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Delft, what a ripper of a time.

Wow, just wow.  I seriously don’t know where to begin, I left Sydney at the end of June to come over and study Automotive Design at TU Delft in The Netherlands, and thought I would meander around Europe for a couple of months, often walking or doing things on a whim.  At the end of last week my travels came to an end when I arrived at Delft with a twinge of sadness that my holiday had come to an end, completely forgetting that my real trip had just begun.

My holiday had already been so full of ridiculous and amazing situations, from visiting an modern art gallery with one of the cast of Lord of the Rings, meeting a couple of people that have shifted my perspective on life and work and the meaning of it all, hopefully for the better.  To hiking through a forest in Norway with some friends and waterskiing on a freshwater lake shortly before midnight while the sun was still up and discussing the meaning and impact of pink floyd on the 20th century with some Turkish mobsters.  Needless to say the entree before the main meal was something else.

This aside all paled in comparison the moment I arrived on the TU Delft campus.  I had been planning on coming to TU Delft from the moment I got my acceptance letter to UTS almost three years ago, and to finally be here was one of the most satisfying moments that I will cherish for a long time, to remember that through hard work and determination I was able to make it here.  To say this place is amazing, is to do it little justice, as a technology university it is incredibly, where the only degrees offered are bachelors or masters of science.  When I finally purchased a bike and rode around the campus, to see a bunch of rocket scientists (aerospace engineering students) assembling a rocket on the grass purely because the sun was out, was one of the coolest thing ever and I truly felt like home.

This place is not for the faint hearted however.  I can still remember the several orientation talks I went to whilst applying for exchange where students that had just returned from overseas were telling starry eyed students of their exploits and endeavours all over the world and several of them frequently mentioned the partying and relaxing culture.  TU Delft is not the place for that.  This is a serious place where people freaking love learning.  Sure every faculty has a bar in their building, but I have the distinct impression it is merely to let off a bit of steam than to drink and party.

Delft itself is a small town in the south west of the Netherlands, about 1 hour and 20 minutes from Amsterdam and situated between Den Haag (The Hague) and Rotterdam, and is very much a university town jam packed full of canals, bicycles, blue and white pottery and people from all over the world to study some absolutely impressive things from biomedical engineering, to applied physics and aerospace engineering.  People are seriously smart here.

One of the many canals I get to pass every day on my ride to and from uni.  TU Delft Rowing teams frequently rowing up and down the canal.
One of the many canals I get to pass every day on my ride to and from uni. TU Delft Rowing teams frequently rowing up and down the canal.

I have just returned to my apartment on the south side of town about a five minute ride from uni after getting a tour of the industrial design engineering faculty.  That is right, Industrial Design has its own faculty and building.  At UTS the DAB houses Design and Architecture amongst many other lectures and classes from all over the university, delft however has a dedicated building to any of the three IDE strands of study that someone would wish to pursue here and to say that it is amazing does not do it any justice.  Whilst on the tour I felt like a kid in a candy store, a candy store the size of an aircraft hanger.

Crossing the bridge to the IDE Building.  Felt like a kid on Christmas morning.
Crossing the bridge to the IDE Building. Felt like a kid on Christmas morning.
Outside the drawing rooms, they have all sorts of products inside to practice drawing
Outside the drawing rooms, they have all sorts of products inside to practice drawing
Inside the Industrial Design Engineering building
Inside the Industrial Design Engineering building

Being taken around the facilities with other students that had enrolled for the orientation program by current masters students of the faculty, it seemed that there was any and everything available to the students.  From workshops that cater to machine made models, hand modelling work shops, all sorts of CNC mills, laser cutters and 3d printers and everything else under the sun it was nothing short of incredible.

This place is definitely a home away from home for those kind of students that love to learn and to be seriously challenged and thrown way out of their comfort zone.  In short looking at the calibre of work around the walls and all throughout the building I am absolutely terrified, but at the same time I have never been more excited.

My brain generally makes about as much sense as a bag full of cats, slightly less so today as I am that bloody thrilled to be here.

PS: I completely forgot to mention that today during the facility tour we built towers out of marshmallow and spaghetti.  Our group managed to build a tower that defied gravity and engineering and managed to come second with a hight of 1230mm from the ground to the top.  The marshmallows were also delicious.

The team I was on, building our tower out of marshmallows and spaghetti
The team I was on, building our tower out of marshmallows and spaghetti
Spaghetti and marshmallow tower
Spaghetti and marshmallow tower

PPS: I am sure there are more than 143 different things that I have missed, omitted and or forgotten to include in this post.

Ashley Corbett-Smith 11425131

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Netherlands

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