People from many different countries live, study and work in Eindhoven. Every week, E52 has a talk with an international about what brought them here and what life is like in Eindhoven. Read all the stories here.
“During the two week introduction on the TU/e we got to know each other, the city and the student life.”Himalini Aklecha,
Spring is on its way, the day we meet Himalini. We meet her at Grand-café Usine, where we sit down at a sunny spot near the window. “I love this place”, says Himalini, “I can hardly believe it once was a factory.” Himalini arrived in Eindhoven only half a year ago, but when she talks about her life and the city you would think she lives here quite some time now. “I am glad I came to The Netherlands and Eindhoven. Without a doubt, TU/e is a world-class technical university, and of course, Eindhoven itself is one of the most innovative cities in the world, besides being a wonderful city. It generates infinite possibilities,” she tells with a big smile.
“I completed my undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Bangalore, India in 2016.” Himalini was the only one in her class to apply at universities in Europe for her Masters. “India is very America minded. Most of the people in my class wanted to go there for their Masters. But I didn’t. During a summer course in California, I met students from Switzerland. They told me a lot about Europe and all the study possibilities. It got my interest right away. After the summer course I did a lot of research, applied to universities in several European countries and I was welcome at all of them. My father and I did some more research and we both really loved The Netherlands and Eindhoven. TU/e is a pioneer of a Data Science subject called Process Mining, a subject that I am very much enthusiastic about. I am proud that TU/e tops the list of universities that have co-authored the most papers with the world’s most innovative industrial organisations.”
Himalini: “I love Usine. I can hardly believe it once was a factory.” / Photography: Diewke van den Heuvel
The day after she arrived in Eindhoven, Himalini moved into her own studio apartment on the TU/e campus. The building where she lives is specifically for international students. “I have friends from Italy, Mexico, Turkey, The Netherlands, Venezuela, China, and so on. I love it! At other universities, they organise a two or three-day introduction for their international students. But at the TU/e, it is two weeks. In little groups, we got to know each other, the city and the student life here. This city made me feel at home in those two weeks. If I now visit Amsterdam or Maastricht and I return to Eindhoven, then I am home.”
Besides studying hard, Himalini makes sure to find time to also have an active social life. “The Student Sports Center Eindhoven (SSC) offers me a great place for recreation, health and relaxation. Shopping is another good sport for me,” she says with a wink, “The city centre is awash with shops of all shapes and sizes, including some interesting shopping centres. And of course, Stratumseind is the place where my friends and I hang out. I go everywhere with my blue bike. I really appreciate the cycle-centric rules of the roads and the way infrastructure is designed here. Back in my hometown, I could never use a bike due to lack of bike-friendly infrastructure. Maybe, the local residents take biking for granted, but for me, biking defines my own freedom here. I explore the city and I love my freedom.”