Global E3

Student Testimonials

Tessel Grubben, NYU, post #3, Friendsgiving

November has been a very good month! It started off with two of my best friends coming to visit me. I tried to show them all my favorite places in the few days they were here. It is so much fun to be able to show people around in this new city that now somewhat feels like yours. We visited museums, did some shopping and sightseeing, and above all we ate a lot. New York offers such a big variety in restaurants. It’s amazing! I think they went home all tired and satisfied after that one week, because we had been walking so much!! The picture shows us on top of the roof of the New Museum.

I also celebrated my very first thanksgiving!! Some of my friends from around here stayed in New York during the holiday instead of going back to their family to celebrate thanksgiving. So we decided to do a so-called ‘friendsgiving’ together. We woke up really early in the morning that day to go and see the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade that takes place around Central Park. It’s a famous parade that includes big floating balloons, dancers, clowns, marching bands etc. After that we went back home to start dinner preparations. One of my friends goes to culinary school so she was in charge of all the cooking. She made so much food, including a big stuffed turkey. It was a very fun day and a true American experience!

University of Maryland, Willemijn de Boer, post #2

Hi all!

This is my second post of my exchange at the University of Maryland. With already 14 weeks in, I’m getting to know the American student lifestyle a little better every day. One thing of American universities which is a little different to European ones, is the big offer of clubs you can join. And with big offer I actually mean huge offer, since the university has more than 150 different clubs. Think of something you like or you’re good at, and there is probably a club for it you can join. Since I have been rowing during my time in Delft, I decided to join the rowing team of the University of Maryland. Especially for the sports clubs of the university, joining means that you’re willing to commit a significant amount of your time for the club. However, since I get along with all the girls from the club very well, I am glad that I made this decision. The university takes care of a big part of the funding of the sports clubs, which means that most of them have the best uniforms and sports equipment. We practice together for race days, which take place all over the East coast. This also gave me the opportunity to enjoy lots of beautiful American river sides!

Besides from clubs, the University of Maryland also has a big Sorority/Fraternity culture. It is quite similar to the Dutch association culture, however, Fraternities and Sororities are social organizations with single-sex memberships. This means that boys join fraternities, and girls join sororities. At the beginning of the year, both sororities and fraternities start pledging people, which means that you notice the stereotypical Greek letters all over the campus.

For exchange students it is quite difficult to join, since you’re only here for one semester. However, you are able to join most of their parties and visit their houses, which is very much fun if you are a bit familiar with American university movies (which actually are perfect representations of the real deal).

One of the things I enjoyed most during my Exchange in the States is the opportunity to travel a lot. Because flights are relatively cheap, we’ve been to many places already, including Boston, New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia and Chicago. Most of these trips are weekend city trips, which means that we’re back by Monday on campus to be able to attend our weekly lectures. In two weeks we’re taking a quick study break in Miami, right before the finals start in our last week on campus.

I would definitely endorse everyone to go on Exchange in the United States. American college life is something you definitely want to experience once in your life! Of course it is very thrilling being far away from your friends and family, but as everyone here is in the same place, you make new friends in no time.  With these people you experience a lot during your exchange, in order to make many unforgettable memories to take home afterwards! I learned a lot during my exchange, and I will never forget about the incredible times I’ve had here at the University of Maryland.

All the best,


Alex Zwemer, University of Maryland, Part 1, First Impression

Hi everyone,

My name is Alex Zwemer, I’m twenty year old Mechanical Engineering student, who got the opportunity to study abroad. I’m studying in the United States of America at the University of Maryland. There are a lot of exchange students in Maryland, with many of them from the TU Delft.

This is my first time in the USA, this made it extra exciting. I wondered how living here might be. The cultural stereotypes are quite close to reality. Everything is bigger, everywhere is fastfood and the people are very open. The campus is very big, although I’m living on campus it usually takes me a 10 minute walk to my class. Living on campus is a great experience, it’s just like in the movies. There are a lot of activities, such as American football games every 2 weeks, with a tailgate prior to it.

Up till mid-October the weather is really summerlike. In the beginning, this had its disadvantages, because my room didn’t have air conditioning. However, there are a lot of shops within walking distance that sell fans, making my dorm more bearable.

One big difference with the TU Delft is the meal plan, which allows you to eat as much as you want, whenever you want. Besides that it is also the place where you can catch up with each other and most of the activities planned are first brought up there. The backside however are the high costs, but that is totally worth it.



Willemijn de Boer, University of Maryland, post #1, Arriving on campus

Hi everyone!

My name is Willemijn de Boer, I am a third year TPM student who now studies at the University of Maryland for this semester. The University of Maryland (UMD) campus is located approximately 20 minutes from Washington D.C.

