‘I very consciously chose Eindhoven’Indre Kanilauskaite, student
TU/e Introduction Program for international students
That the borders are fading and the world is getting smaller is evident from the international intake at TU/e. Every year there is an increase in the numbers of students from various parts of the world. Recent years have witnessed many aspects of education at TU/e having been adapted in the light of this trend: English is more often the language of lectures or the research labs and the number of English-language Masters has increased significantly. Until two years ago student introductions were separated into Dutch and non-Dutch students but since 2008 the international Introduction Program has overlapped for the greater part with the ‘regular’ intro. Lithuanian Human Technology Interaction Master’s student Indre Kanilauskaite (24) was one of the participants in 2009. She talks about her experiences.
“I really enjoyed taking part in the Master Introduction Program. For my part it was not so essential to find out about the Netherlands, the Dutch and their customs because the differences with my own country are not really so great. But from other foreign students I heard that they felt it had been a very useful period. This knowledge is useful not only as a student but also when you have graduated and start working in the Netherlands.”
“In my eyes, it would be weird to distinguish among Dutch and international students. I mean, we are pretty much the same essentially. Everyone is a student and comes here with the same goal: to gain knowledge and expertise. At the same time, you do note that the ‘foreigners’ tend to converge towards each other, which is logical. Full integration just needs a little longer. After all, it is not so long ago that the percentage of foreign students was really small. Both parties have to get used to each other. In that respect, joint introduction is an excellent instrument, also for Dutch Bachelor students. They can then see straightaway that they are in an international environment.”
“If you choose to study abroad, then you also have a certain responsibility. We are no longer in primary school. I can’t imagine you come to Eindhoven from, say Pakistan or Argentina, without having prepared for it. Without having read up on the Netherlands and Eindhoven. And by that I mean more than just the booklets you get from the International Relations Office.”
“I very consciously chose the Netherlands and Eindhoven. The Netherlands attracted me as a country and TU/e is a top university. And I really like it here. I’ve already made plenty of friends, and many Dutch among them. People here speak good English but I do assure you that I intend to learn to speak better Dutch. That will certainly not harm my career prospects.”