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Excellent students tracks
Mara Coman - ICT & Software Engineering
Presenting my research paper at EUSIPCO
From 18-22 January 2021, I was pleasantly honoured to attend the European Signal Processing Conference (EUSIPCO) as a co-author of the research paper entitled “Performance Requirements for Cough Classifiers in Real-World Applications”.
All this challenging journey began for me in September 2020, when I started my 3rd-year bachelor internship at Philips Research in Eindhoven, as a Fontys ICT & Software Engineering student. The project’s goal was to develop a deep learning algorithm for distinguishing the cough sounds from other environmental sounds. As the performance of the algorithm was considered outstanding given the rigor in implementation and testing, my Philips mentors and I documented the work in a research paper that got accepted to be presented at EUSIPCO, and eventually published on IEEE Xplore.
In short, the paper talks about the feasibility of a device that is able to monitor respiratory diseases by analysing the cough sounds unobtrusively. A large database consisting of cough and other sounds was available for this work. The sounds were pre-processed using a Mel frequency scale and used in the deep learning algorithm. The conclusion of this work is that, for real-world applications, a personalized cough classifier tool is preferred over a general one.
I am beyond grateful for being an intern within Philips Research and working closely to passionate and ambitious researchers, always willing to offer guidance and bring the best out of their team. Nevertheless, Fontys contributed to this success as well. University is where I was taught how to become my own teacher, not to see mistakes as failures and have the courage to freely express my opinion. University is where I started to gain more confidence in my skills, and where I was provided with help and guidance when I needed it. I had no technical skills from before related directly to the project I accomplished at Philips. That was not a barrier for me, and I am glad that Fontys still approved this assignment, and lately sponsored me to participate in the conference. I wanted to challenge myself, and I think that taking risks is part of the learning process.
I am curious to see what follows on my career path, there is still so much more to explore, especially when we talk about technology. To you, dear reader, I would tell to not be afraid of failure, even though the process is difficult. Even if you fail, you still learnt something. But what if you win? What if it is successful in the end? You cannot know unless you try it out. Sometimes, a plan may even fail due to an outside circumstance, something that you could not predict or prevent. Learn from it and continue to explore! Do your best!
Internship 3rd year at Philips Research, Eindhoven
Bthari Ayeisha - ICT & Business
“I am proud that I can do my internship at a leading company.”
I came to the Netherlands three years ago to study ICT & Business at the Fontys Hogeschool here in Eindhoven. I chose the Netherlands because they have an interactive and student-centered teaching style where I can develop my own opinion, have an open mind and increase my international orientation. Overall, it is a really good experience in challenging myself to be independent by studying overseas in the country that is thousands of miles away from my homeland.
Now, I am a proud intern at the Sales Support Department which is part of PACCAR Parts Europe. My main assignment during this Internship is to find a new Business Intelligence tool to do some reporting that can be used by the company in the near future.
Although I miss my family and friends in Indonesia, it doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy living and working in the Netherlands. Moving to the country that is thousands of miles away from home is not that easy, it was difficult at the beginning, but I managed to settle myself and make some connections. The friendly colleagues and environment contribute to that as well.
Despite the fact that DAF is a leading company in the European Market, DAF also has its international and dynamic environment where I was eager to gain experience within its organization. Since I wasn’t really familiar with the automotive industry at the beginning, I thought that it would be good if I could just jump in and acquire new experience in the fields that I haven’t yet tackled before.
Without any doubts, I am really proud that I have the chance to work at this leading and successful European automotive company. DAF gives me the opportunity to broaden my experiences and develop myself on a professional and personal level.
Intern Sales Support, PACCAR Parts Europe
Haiyi Ma (马海燚) - ICT & Software Engineering
What do you study or which study did you complete?
ICT software engineering.
What is the difference between studying in your home country and the Netherlands?
Here in the Netherlands, you can have much more flexibility in your study. Besides your obligatory courses, you can freely choose courses from other directions to expand your knowledge. Within each course, the requirements are also flexible. Except the flexibility within your direction, if you do not like one direction, you can follow your interest and switch to a new one until you find which direction is most suitable for you, even among different departments.
Besides the flexibility, the Dutch education requires much more group work than that in China. During group work, you can learn more knowledge from other students. Also you can practice your communication skills and get to know people of different nationalities which is fun.
In the Netherlands, the classes are organised in a relatively smaller scale. That means each student can spend more time with teachers learning knowledge. Also in class, there is more interaction between teachers and students, the atmosphere is lively and less stressed.
Did you find it difficult to study in English?
When I first arrived, it was difficult. But after a few months, I just started plain sailing. It does not take long.
How would you describe your relationship with your teachers?
Very good. The teachers are helpful and very nice to students.
What’s it like to study with students of different nationalities and the Dutch students?
It is sometimes challenging but very exciting in general. Slowly after you cooperate with different students, you understand how to work with different groups and also know your weakness. That is helpful for self-growth.
What are the cultural differences between your home country and the Netherlands?
The biggest difference I have found is that it is so individual here in the Netherlands, but it is not a problem for studying, friendly people and group work can help communicate. Also the food here is quite different, of course. People here have different ways of entertainment on the weekends or on holiday.
What’s it like to be so far away from home?
I started living alone relatively early so I do not suffer from home sickness that much. However, living alone far away means you need to take care of yourself much more than at home with parents’ help. Also sometimes you need to deal with cultural difference.
What do you miss most from home?
The food definitely.
What makes studying in the Netherlands special?
Studying here is really helpful for becoming an international person. Because there are many nationalities here in the Netherlands, especially Fontys, you can learn how to work with people from other parts of the worlds. You can also improve your language skills a lot.
What do you do besides studying?
