Resume_EPS_2010-11_ShortVersion by panniuniu


									                                         23.08.2010 – 28.01.2011


             European Project Semester | Roman Stidronski
“Avans Hogeschool” in ‘s-Hertogenbosch

Week 1:

The first week at the Avans University felt very familiar and people were friendly. The inter-
national office welcomed us with a little present-bag and free lunch at the currently under
construction cafeteria on Tuesday. The next day they planned a city tour for all new interna-
tional students. We were separated in smaller groups of 7-9 persons and walked with a stu-
dent, who already stayed at ‘s-Hertogenbosch, throw the centre. In the afternoon we got an
official address of welcome in the city-hall. By the side, most of the people say only Den Bosch
and not ‘s-Hertogenbosch, because it is easier to understand and shorter. After this appoint-
ment we had the chance to go by bus to Breda. There is one of two partner universities of
Avans. We had a great dinner (also for free) and ended the day in a bar in the centre of Breda.
A lot of good conversations and meeting so many new people from all over the world made
this day perfectly wonderful!
The introduction days of the European Project Semester (EPS)1 started on Thursday with
little snacks in the afternoon. Everybody had to introduce oneself and then we found the
groups for each project. Every group has a mentoring teacher. After a short conversation
with the teacher and the teammates we had some drinks to conclude the day in the class-
On Friday we had a second city tour, organized from our EPS-Buddies. These are all Dutch
students who did this program also. We visited the cathedral and did a boat tour on the old
canal system through and under the historic centre. In the evening and over the whole week-
end I met the other international students as well – great hours.

Week 2

The second week started on Monday morning with 2 courses (project management and
teambuilding) at the university. In addition to that we had international management, cross
culture relation, English and Dutch on Thursday and Friday. We will only have courses in the
first 4 weeks except English and Dutch, which happen the whole semester, and Cross Culture
Relations, which run through the eighth week. After we will have more time for our project

1   For more information about EPS look at page 9.

On Thursday we visited the company where we are going to work on the project. Racupack,
the name of the company, produces case packing machines. My teammates and I had to go by
train and walk for about 60min. The first meeting with our tutor and contact person H.F. Mets
was in a very confidential and familiar atmosphere and we had a good overview of the com-
pany. The communication is very good most of the time. Only in some situations one of us has
to describe what he or she wants to say one more time. And if there is wrong vocabulary used
we always find the right words because of our native speaker Brittany. But she really doesn’t
want to correct us because she feels bad if we are wrong. She is a help and I am thankful I can
improve my English. Thomas is also good for our team, because he is Dutch. He can help us to
understand new things, words or habits of Dutch people.
The school week ended on Friday afternoon at the school bar. The EPS team invited all mem-
bers for some free drinks. We played pool, table soccer and finally had a nice start into the

Week 3

Unfortunately, we couldn’t go to our company because our contact person Ed had some ap-
pointments in Germany this week. He wanted to give us some more details and information
for the project consequently it hadn’t make sense to go to Racupack in Culemborg. Brittany,
Thomas and I met each other on Tuesday and Wednesday at the university and worked on
the project plan, filled in the contract and prepared a presentation for international market-
ing that Friday.

On Friday we got some free drinks like the week before from the EPS coordinator Mr. Van de
Kelft. After that little party we went home, had dinner and prepared for the night. Jan and I
met the Finnish guys in the centre and drank some beers. Then we went to the Student Resi-
dence next to the university. There you’ll find a multicultural party par excellence every day.
Finally, we all went to a bar in the centre. Good Night!

Week 4 and 5

In week 4 and 5 our courses went on like the 2 weeks before. To give a statement of the qual-
ity I could say the classes where basic, which is understandable because at the end of week 6
we’ll only have Dutch and English. But in my mind that’s not bad because you can remember
a lot of what you should already know. In addition to that we have to prepare a lot of things
for classes. For example in international marketing you got a special case you have to work on

with your project group and present in class the following week. Because of this the most
important information of a subject was presented and everyone had a chance to practice their

My first Dutch class in week 4 was quite interesting and funny. We started with easy words
like “Goedemorgen”, the ABC or numbers. After that class we could make a first conversation
or order something in a restaurant. The second Dutch class was good too. Here a short exam-
ple what we’ve learned:

A: “Hoe heet je?”      B: “Ik heet Roman.”

