cooking up internationally flavored dishes for their customers. Dinner at the Koornbeurs costs about 4 euro per person. International Week will end on Friday with an international party, to which everyone is invited to come dance and party until the early hours of the morning.

For complete listings of event dates, times and locations, pick up a copy of the Studium Generale booklet, available in all TU buildings, or visit or Reservations can be made via these websites until September 28th.


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