Apr 18

Biking in Netherlands!!

Let me just tell you right at the beginning, I love riding my bike. It is one of the best things that we have in Netherlands. Here, the infrastructure, facilities and enthusiasm for biking are on a higher level than anywhere else in Europe. You might have read reports or blogs about biking in Netherlands, if not, just read this one- http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23587916.

As per our basic needs for an individual are concerned, food, clothing and shelter, Oh and I almost forgot…. Smartphones!!! Having a bike is one of the basic needs in Netherlands. It does not mean the public transport is bad but it is more comfortable, fresh, relaxing and for us students a money saver 😛

So you will say all is fine but where to buy a bike. Should I buy a used bike or should I invest in a new one? Well, I had all these questions too. First of all just Don’t just go and get a bike hastily. There are shops, online student groups where you will certainly see one bike offer at least every day. I personally preferred to buy a used bike, there are reasons for it. First, the bikes get stolen, Despite the large number of locks you have for your bike, if it’s your unlucky day… Baaam!!! Your bike is gone and do not even bother searching for it. I lost my first bike from the parking lot in front of the train station! I was shocked, I was under the impression that,’ well train station is kinda safe place to park my bike’ but to my surprise only thing that I found was the broken chain, which I still have it. I have kept it as a souvenir of my first bike in Netherlands.

So, when I bought a second bike and at the same time I made sure to have 2 locks for it. That is one for each tyre. In my experience, when you lock your bike, you should tie your rear wheel to some sturdy bar or fence that cannot be taken away. Get good accessories for your bike like a set of lights and you carry those with you every time you go out on your bike. As far as maintenance of my bike is considered, it’s a little expensive to do it in one of the shops in case of a puncture or oiling or general maintenance. Most of the people I know do it by themselves, the equipment required for the maintenance can be found in supermarkets or they can be borrowed from friends.  It saves a lot of money if you do it on your own. I always try to do it on my own and I will soon become an expert in it! 😉 See my tool box for fixing the bike.

You can get your bike insured! Yes that is indeed true. You need to keep those documents with you if you buy a new bike and in case your bike gets stolen you can claim your insurance.

Well that is all I would like you to know about biking in Netherlands. Happy riding 🙂

Oh! This is my bike journey-

The lost one-

The new one-

Feb 01

Moving Forward to Quarter3

This blog is mainly about Quarter3. It includes few important points which you need to consider in planning your studies. I am sharing these thoughts based on my personal experiences.

I hope this blog will help you for efficient planning of this period.

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You might feel like, well Q2 was not that fast. You had ample of time but let me break that thought for you and say Q3 is going to be a tough one again, similar to what Q1 was. You are now heading for spring break. But let me remind you that plan your holidays and the days that will come later. You will again have submissions, assignments and completions to do and let it not burden you in the end. It is important to balance your workload during the whole period coming up. It is very short in duration and deadlines are really tight. Try to get a good head start during your spring break!

This quarter is again important because you have to plan the minimum number of credit you are going to complete in coming 2 quarters. I will again remind you about the number of credits to be completed by a student at TU Delft. Link and information for the same can be found here –  http://studenten.tudelft.nl/en/students/legal-position/regulations/modern-migration-policy-act/  It is one of the most important conditions as TU Delft is obliged by law to monitor the study progress of Non-EU students residing in the Netherlands on a study residence permit. The law states that a student studying at TU Delft has to obtain at least 50% of the nominal 60 ECTs credits that is 30 ECTs annually at the end of the academic year.

Q3 is on its way, which is also important because you need to start finalizing and submitting your IEP(Individual Exam Programme). You are expected to submit it by the start of  Q3, mainly for Computer Science students. IEP is pretty important because it decides which research group you are looking ahead to work into or are interested for your Master Thesis. Opting for a specific research group you need to make sure that you have opted for the required courses which are prerequisites of that particular research group.

After the exams of Q2, I was able to understand the research area I wanted to work for my thesis. Then I started exploring the research work going on that area and at the research group at TU Delft. I downloaded the IEP form from the website- http://studenten.tudelft.nl/en/eemcs/forms/forms-msc-programmes-eemcs

Considering the specifications of the courses and credits together, I jotted down the list of courses. My list was made with 4 main aspects as required number of core courses credits, the research group specific courses, the courses I already completed and the courses that yet to be completed. All this helped me a lot in finalizing my IEP. Then the next step was to meet and discuss about my interest of working in ‘Web Information Systems’ research group with the Research Group head. I understood the approach and working methods of that particular research group. Once it was approved, I got my IEP approved from my master co-ordinator along with the Board of examinations.

So guys, gear up and make your own list of courses. I am sure at this point you have an inclination to a particular area in your field of research. Try and gather more information on your interested research group, understand the requirements and plan your IEP! It would not be too early to get in touch with the professors and express your willingness to pursue your research.

Huhh!! Well that was too much wasn’t it? But seriously take a little time to plan and follow it so that you will enjoy this quarter. Wish you all good luck and much success!

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