A: “Waar woon je?”     B: “Ik woon in Den Bosch.”

A: “Waar kom je vandaan?”     B: “Ik kom uit Duitsland.“

A: “Wanneer ben je geboren?” B: “Ik ben geboren in achtentachtig“

As you maybe can see there are a lot of similarities to the German and Dutch language. Before
I went to the Netherlands I also bought a Dutch trainer for myself. It is good to start with but
it definitely is more fun and effective to study the language with the whole group.

In regard to our teamwork in the project group I can say that our work became more struc-
tured and efficient compared to the weeks before. We can work together on a document but
also have quite nice and funny conversations traveling to the company. Everybody is involved
in discussions and we usually come to a result that everybody agrees with. In my mind if a
problem arise everybody feels responsible and tries to make a suggestion for a possible solu-

In addition to our group, I think most of the EPS members have quite a good relation with
each other. Last weekend we planned a trip to Amsterdam. At the end we were about 12 for-
eign students and we spent a very nice day there. We visited the Nemo-museum. It is a sci-
ence museum but also hands on so it is understandable for everyone even the younger chil-
dren. You can touch everything and do science on your own – very fun and a nice place to go
to. After that place we went in the city centre. There you’ll find a lot of coffee-shops, smart-
shops and snack-bars. We had dinner and some drinks with our group at the Hard-Rock-Café
Amsterdam. And if you ever go to Amsterdam don’t miss the red light district. Usually you’ll
can’t overlook this place, because so many people walks over there *smile*.

Week 6 and 7

During week 6 we had several different activities to do with our group. The week started with
the presentation of our project plan and teambuilding report. I think my teammates and I felt
very good during and after the presentation. Now we know each other pretty well and if
somebody didn’t know how to explain something the other knew what he wanted to say or
can help with the explanation.

On Wednesday we went to a packaging fair in Utrecht. That was very interesting and we got a
lot of good information for our project.

Now after the 7th week most of the courses are done at the university. We had little exams or
were supposed to write reports which will be assessed. But from this day forward we are
going to spend more time for the project. We already visited C1000 a Dutch supermarket to
research their floor plans and make detailed list of all food products which are important for
our project. For example, we measured the cartons, took note of the packing material and art
of the shape and if it was possible to find out how the products were stacked in a outer case
(transportation case). The next task is to analyse all the information and find the most com-
mon shape dimension.

Regarding my social life it is still exciting every day in every week. We made a “Spanish Din-
ner” at our house. This week we Germans cooked for the others at the same location – our
house! It is a nice place to meet, because all the others have more or less one room or apart-
ment where they live. But we have enough space so it is nice to have all the EPS Students

Week 8 to 10

During the last 3 weeks we had no courses at the university. They told us it is like a midterm
break for the teachers. But the students had to write some exams or work on their projects.
For our EPS program we had to work for our company project. We went to a distribution cen-
tre and did some more research. In addition to that we analysed all our gathered information
and started to think about possible solutions.

On Thursday, the 28th of October, the EPS coordinator organised an excursion to Heineken.
They have the second biggest brewery of the Netherlands here in ‘s-Hertogenbosch. First, we
got a presentation of the way they are working. They started to implement a special system
called: Total Productive Maintenance TPM. After, we had a long tour through the factory we

saw the different steps of the brewery process up to the packing and delivery part. In the end
we were invited to the Heineken Bar in one of the Administration buildings. There we got free
drinks and snacks and had good conversations with some employees and the other EPS stu-

Week 11 to 15

The advent season begins and the Dutch people do some weird things. They celebrate “Sin-
terklaas” (Saint Nicholas) much more than us Germans. The tradition is that St. Nicholas ar-
rives by boat from Spain in the middle of November in the Netherlands. With him is “Zwarte
Piet” a kind of helper to bring all the presents to the children. After he gets off the ship he
travels through the Netherlands on his white horse. Every night the children put one shoe in
the living room hoping for some gifts the next morning. In this time the children write poems
or sing songs for St. Nicholas and everybody is focused on that person. They also have their
own Sinterklaas channel on television.

We also celebrated St. Nicholas in our Dutch class by doing a secret Santa to each other. The
Dutch call it “Surprise” because you try to wrap the present in a very different package, so
you can’t see it what’s inside. Everybody bought a present for one allotted student of the EPS
group. It was a lot of fun and everyone got a nice little surprise.

