From one year online education in Nepal to physical lessons in the Netherlands

International student Prashiddha shares his experiences


During the Week of the International Student, various activities are organized for all international students of Inholland. Every year, many students register and come to Delft for the Aeronautical Engineering programme of Inholland Delft University of Applied Science. Due to covid measures and the lockdown in several countries this was not possible for every international student last year. That is why most of the international students were force to follow the lessons online in their home country. This was also the case for student Prashiddha Koirala, who followed all classes from Nepal during his first year: “It was especially difficult because of the time difference, sometimes I had exams at 9 o'clock in the evening.”

Prashiddha Koirala, now a second-year Aeronautical Engineering student, has been living in Nepal all his life. When he registered for this programme, the corona virus was on the rise. “The nearest Dutch embassy from my home in Nepal is located in India. To apply for my visa, I had to travel to New Delhi, but that was not possible due to India’s total lockdown. I had no other choice than to follow the first year of study online.

No electricity and a huge time difference
Prashiddha’s experience with online education was not always pleasant. Both his parents also worked from home and the time difference between Nepal and the Netherlands is 4 hours and 45 minutes. It especially became difficult when wintertime started. "There were often classes in the Netherlands at 4 o'clock in the afternoon, but in Nepal it was already quarter to eight in the evening. Personally, this was very difficult for me because I wanted to have dinner by then. And very often there were exams scheduled at 9 o'clock in the evening. "The time difference was not my only difficulty. The power supply in Nepal is not very reliable, it is always possible that suddenly there is a power outage. This happened once in the middle of an exam. As a result, I handed in my exam 7 minutes late. Fortunately, the examiner accepted this."


Using Dutch public transport
After completing the first year, Prashiddha focused on coming to Delft to follow and finish his study in person. "I travelled to New Delhi in India, where I obtained my visa. Then I made the long journey to the Netherlands." Prashiddha’s uncle, who lives in the Netherlands, picked him up at Schiphol. "After I arrived, my uncle immediately taught me how to use public transportation. This was actually a very nice experience because I got to know how to use an ‘OV-Chipkaart’ immediately." Prashiddha's uncle helped him a lot with settling in the Netherlands. "Finding a student house was still a thing, but Inholland helped me very well with this.”

Adapting to student life in the Netherlands
Prashiddha has been coming to the Inholland Delft and following classes for four months now. Little by little he is getting used to his student life in the Netherlands. "It was especially difficult to get used to the fact that the lessons are so much more interactive than online. You can now simply see who is asking questions in class. In the beginning it was sometimes difficult to follow because online, many questions were asked via chat." In the beginning it was hard for him to concentrate on the lessons with so many students in the classroom, but things are going much better now. He gets along well with his classmates. “Due to the online interaction with classmates, I already have a lot of friends here and it’s really nice to see and meet each other in real life.”

Cycling paths and delicious bread
From Nepal to the Netherlands, is a big cultural difference. According to Prashiddha the biggest difference is that the Dutch are very enthusiastic and outspoken. “I really like this because the Dutch people are super motivated about almost every little thing or idea! I also really like that you can cycle everywhere. There are very nice bike paths everywhere, so you can get almost anywhere very quickly. This is very different in Nepal, where sometimes you have to travel through narrow mountain roads. That’s why the traveling over there can be really dangerous.”

The Aeronautical Engineering student thinks the Dutch sandwich is the easiest staple meal there is. “I love your bread. In Nepal we don't eat it that much. It’s a very simple delicious budget meal, especially for students.” says Prashiddha.

About the future
If everything goes well and according to plan, Prashiddha hopes to complete his bachelor's programme at Inholland Delft within a couple of years. After completing this he wants to follow a master's degree at the TU Delft.