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Alex's Final Thoughts

Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment Exchange to the Netherlands 2013

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As a collective, the other Nova Scotia students and I decided to travel early to Europe in order to get to know each other and have some pre-project fun. This may have been one of the best decisions we made on this trip, it gave us the opportunity to get to know and trust each other.
After our short time in Amsterdam we travelled to Groningen, to meet up with the rest of the Canadians and Dutch students. Upon our arrival in Groningen we settled into our hostel that we would be staying in for the majority of our trip.

I travelled to Brussels on our travel weekend, there was a little mix up on the trains during my travel, but I suppose that just adds to the experience. It’s funny that such a small amount of snow can cripple a whole train system. It all worked out in the end however. I enjoyed my time in Brussels; it’s a big city with lots going on. Brussels is one of those places you would have to stick in for a while to really get to know it. Unfortunately, I didn’t have that kind of time. I had the opportunity to meet some great people in the hostel in Brussels.

On our last weekend the other Nova Scotia students and I travelled to Gent, almost trouble free. We spent a night at a great Bed and Breakfast called “The Black Hole.” I found Gent to be much more welcoming, and the people to be much friendlier than Brussels. I got to taste some classic Belgian chocolate, which I brought back to Canada. We also got to taste some delicious classic Dutch candies from a kiosk in a small market area. After our short time in Gent it was time to leave for Schiphol to catch our plane. Our trek back to Schiphol was not without its own complications and pure luck. At one point we ended up on a high-speed train in first class (quite an experience in itself).

I think it is fair to say that we have all made many friends along this trip; which, in itself is possibly the biggest thing I’ve gained from this experience. We went to a lot of very interesting places, and saw a lot of cool things. I myself have taken hundreds of pictures in hopes I won’t forget anything I’ve experienced on this trip. It was a trip of a lifetime. I am very thankful to have had the opportunity to go on this trip. Our project went well. I had the opportunity to work with an excellent group of Dutch students and another Canadian. I am looking forward to seeing five of our Dutch classmates during the second half of this exchange in May. On our turf!

Alex Fraughton
NSCC Student, Electrical Engineering Technology
Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 06:54 Archived in Netherlands Tagged education netherlands energy abroad nova scotia study efficiency Comments (0)

Adam's Final Thoughts

Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment Exchange to the Netherlands 2013

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After taking a couple days to reflect on what it meant to be involved in the Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment Exchange with Hanze University of Applied Sciences, it became apparent what an experience we had. Over the course of three weeks, Canadian students were exposed to Dutch culture, educational practices, and the way energy conservation is tackled on an industrial level.

Through a series of lectures and field trips, we were able to witness how a culture copes with high utility rates, something of particular interest to myself. Maximizing mechanical systems and using combined heat and power systems seems to be on the fore-front in energy conservation. As I am enrolled in the Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology program, it was interesting to obtain a different perspective on how building science is integrated with the use of renewables (Solar Photovoltaic and Solar Thermal predominantly), and building mechanical systems. Being grouped with second year mechanical engineers placed us all on a mutual level of understanding, and created a platform for discussion and brain-storming.

However, while the educational bit is arguably the most important aspect of the exchange that we are supposed to take away from it all, I cannot help mention the excellent hospitality we all experienced. Despite the fact that we were there during the Dutch student’s exam period (no easy feat on their part), many students went out of their way to show us the city of Groningen, take us on extracurricular activities, and expose us to local Dutch culture that we otherwise may have missed.

I am very thankful that I was given the opportunity to participate in this exchange, and am very excited for the Halifax, Canada portion of the program in May. I hope to be able to return the favour and illustrate how energy conservation is viewed from a Canadian perspective, and show the Dutch students what it means to be an East Coaster.

Adam Maxner
NSCC Student, Energy Sustainability Engineering Technology
Annapolis Valley Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 09:09 Archived in Netherlands Tagged education travel the netherlands energy abroad exchange nova scotia study efficiency Comments (0)

Katie's Final Thoughts

Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment Exchange to the Netherlands 2013

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The past three weeks have definitely been filled with experiences I won’t ever forget and I have made awesome friends with students from Canada and the Netherlands. Even with some challenges along the way, this exchange helped me gain valuable problem solving skills necessary to have when working with a large international group. It showed me that even with cultural differences and different ways of learning, people can work together and produce well rounded results. I now know once I am employed I will have enough experience to work comfortably in international situations. It has also showed me that there should be more international collaboration when it comes to building practices because I feel there is a lot to gain and I will do my best to promote that once I am employed.

Katie Healey
NSCC Student, Civil Engineering Technology
Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 09:07 Archived in Netherlands Tagged education the netherlands energy abroad exchange nova scotia study efficiency Comments (0)

Gord's Blog

Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment Exchange to the Netherlands 2013

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Being on this exchange has provided me with many memorial moments and experiences.
The grand buildings I pass every day, the quaint shops that proved daily provisions makes this place exciting.
The city is like many neighbourhoods joined together, one after the other, each with a cafe to connect friends.
This a very English friendly place, where communicating is as easy as home.
My Dutch colleagues are just like the ones at NSCC, and the bonus is that we are working on creating joint student projects together. Bringing projects across the pond.
Got new friends, new ideas and new inspiration.
Thanks Groningen!

Gord Wilkie
NSCC Faculty, Electrical Engineering Technology
Waterfront Campus

Posted by NSCC Intl 09:05 Archived in Netherlands Tagged education the netherlands energy abroad nova scotia study efficiency Comments (0)

Micah's Blog

Energy Efficiency in the Built Environment Exchange to the Netherlands 2013

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My experience in Groningen has been great so far! I have never been to Europe so I think the whole "new culture" experience is very cool. One of my favorite things was been traveling by bike out to the country last weekend to see some old Dutch windmills. We got to go inside one of them! This weekend past, I took the train to Leer, Germany by myself. I walked around exploring and took some pictures. The next day I went with two others from the exchange to Cologne, Germany. We saw some famous sights including the Dom cathedral. I climbed to the top! 157 meters and 533 steps are quite a challenge! On the way back we took a high speed train, which was another neat experience. I am very glad I am a part of the EEBE program!

Micah Frith
NSCC Student, Waterfront Campus
Mechanical Engineering Technology

Posted by NSCC Intl 04:26 Archived in Netherlands Tagged netherlands energy student abroad exchange nova scotia study efficiency Comments (0)

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