In the last month our project needed a lot of time and effort but we have gotten a lot of done.
Our company coach is still very busy but our weekly meeting brings us step by step to a good
result. We implemented Autocad drawings and started a kind of flow chart program in Visual
studio to make our results more visual and easy to understand.

Week 16 to 18

As December comes to an end so does our project. At this time we needed more feedback
from our coach than before, to provide them with the best information possible. We also
started to write our concept final report which is now done. Our tutor is reading the report at
the moment to give us feedback from an educational view. After she reads through it we will
have the chance to correct formal mistakes which would lower our end mark.

Beside our project work in the evenings and weekends are full of nice events, trips and EPT.
We normally play poker once a week “European Poker Tour”. Moreover, we went ice skating
several times, made a day trip to Cologne and Oss or just spend time with each other while
watching a film, drinking a coffee or cooking together. The advent season this year is different

from the years passed but not bad. Today we will get pre-Christmas drinks from Avans Uni-
versity. We will also say goodbye to each other especially to Brittany because she won’t come
back after the break as mentioned in any paragraph before.

   Prettige kerstdagen en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar! Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Week 19 and 20 – Winter Break

Week 21 to 24

Then it became real and the work for the project in the New Year starts without Brittany.
Thomas and I changed minor things in the report, worked on the final presentation but the
focuse was on our still opened Visual Basic program, which should be a helpful tool for creat-
ing a personalised case package. Therefore, we had several meetings with our company coach
Ed Mets in the first 2 weeks. Other than that, we printed the final report and bounded all the
pages together. The delivery day for school was on Friday the 14th. Fortunately, everything
went more or less well and we finished everything before the final presentations on Monday
24th at Racupack and Tuesday 25th at the school, where we also had been graded. During the
time before we updated Brittany on the progress over Skype in the early evenings and also
thought about a setup to bring her in real time to us on the presentation day. Skype was the
best solution for the presentation at school and therefore we arranged an extra beamer and
speaker to project her on the wall besides the presentation slides on the smart board. Mr.
Mets was very satisfied with our whole work on Monday and also our tutor and the second
reader had a good mood about our project.

In addition to the work, we had another social event organised from the school. All the stu-
dents, tutors and company coaches were invited to a dinner and basketball game. That was a
lot of fun and it was nice to do something with the whole group. Moreover, we got our last
traditional Dutch lunch before the certificates were given to us on Wednesday afternoon.
After some drinks, dinner and bars ended that day in the early mornings. It was great and it
was the last chance to do something together with all EPS students.

To sum my last semester up I would have to say it was very exciting. I learned a lot about
people, relations, group / project work, languages and myself! Everybody who is thinking
about going abroad I would like to highly recommend to do it! These are experiences you will
never forget and are helpful for your future.

Description about EPS
Description of Avans University website.

The European Project Semester (EPS) is an international semester for third year engineering
and business students from different Institutions for Higher Education located predominantly
in the European Union (EU). Some of the names of the institutions which are involved are
mentioned in the chapter Education, section Erasmus exchange, Partner institutions.

EPS has been originally developed by the Engineering College of Copenhagen (IHK) in 1995
and has run at Avans University of Applied Sciences since Autumn 2002. Besides at Avans
University of Applied Sciences and at IHK, EPS is also offered by the Engineering College of
Oslo, the Technical university of Lodz (Poland), Fachhochschule Kiel and the Polytechnic in

During the semester you will work on an integrated engineering design and real-life business
project at a company. All project work and lectures on courses will take place in the English
language. Examples of projects that students have worked on are: ‘Analyze the effectiveness
and efficiency of a garbage handling system at an incineration plant’, ‘Develop a sales and
service manual for a centrifugal liquid mixtures separator’.

EPS starts with a brief introduction period in the first week. During the following 4 weeks
students will attend lectures of short, concentrated courses. They will be followed by project
work during the next 15 weeks. During the projects you will work in multi-disciplinary and
multi-national groups of 4-5 students. You will learn how to cooperate, communicate and
negotiate with students from different cultures and from different academic backgrounds.

This Project contains 30 ECTS credits. After successful completion of EPS you will obtain a
special certificate. For foreign students there are possibilities to study a second semester at
Avans University of Applied Sciences. They could lead to the Bachelor Degree.


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