As you may hear from other Exchange students, it is hard to imagine what it would be like to study abroad. Since I went to the United States, I expected everything to be bigger and better: this expectation turned out to be quite close to reality. The campus is huge and after 8 weeks I still manage to get lost when walking back from class… With almost 40,000 students living on the UMD campus (twice the number of students enrolled at the TU Delft) you feel like being part of a big community with many events and activities going on. As an exchange student you are very well accepted into this community of American students, as long as you tell them everything about your home country. What the USA is for European students, is Europe for American students!

University of Maryland campus

Most of the exchange students here live on campus. In my opinion, living on campus is what contributes highly to my study abroad experience. I got very lucky that I was assigned to a very spacious apartment with a kitchen, together with three American girls and two other exchange students. Most of the on campus students share bedrooms with another student, but since my Italian roommate is also an exchange student we get along very well and I am very happy that I got her as my roommate.

Another feature of American campus life is the possibility to subscribe yourself into a meal plan. Although this meal plan is quite expensive (around $20 a day), I can recommend every future UMD student taking it. It gives you the perfect opportunity to get over your day together with all your friends and you never have to do any cooking or grocery shopping. With this meal plan, you can enter the dining hall anytime a day and get as much food as you want. This ‘Anytime Dining Plan’ tends to be a proof of discipline, and as we don’t want our moms to be negatively surprised when walking into the airport arrivals hall at the end of December, we try to keep it to only three meals a day.

Studying in the United States is an amazing experience and I am so happy that I have been given the opportunity to go here. At first I had to get used to the American accent of most of my American teachers, but since the education program gives you lots of possibilities to ask questions and get familiar with the class material, passing courses is not very difficult. The difficult part however is finding time for studying, as all the exchange students want to join every activity and see every American city. We travel a lot and that’s what makes the experience even greater.

All the best from College Park and I’ll keep you posted during the second half of my semester!



New York City


Tessel Grubben, NYU, post #2, Classes & midterms


Very happy to say that I have passed my midterm exams! And at the same time a little sad as well, because that also made me realize that I am already halfway into the semester..

The theme of the courses I am taking is Sustainable City Design. Not only is this a field of study that interests me a lot, but also could there be a better place in the world to study city design than in New York? Besides that, I think it is useful for every future engineer to be learning about sustainable design in whatever field. We need to be aware of the impact of our work on the environment, the climate, and the people around us, for the present as well as the future generations. And the ways we can best be building our cities is really something to think about considering the rapid urbanization and population growth in the world.

Model of New York (The Skyscraper Museum)

New York is often used as an example during a class and we have visited several places for field trips such as parks, musea, and an urban farm on top of a rooftop (see pictures). It is really cool to be walking around in the city and then seeing things you have been studying in real life. Having that extra knowledge about my living environment makes me feel a little more like a New Yorker and less like a tourist, at least just a bit.


Field trip to the urban farm (Brooklyn Grange Farm). I am the sixth from the left, top row

The courses are organized very differently from what I am used to in Delft. They involve a lot more reading, which was something I had to adjust to. Moreover the classes are a lot smaller, attendance and participation is required and counts for you final grade, and lastly the contact with the professors is more personal. They almost all know you by your first name and are open to individual guidance. I really like this style for a change. However, if one day you’re not really feeling like it, there is no possibility of hiding out between other students in a great, big, anonymous lecture hall. Which can be nice sometimes as well 😉


Tessel Grubben, NYU, post #1, Arriving in NYC


My name is Tessel Grubben. Not so long ago I arrived in the city that never sleeps: New York. I am currently studying at New York University and will be doing so for the coming few months.

Before I arrived I didn’t know what to expect. And even on the plane flight here, I think I still didn’t fully realize where I was about to go. It wasn’t until the uber driver drove me from the airport to my residence in Brooklyn and we passed all the skyscrapers, amazing buildings and bridges when it all started to sink in: New York was going to be my home for the coming time.


I am staying in a student residence in Brooklyn Heights. I have to share my room with two other girls, one American and one from Australia. That was definitely something that I had to get used to, because having two roommates equals no privacy. However, it is also really fun and a true American experience. My residence is at a walking distance from my faculty which is perfect. Besides the convenience, I also really like living in Brooklyn. It sometimes feels like a cosy, seperate village on the egde of a huge city. It is perfect for escaping from the hectics of Manhattan. Nevertheless, If I do want to go into Manhattan, it is only one subway stop away. And on top of that, the Brooklyn Promenade, which is at a minute walk from my dorm, provides the very best view over the New York skyline.

The first few weeks have passed by so quickly, it is unbelievable. I had one week to settle in and get used to my new environment before my first classes would start. So during that week and during all of my free time between classes and on the weekends I have been trying to explore New York City as much as I can. Yet there is still so much more left to see and do. My list continues on growing. Luckily I have three more months to go, so no rush!

