Matthew - Delft University of Technology

B Engineering (Honours) and M Engineering
Semester 2, 2022


I wanted to participate in a semester exchange to broaden my horizons and gain new experiences. TU Delft is renowned for it's Aerospace Engineering specialisation, so I was excited to learn from some of the best minds in the field, in a new learning environment. I was also looking forward to experiencing the different cultures in Europe.

Personal development

The highlight of my experience was the lifelong friends I have made. We all came from different countries and backgrounds, but had a common interest in our degree. It was great to meet other people who had also taken the step to go on exchange, and I can't wait to invite them back to Australia.

Academic development

The teaching staff at TU Delft were excellent. They were passionate about their fields, and loved to go in depth on any topic, even outside class hours. This allowed my to hone my knowledge of concepts like composites manufacturing, structural analysis and environmental engineering. I initially found it challenging to adjust to the more lecture-based education, as I always have learnt best by doing, but finding peers who were interested in studying together was a great way to overcome this. Having long group study sessions improved my academic knowledge and my personal relationships.

Professional development

I believe my ability to perform in new, challenging and stressful environments has improved. There were many small differences, both in university and day-to-day life, that were different and out of my comfort zone. I learned to take a step back, evaluate the situation and trust my decision making process. I believe I will be able to apply this improved mindset to my career as well as my personal life.


I budgeted based on estimated by the university, factoring in what I thought would be my weekly expenses on food and leisure. Once my accommodation was locked in, that helps plan the cost more accurately. The total was approximately $18 000. This was more than I originally planned for, but it was due to the current housing crisis in the Netherlands pushing prices up. I would advise including a good buffer of $2000, which you can aim to bring back home, but eat into if you need.


The funding I received, both the HELP loan of $7100 and the John Simmons Mobility Fund of $2000, were vital to my participation in a semester exchange. Being a student, I simply could not have afforded the experience without this help. The funding was able to cover almost all of the accommodation cost, leaving me to budget for flights, food and trips.


Organising accommodation was the most stressful part of the experience. It was incredibly difficult to find any available places - most student room websites in the Netherlands use a "lottery" system because there is simply not enough space. I ended up renting a room at the Student Hotel, which was nice due to the cleanliness and organised activities, but was more expensive than I wanted, If you are wanting to travel to the Netherlands, get onto the lottery lists early and consider looking on other share house sites.


I took a trip to Paris with my new Delft friends. It was excellent - we spent a few nights in an Airbnb, explored the city and went to Disneyland. We really connected and I'm glad we found the time in our mid semester break.

Advice/Top tips

Before going, accommodation and your course planner are very time consuming, start them early. Once you arrive, don't be afraid to talk to people - especially the other exchange students, because they are all looking for the same thing as you. Be ready to adapt quickly to the environment, but keep ties to you family and friends back home so you don't go through too much culture shock.