Every culture has some unusual traditions, the Dutch have a very peculiar one to celebrate new year’s. They dive into the ocean on New Year’s Day, something that seems pretty wild when you come from Latin America. Some brave LATITUD members and me accepted this challenge and found a date in February to dive into the ocean in Scheveningen.
The adventure started in our very own Lati-office where we gathered after a night of heavy partying. The initial idea was to go by tram, but the day was sunny (not a very common thing in the Netherlands) and everyone was very enthusiastic to go by bike.
Upon our arrival to Schevening, we settled down on the beach and waited for remaining participants and other Lati-members who also joined. The moment finally came to dive into the ocean, so we just went for it in a very stylish Baywatch style.
We were so enthusiastic about achieving this challenge, that we even gave a little help for other Lati-members to join and take a dive. This created a very nice Lati-bonding moment because what started with 6 challengers ended up in every attendant joining into the ocean.
Lessons learned after this diving experience:
Daniela is from Medellin in Colombia, where she studied her Bachelor in Industrial Design Engineering. As a part of an exchange programme between her university and TU Delft. The Industrial Design faculty at TU Delft helped establish the corresponding faculty at the university in Medellin, EAFIT. The influence and contact between the two faculties is therefore strong and noticeable. So when Daniela got the opportunity to come to Delft, she felt it was an opportunity she could not say no to. And that is how she ended up studying a semester on the master Strategic Product Development, with a lot of contact with companies where she for example participated in projects strategically counselling companies such as KLM (picture, Daniela is third from the left) and Ultimaker.
So how did she find it here in the Netherlands? Well for starters on an academic comparison the level at Delft is a little bit harder, but this could also be due to the fact of the difference between studies in the bachelor and the master level where you are expected to start creating knowledge rather than just learning it.
Being an international environment it is a fairly open environment both professionally and socially, but comparing to for example Colombia the Dutch way is more reserved and distant in general, an example is in the elevator where you can go in and don’t greet the people there, very different indeed! What she misses most from home is the food though, Dutch food is bland and rich on carbohydrates, e.g. deep fried bread. Furthermore Dutch people seem to eat sandwiches for lunch every day! She mentions that there is a small Colombian market in the Hague she could visit to get a little taste from home. Another observation made is that card is used more often than cash for payments. When for example the faculty doesn’t accept cash, it is important to be prepared to avoid struggles when first arriving here.