Machteld, third-year student
Hi! My name is Machteld and I am a third-year student of Advanced Technology. I come from The Hague but now I live in Enschede on the University of Twente campus. Before I began my studies, I spent six months in Tanzania doing volunteer work and backpacking around.
WHY DID YOU CHOSE ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY?
I chose Advanced Technology, because I was looking for a Bachelor’s degree that would cover more than just one area of science. At secondary school I was good at maths and technical subjects. I knew I wanted to head in that direction but I didn’t feel like focusing on just one thing. I wanted a broad scientific programme that also considered the social context of technology. I looked at a range of different universities and programmes, and came to the conclusion that Advanced Technology was what I wanted.
WHY DID YOU OPT FOR THE UNIVERSITY OF TWENTE?
When I attended the Open Days at the University of Twente I was immediately struck by the good atmosphere. Students, lecturers and other programme staff were all involved in the activities. As a ‘student for a day’, I stayed with a friend of mine and saw a bit more of the student life and nightlife in Enschede. Everyone was really open and friendly. I was left with a really good impression of the city.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY?
I like the projects best! You learn to work in a group and the topic you’re working on is often linked to the university’s research groups. It’s nice to have the feeling that I’m contributing to their research in some small way.
WHAT IS YOUR WEEK LIKE?
A lot of my week is taken up with my studies. Most of the time I’m at the university, working on projects, attending lectures or completing tutorial assignments. I generally spend about one and a half days a week working on the project itself. Every quarter we work on a new project. They vary from building an accelerometer to writing a business plan for a product designed by one of the university’s research groups. Lectures and assignments take up the rest of the time.
Don’t worry! There’s much more to life than just studying! I share a house on campus with ten other students. We always eat together and share the household chores. In the evening we hang out together, playing games or just relaxing. I play a lot of volleyball and beach volleyball, organize activities at the university or serve behind the bar at the study association. Student life is busy, but I’m enjoying every second. I wouldn’t miss it for the world!
WHAT’S STUDENT LIFE LIKE IN ENSCHEDE?
Enschede is a really nice student city. It’s not that big, but that’s part of the fun. When you go out, you always run into people you know, and it’s easy to make new friends. A lot of students live in on-campus student accommodation and that has a positive influence on the atmosphere. At the university almost everything is organized by the students themselves, from the Kick-In introductory event for new students to the Open Days. This gives you plenty of learning opportunities alongside your studies. The campus set-up means that everything is close by: your friends but also the sports centre, the gym, beach volleyball fields, hockey and football pitches and so on. There’s even a little supermarket and a hairdresser.
WHAT DO YOU DO BESIDES STUDYING?
Besides studying I have a really active student life. I share a house with ten flatmates. We cook together, enjoy a night out (or in) and go away for weekend trips. I am also head of the bar team for Astatine (our study association). I help manage our bar and coordinate the volunteers so we always have enough bar staff. Much of my student life revolves around the volleyball association. I take part in the official competition and in the spring and summer I love to play beach volleyball. I am also on the association’s events committee. The five of us organise parties (including a prom and a cocktail party) but also smaller events. I also make a bit of extra cash working for the university. With a group of five girls, I help organize events for girls who might be interested in technology or science.