Sander Senhorst, University of Maryland, Post 1: Living and eating

Hey everyone, I’m Sander and currently I’m studying at the University of Maryland. As you might be able to tell, I am not alone, there are so many students from Delft here! When I chose for UMD i had no idea there would be this many other Delft students, but I will try not to bore you with any duplicate stories.

So; America. a culture so big that it is nearly unavoidable. As foreigners we have plenty of stereotypes for these citizens of the land of the free, but not many have actually experienced their culture from within. This was my purpose for studying here, and so far it has been an enlightening trip.

One immediate connotation you might have with American Universities is campus life. Living at walking distance from my classrooms was new to me, but the sense of community a dorm provides meant that I got used to the situation with ease.

Sander 2

I have been placed in an apartment with six flat mates, all Americans, one of whom I also share my room with. In the beginning I was anxious to see how this would work out, as I expected Dutch people give more value to their privacy. I am glad to be able to say I get along with my roommate very well, and at times I barely notice there is someone else in my room. I am also very glad that I got placed with Americans rather than international students, as this allows me to better experience their ‘way of life’. Perhaps I got lucky with my housing assignment, as I have heard stories of people having to switch rooms due to either roommate or location issues.

Sander 3

Another facet to campus life is undoubtedly food, a topic close to my heart. Because my apartment has a kitchen, I was not required to get a meal plan: a subscription to the all-you-can-eat dining halls available on campus. Because I was here to properly experience American campus life, I chose for the meal plan nonetheless. Americans are infamous for their slightly exorbitant serving sizes, however the dining hall is all you can eat. This means you get to choose how much you wish to eat yourself, for better or worse.

The food in itself is not amazing, but also not as bad as you might expect. I am slightly disappointed in the variety though, it feels like the available vegetables and meats are nearly the same every day. There is the option to spice it up yourself by visiting a build your own pasta, stir fry, or vegan booth, which are usually nicer, but this still will not fill a week’s worth of food.

The dining hall is one of the places to meet my friends after much studying and a long day of work. Not everyone joins at the same time, so if you come early people will be joining you while you are already done eating. All this friendly interaction often changes a quick meal into a one and a half hour interaction. If you have an exam the next day this might not be the great, but after all life is not just for studying.

Occasionally the dining halls will provide a special day to change the rhythm a little. For example, last week there was a buffalo wings special (I was a big fan), and there was an opportunity to eat freshly fished crab for a small fee. I had never eaten crab before, so the process of removing the meat from their shells was very exciting to me. Perhaps I got a bit too excited, because as it turns out, crabs are still very sharp posthumously, which left me with some small cuts.

I’ll keep you updated with some more topics I come across!

Sander Senhorst

(PS: To the Delft students currently studying in Michigan: You’re going down this Sunday, go Terps!)

Sander 1

Bart Hutten, University of Maryland, Post 1

Hi everyone!

My name is Bart, I am a 21 year old Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and Management student at Delft University of Technology.  I’m lucky enough to spend a semester in College Park in the States!  I’ll try to give you an impression of my experience here in a few blogposts, feel free to email me if you have any questions related to studying abroad in the USA.

Before I came to Maryland, I went on a vacation with my family through the American Southwest. The national parks (Yosemite, Grand canyon, Bryce canyon) that we visited were definitely the highlights of this trip for me. We then flew to the east coast where my family dropped me off in College Park and my study abroad time started! The first few weeks at the university were simply amazing. I met many interesting people and there were a lot of fun events and parties going on. To top it off, I went to NYC with a Dutch friend who also studies at Delft University of Technology.

bart 1bart 2

The Americans I met so far all seem really nice and more open than the Dutch. Everybody is in for a conversation about anything, so making new friends is pretty easy! Many of them I met haven’t been outside the states and were very interested in cultural differences between Europe and the USA.

A few weeks ago the First look Fair event was hosted on the big mall right at the center on campus. All the sports/social/ clubs were there and I applied for almost 10 (mostly sports) clubs!

bart 3

I am too busy with classes to try all the new sports though (lacrosse, American football etc.). Unlike Delft, attendance is often mandatory and they check it with ‘surprise’ in-class quizzes. These quizzes can be a pain if you didn’t pay attention in class and the teacher suddenly hands out a quiz for you to make. In addition to these quizzes, I have many weekly homework assignments which are all graded. It works well if you keep up with it though, I had my first midterm last week and I found that I did not have to study as hard for it as I would have in Delft.

The first two weeks of classes is called the add/drop period, since many students tend to oversubscribe on classes (they have a lot of electives they can take towards their major!) and use the first two weeks to see if they like the courses and drop/add some. I found out that I did not meet the prerequisites for one computer science class, so I was able to swap it with another engineering course.

