Intern Abroad

My stay in the modern town of Delft

June 6th, 2023 | by
  • Robotic Systems Engineering, M.Sc.
  • Netherlands, Delft
  • Delft University of Technology
  • 08/2022 – 02/2023

I am a master student from RWTH Aachen, Germany. My first impression of Delft was that it is a very clean and modern town, which is reflected in the clean and tidy train station. The greeting drivers on the bus, the friendly waiters in the restaurants and the passers-by who welcomed me to Delft all proved the warmth of the people there.

Culture shock

The biggest culture shock was the heavy use of bicycles. In Aachen, bicycles are not the most dominant mode of transportation, probably because the city is not very big and some of the roads are not smooth. But Delft has a surprisingly large number of bicycles, and it certainly is the most dominant form of transportation in Delft. There are two-way bike lanes on both sides of Delft’s roads, which provides a huge convenience for cycling. Therefore, if you are coming to the Netherlands for an internship, my most recommended mode of transportation is by bike. Another culture shock is the book bags hanging in front of many houses. I didn’t know much about this phenomenon at first, but after asking friends and checking the internet I realized that hanging school bags is how Dutch students celebrate graduation. Another interesting phenomenon is the way people relax

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on weekends, which is boating. This is a phenomenon that can only be seen in parks in China and Germany. Probably because there are many rivers in Delft, I found that many families have their own boats and have the habit of boating, which I think is a very interesting way to have fun. The most comfortable thing for me is the widely use of English and the cashless shopping, which is not available in Germany. The English language is so widespread in the Netherlands that you can live in the country without any problems even if you don’t speak Dutch. I don’t need to carry a lot of cash every day because of the wide use of cards payment. One thing I don’t quite understand is that when it comes to cash transactions, the smallest unit is 5 cent, and they won’t give back any change less than 5 cent. I hope you won’t stand at the counter like me and wait for them to find the money.

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Health insurance

As an international student with German insurance, it is not difficult to visit a doctor in the Netherlands and you do not need to apply for new insurance. You can use your German insurance to visit a doctor in the Netherlands, but the process is a bit different than in Germany. The German insurance card cannot be used directly in the Netherlands, so you need to pay for your own medical expenses first and then fill in the reimbursement information on the German insurance company’s website. I went to the dentist in Delft, and I was able to get reimbursed by my German insurance company for both the doctor’s visit and the medication. However, not all medications are reimbursed, and some may not be covered by insurance. My total cost was 97.11 Euros and was finally reimbursed 92.11 Euros, and the result of the review was issued within a week, which was acceptable to me. Of course, I still hope you won‘t get sick!

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First of all I would like to start with a few words about train rides. Unlike Germany, you need to go through ticket machines to enter and exit the stations in the Netherlands. In addition, the ticket prices in the Netherlands are fixed and do not change with the date of purchase like in Germany, which is very friendly for people who do not like to plan their trips in advance. I also highly recommend getting an OV chip card, which can be used for most trains and buses in the Netherlands, so you only need to swipe it when you get in and out of the station, no need to buy tickets online. Rotterdam is a very modern and clean city with a lot of skyscrapers, which is not like a typical European city. The Kinderdijk, located near Rotterdam, is one of the most impressive tourist attractions for me. The beach in Den Haag is very beautiful and I like it best in the evening, when the crimson sunset shines on the beautiful clouds and the beach, and you can see some boats and windmills in the distance. Amsterdam is also a city I really like, it is more historitic compared with Den Haag and Rotterman. The Royal Palace of Amsterdam is gorgeous. The Van Gogh Museum and the Dutch National Museum are also well worth a visit. Another point worth mentioning is

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that most of the attractions in the Netherlands have audio guides in several languages, including but not limited to English, Chinese, Dutch, French and German, which is really friendly to foreign visitors. The following pictures were taken by myself. The first three are in Delft and the last one is in Kinderdijk.

All in all, I really enjoyed my visit to the Netherlands. If you also like to explore different cultures, please don’t hesitate to come to the Netherlands, you will never regret it.

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