First Impressions

August 20th, 2017, I was finally in Amsterdam! A bright beautiful Sunday morning when the shuttle bus picked me and a few other students on the first trip to the campus that day. The entire experience was fascinating, weird and hard-to-believe. After about 45-50 mins, we reached the campus of TU Delft. All the images I had seen on Google were right in front of me. The dream had turned into a reality. My name is Manasa. I am from India and TU Delft is my first experience across the world away from home.

Moving to a new place is just as scary as one can imagine. In my head, I visualized a hostile environment where I was the lone Ninja fighting the world. Being my skeptical self, I was genuinely surprised by the way it all turned out. The beauty of the vast pastures of land with cows, sheep, horses, and windmills blew my mind away. I was still a little anxious about interacting with the people here. Once I set foot on campus, my anxiety faded eventually. Europe had already won me over and I knew it was going to be the beginning of something good.

Post a warm welcome, the volunteers helped us out with almost everything from unloading the luggage to dragging it across for registration and leading them back to the bus to be
taken to the housing- they did it all. People giving you a smile and greeting you as they walk by was something that wouldn’t have happened back home. I have to mention that if you’re on a cycling lane, people will shout out to you and ask you to move away instead of ringing their bell ( ringing the bell at someone is considered rude I believe, never seen anyone actually using the bell).

The first week came with a warm weather and a lot of work-unpacking, settling in, shopping and more shopping. It took a while to get used to the sun setting at 9pm in the night. On a couple of instances, I have forgotten to have my dinner because it was so bright outside. As for the weather, I am from a really warm country and Netherlands’ warm was still a little cold for me, so I always had a hoodie on. Since I couldn’t handle the cold, sitting under the hot sun made me so happy and that is something I wouldn’t have done back home.

I knew Europe was going to be beautiful but I did not expect people to be so polite and friendly. That has definitely been the highlight for me so far. I figured out one thing for sure, no matter how prepared you are, your initial opinion will change after you reach here, for the good. The initial fear and the anxiety will go away and you will like this place.