‘More countries than the World Cup’

| Oscar Bradley

Currently over 300 people have pitched their tents on the UT campus to take part in the fourth edition of the CuriousU Summer School. The participants are from over fifty different countries. Each and every one of them come here from different walks of life with different expectations and experiences. Here is a taster of just a few people taking part.

Participant - Natasha de Oliveira, a student from Johannesburg, South Africa

‘I’m in awe of the magnitude of the campus and the availability and transparency of facilities. We were able to just walk into the NanoLab while the people there were working, and they were more than happy to show us around. It’s so great to be able to learn from disciplines you never encountered before and be free to explore high-tech facilities. A favourite part? I can’t say it is the food, but the effort put into everything and the friendliness of people are definitely highlights for me. Oh and of course when we got to try out a virtual reality parachute jump.’

Participant – Janna, a student from Saxion University of Applied Sciences Deventer, The Netherlands

‘The variation of cultures, disciplines and ages at CuriousU is exciting.’ At the beginning Janna and her fellow students felt a bit out of place as ‘the older crowd’, but she says that it’s fun to hear younger students’ critical questions and realise that they don’t know everything just yet. The discussions with students from more technical backgrounds and learning in-depth about Philosophy is very insightful according to Janna. ‘Unfortunately, all of the topics are tasters and move very quickly but I must say the teachers are great.’

Participant - Dr Satheesh, an English teacher from Kerala, Southern India

‘CuriousU is a wonderful and exciting programme.’ Dr Satheesh has been teaching for twenty years and has come here to see the Netherlands and take the English for Academic Purposes track of CuriousU. He believes summer schools like this need to be all over the world. ‘The mixtures of races, cultures and languages is just so much fun. We have over fifty nationalities here, that’s more than the World Cup! I must give my credits to the designers of the campus too, the buildings are aesthetically pleasing, and the amount of greenery is beautiful. The NanoLab was mind-blowing but my favourite part has to be sleeping in a tent. My friends back home found that a bit too funny. I can’t tell my students though, they won’t let me hear the end of it.’

Student Assistant – Christiaan Menningh, an IEM student from the UT, The Netherlands.

‘I’d describe CuriousU as lots of people having lots of fun.’ Even as an accustomed Dutchie, Christiaan says the rain can get a bit annoying. The first evening he was head buddy maker and was in charge of the bell and stopwatch for the speed dating game coined ‘FindFriendsFast’. According to Christiaan it was a great success - ‘we only started with sixteen but by the end over thirty people had joined and everyone had a lot of fun and seemed to be making friends.’ But the highlight for Christiaan is meeting lots of people from all over the world. ‘I’ve worked and volunteered at similar events before and met so many people, some who I still talk to – last year I even got invited to a wedding in Baku, Azerbaijan.’