Experiences

A STUDENT’S EXPERIENCE

CYRIEL VAN OORSCHOT

How did you make your study choice?

In the fourth year at high school, I tried to get as broad a picture as possible. I did this by visiting lots of Open Days and getting information about various universities from the Internet. At the time, I didn’t really know what direction I wanted to take with my studies.

During the fifth year at high school, I decide I wanted to study industrial design. I came across this option during a general information evening at my secondary school. The wide range of subjects and working in project groups immediately appealed to me.

Finally, I did student-for-a-day trial runs at two universities. In the end, I chose the University of Twente after comparing these two student-for-a-day programmes.

Why did you choose UT?

It was the size of the programme that finally made me choose the University of Twente. Personally, I liked the idea of a smaller study group more. The Industrial Design programme has about 100 to 120 new first-year students. So you can get to know everyone well and the atmosphere is more friendly.

How do you like studying at UT?

I’m still enjoying my studies a lot. The various types of education mean there’s a lot of variation in the classroom material, which makes the course very interesting. It ranges from mathematics to graphical design and from ergonomics to marketing.

Also, the UT’s project-based education is a challenging way to put the knowledge that you have gained in the subjects into practice. Project groups offer a great way to learn how to work with others, which can be a useful preparation for future job contexts.

The practical nature of the course is also reflected very clearly in the project-based education. At the end of every project, you are expected to show a prototype of your product idea. Sometimes the prototype is more detailed, sometimes it isn’t, but I like spending time in the workplace a lot.

What does your week look like?

My weekly schedule is pretty packed. In addition to my studies, I spend time on sports and music. I spend most of the daytime hours attending tutorials, lectures and practical work. The day is split into four hours of lectures in the morning and four hours of lectures in the afternoon. There is a big break between them; I usually go to the common room of our study association to relax during the break.

There are four projects in a year, along with the regular education. These projects fit in with the educational material on offer. We often talk to each other about them, because the projects are carried out in project groups. That’s why I work a lot with my project group on the lecture-free half-days.
I often work out at the end of the afternoon, or relax on the couch, maybe with my roommates while we’re waiting for dinner.

What is student life like in Enschede?

Enschede is a really nice city to be a student in. Besides the fact that the university has a campus, there’s plenty for students to do in Enschede’s town centre.

I live on the campus in a house with nine other students who are from different courses. I really love living together with such a large group. Aside from the fact that it makes a lot of things easier - eating together, for instance - it’s also always very pleasant, and there are lots of activities that we do together, like the annual Christmas dinner.

I’m also very active in the student association. This association, which is affiliated to the Industrial Design programme, organizes a lot of activities and events. There are parties, excursions, drinks, lectures and many more activities throughout the year.

What else do you do besides your study?

Since my first year, I’ve played in a band that was set up in the introduction period at the university. We currently rehearse once a week at the university’s rehearsal studio. Occasionally we try to perform at various locations in Enschede.

I also joined the Euros students rowing club in the last academic year. We train two or three times a week and we enter rowing competitions that are held in the Netherlands throughout the year. I am also on a number of the rowing club’s committees. For instance, together with several other students, I’m responsible for the introduction period at the rowing club and I’m currently redesigning the website.
I also have a part-time job on the side that I managed to find a while ago. I met two students through my studies who had set up a design agency and were looking for people to work for them. I like the work very much and on top of that I can also immediately apply things I’ve learned during the programme.

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