BIP is an exercise to enter the real world

Nearly fifty students, including 26 from Finland, Austria and Spain, completed the Blended Intensive Programme (BIP) Changing Cities on 12 May. In five days they designed floating solutions for the municipality of Rotterdam for several harbours, like the Spoorweghaven, Keilehaven and St. Jobshaven. Three students tell us what is great about such a BIP.

“It was really an intensive week," agrees one of the Inholland students, as he walks on the fortieth floor of the Municipality’s office De Rotterdam to the corridor where the group photo is taken. After this, the group will make a cruise on the Maas and will have a last dinner together. Talking with a beer and recovering from a week of hard work is what this student will be doing.

Municipality receives international inspiration
It was indeed hard work for the participating students from various disciplines: management, architecture and urban design.  Prior to the field week in Rotterdam, they received five weeks of online lessons in for instance design thinking.

The floating designs had to meet the needs of both residents and entrepreneurs. In this way, the municipality received international inspiration for new destinations of harbours that lost their original function. The concept 'Floating Vibes' won the first prize for the best combination of design and business plan.

Lisanne de Bever

Lisanne de Bever, third-year Business Studies Management Studies
"If you had told me a week ago that I would be presenting in English, I wouldn't have believed you. I like presenting in Dutch, but in English it's really different. It was new for me to work with foreign students and it was a fun group. We connected well and kept focus on the goal. It is nice that you do not know each other at all at the beginning of the week and that you end up as good colleagues at the end.

I think it's important to connect with other cultures, because you will have to deal with them in your future life. The sooner you are exposed to other cultures, the easier it will be. In other words, participating in a BIP is a very good exercise to enter the real world."

Silpa Kinnunen

Silpa Kinnunen - International Business from Finland
"I'm amazed and proud of how well I got through this week. The main reason to participate was to improve my English. I think my English has really improved this week. Moreover, I wanted to work with people from other countries, from other cultures and from other disciplines. I enjoyed getting to know new people and a new country.

What I noticed is that the other students talked so much while working on the project. In Finland we always work in silence. That was sometimes difficult, because I'm used to working very differently."

Jonah van den Beukel

Jonah van den Beukel – third-year student Business Studies Management Studies
It was a lot of fun. This BIP was all about making friends and having fun together while developing a concept. Never before have I done such a project. Being creative was difficult. Because we had a big brainstorm session together, we succeeded. It helps that you are all working towards the same goal. Being at school every day, working hard every day: I'm going to miss that fun now it's over….

I recommend students to participate in a BIP, because you quickly make new friends. You will meet people you normally never meet, such as management students or architecture students from abroad. In short, I see it as a very positive experience."

What is a Blended Intensive Programme?
A Blended Intensive Programme is a programme that combines online and offline learning. Before the students started working together in Rotterdam, they worked together online in international teams to get prepared for their field work in Rotterdam. The partners in this BIP were recruited from Inholland’s large network of  international partners.

Marlies Springorum, internationalisation coordinator at Inholland and lecturer in Marketing, initiated this international programme, which receives financial support from ERASMUS+ from the EU. Abdul Kara, co-initiator at the Rotterdam campus, secured the cooperation of the municipality of Rotterdam as commissioners.

Marlies: "This programme is for students who do not necessarily want to go abroad for six months, but who do enjoy working together in an international context. This cross-cultural cooperation - online and offline - is also important for the EU. I think it's a great concept”.


Read also this article about the BIP in Haarlem:  BIP brings international students to Haarlem (

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