The weather here in September was pretty nice. Sunny and just as humid in Delft, you only notice that more because it tends to be hot. Around 35 celsius in the afternoon is quite normal for this time of year and it is often ‘sticky’ at night. Luckily my apartment has airconditioning which makes life much more comfortable.

Naturally, I am also following this year’s elections more closely than ever, but I’ll leave that and other topics for future blogposts.

All the best from College Park 🙂


Bernice Oosterling, University of Michigan, Post #1, Fall Break

Hi everyone!

I’m a senior in Systems Engineering, Policy Analysis and Management at the TU Delft. Thanks to the Global E3 program I’m able to experience an American semester at one of the world’s best universities for engineering: University of Michigan!
Ann Arbor Michigan has been my beautiful hometown for almost six weeks now.
As soon as I got in Ann Arbor I moved into my dorm, which is located on North Campus (the Theatre and Engineering campus).
My first week at the University of Michigan was already a very exciting week! It was a week full of introductions and orientations and new experiences. The Michigan Welcome week is not only filled with official orientations but it’s also an introduction for sports clubs, sororities, fraternities, cultural clubs etc.

Despite my busy schedule I decided to join the marketing team of Michigan’s largest theatre group MUSKET! Joining one of the student’s clubs is one of the best things to do to get some hands on experience and new friends.

I am lucky that I’m studying at U-M in fall semester cause it’s their football season and Michigan owns the largest stadium of the US (“the big house”)!

Bernice 1

Football games take place every Saturday in the month of September and October. Our very first game was against Hawaii and we won with are score of 63 vs. 3.
Me and my friends took the change to experience a real American football game! Michigan’s Wolverines get pretty excited to support their team. The whole city is filled with Michigan fans and supporters. It’s amazing to see how an entire city supports their own team!! Everyone is dressed up in their Maze & Blue outfits.

Bernice 2

Here in Michigan I’m enrolled in junior and senior Industrial Engineering and Operations courses. After my first week it was very clear to me that the American universities are very different from the Dutch ones. Instead of having “just” finals or projects you’ll have a lot of homework. Now six weeks later I’ve already turned in more than 30 assignments and I just finished my first midterm. Luckily the degree of difficulty for these assignments is a bit lower than back in the Netherlands. But therefore, they also expect students to get A’s for almost every assignment.
Most of my classes here are very small and therefore most of the professors know the names of all of their students which is very nice.

Besides my courses, my friends and I try to explore Michigan and its surrounding states during our weekends. Last weekend we went on a road trip to the Sleeping Bear Dunes. This is the Northern area of Michigan. It’s a beautiful area to camp, drive and hike!!

Bernice 3 Bernice 4

bernice 5 Bernice 6

In two weeks our Fall break will start and we will spread our wings to Chicago, Illinois!  That’s something to look forward to during my midterm week!







Eveline, University of Maryland, post 1

Hi everyone!

My name is Eveline and I am a twenty year old Industrial Design Engineering Student at the Technical University of Delft. This semester I am studying at the University of Maryland in the United States.

About six weeks ago I arrived on campus, one day before orientation started. I flew to Washington with a girl from Delft that I already knew from my student association. The morning after we arrived we got up early to attend the exchange orientation program. It started off in a gorgeous building on campus called ‘Tydings Hall’ with a lecture on the University of Maryland. That day we were introduced to little facts about the university and the facilities on campus. We got divided into little groups to tour the campus and have lunch. After a full day of orientation activities the study abroad office had organized a ‘Welcome Dinner’ for all the exchange students. I met a lot of new people whom I still do a lot with.

maryland 3 - campus

Orientation lasted for four days, and after the first weekend things started getting serious and lectures started. It took me and my friends a while to get used to the very different educational system here: choosing your own classes, building your own schedule, all the homework, quizzes and midterms. I am working very hard to maintain all the assignments I have to hand in and keep up with all the readings, as you never know here when your professor will ‘surprise’ you with a quizz!

Even though I am very occupied with all the school work, I am still enjoying myself a lot here. There a lot of things to do around campus, such as sports and joining clubs (there is a club for basically ANYTHING you could ever think of, and you are free to join any one of them!). I notice that the engineering students at this university have more work to do than most other majors at this university.

Maryland 2 - washington monument

Washington is very near by, it takes about 25-40 minutes to travel to the city center either by train or uber. I have visited the city four times thus far, and me and my friends have also travelled to Philadalphia for a day. Next weekend we are visiting Baltimore and Annapolis, and in a few weeks we are going to New York. Busses here are very cheap, and there is so much to do not too far away from the university.

Of course I have also witnessed a few traditional football games already. The stadium on campus is huge and the games are such an experience: cheerleaders, marching bands, food and all the university merchandise you can possible imagine are there to make the whole day even more impressive than it already is. American schools sure do take their athletics seriously!

Maryland 1

Talk to you soon!




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