Personally I like to do sports, go party, and travel besides studying. It is easy to have a sports card in the sport center. Also when you have a long weekends or holiday, flying to neighbour countries or even farther-away countries within EU is very easy.
What would you recommend students looking for an education abroad?
I will recommend student to be sure of their strength and weaknesses, find a suitable study for themselves without regretting.
What are your plans when you finish your study?
I plan to go to work after my study, also travel the world as much as possible when I have time.
What do you like best about your time in the Netherlands/at Fontys?
The part I like most is that it is a very international country, you can find many nationalities here working or studying. People here are friendly, too. So I feel very happy to live here. In studying at Fontys, I really like the flexibility in almost everything. Besides that, I also like the up-to-date study programme, following the fast changing trends, Fontys tries to update the curriculum, which is very nice.
Haiyi Ma, People's Republic of China,
ICT & Software Engineering.
"The university that meets my requirements"
Cultural Shock experience: How did you overcome it?
" That’s something that at the beginning I thought I wouldl never experience, but then it hit me, just like it did to everyone else. I think that the moment when I overcame the culture shock, was during holidays when I wentback to my home country (Romania) for the first time. Every person that I had in my life had done the same, and I actually understood that this is the way my life should be now, and I had to accept it. "
Are you involved in any projects? Tell us about the projects and your experience in them?
" I’ve been here already a year and a half and I’ve been already involved in a lot of projects. Actually this is a very good thing about Fontys, so if you are such a person that needs a little push to do something, Fontys is the place that gives you this opportunity. The courses are made in a way that we have to be part of groups and make different projects and in the end you realised that you have a lot of achievements.
The most important project that I’ve been part of science now is the PRO-P, a huge, complex project, where we were a team of five people and actually it was meant to experience the team work. This because we had different tasks to do and therefore we had to work together as everything had to be organised at the end.
It is a lot of hard work but if you actually want to do something and achieve your goals you can manage everything. "
Does Fontys meet all the requirements in your study process?
" Yes! I can say that this university meets all my requirements from good teachers, good materials to technical equipment that can be borrowed from the university. "
Would you recommend Fontys to other students? Why?
" Yes! I would definitely recommend Fontys to other students. I actually did to some of my friends. Why not? Science it has everything that a student needs to improve their skills or their knowledge and more to this that the whole environment here is more friendly like in other universities, for instance all the teachers will try to be friends rather usual student – teacher relationship. This actually gives you a lot of courage to go to them and ask for help or advice if you need it and no one is judging you no matter what problem you have. "
"If you practice and keep doing it, you’ll become better and better... "
Why did you choose Fontys ?
" I chose Fontys because first of all, in high school, we actually had a lot of interaction with Fontys which was quite nice. I knew from the beginning about Fontys and about the quality of education, I checked the courses and I found that this university suits me on all the criterias of the studying process.
It's fine, I like it. The ICT part is more practical related, where we have theory first, then we apply theory in different projects. So, you really get the logics, how things are working around the ICT field. "
What do you think about the practical way of study?
" The practical way of studying is quite nice. The fact that we have projects that really have to get a desired result makes us enthusiastic and motivated. The help from teachers is also very important on this track. Therefore, their pieces of advice make us understand the core of the programming abilities.
One important point in the practical studying process is the teamwork. Because according to this practice we get prepared for real life activity in a working environment, where we have to interact with our colleagues. Furthermore, Fontys is an international university, so we get used to cooperate with different cultures, to be ready to act correctly and professional. "
How is the student life in Eindhoven?
" It is really good. You have a lot of nice places where you can go to, a lot of pubs which you can visit if you want, a lot of activities like sport clubs, gym and most of the basic sports. You all have them here close to Fontys. "
What's your experience of the study process at Fontys?
" We have theoretical parts but we also have the practical parts. I really like the fact that we have projects, because applying the theory is the best thing that you can do to understand the study material. For instance, sometimes, in theory everything works, but when you come to apply this theory in practice and get a different result it changes all your expectations. But this is the way of studying, through mistakes and experiments.
If you practice and keep doing it, you’ll become better and better... really understanding what you are doing. The way Fontys solves this things, is a great way. We have projects, we work in groups and do things together. So as a result you learn from each other with the teacher’s supervision. "
Efe Mumoglu - ICT & Software Engineering
"The education I always wanted to have"
"I am from Turkey and always wanted to work in ICT, but had a different education. I taught myself how to program and started doing freelance projects. After some years I felt the need to improve myself further and applied to be enrolled in ICT studies. Being a foreigner and having no idea about how the system works, I thought all the application process and getting the permits would be difficult. But the whole process was very easy for me and I get great help and guidance from the ICT department. In Fontys, there is always somebody to help you."
ICT & Software Engineering
"Proud to study here"
"I chose to study ICT in Europe because I wanted to be independent and experience more positive things. It turns out there is more than meets the eye. The Netherlands is doing well in sustainability, furthermore Eindhoven is named as ‘the smartest region in the world’ yet still maintains its traditions. These add to the reasons why I am proud of studying here. Not to forget to mention a good quality of the study programme, teaching, study environment, at Fontys Eindhoven, supports me to obtain the full advantages of technology in a positive way."
ICT English Stream
Eugenia Boeh-Ocansey - Electrical and Electronic Engineering
"Coming to the Netherlands was a personal challenge to assimilate a different culture, language and system of education. In the beginning it was not easy but what makes the culture shock less depressing is the international community at Fontys, students from all cultures who go through the exact same ‘shock’. Education at Fontys is one of a kind. We are proud to realise what we design. In my first year I already built a 12 volt power supply, an automated garden light system and simulated an elevator. Fontys motivates me to be independent and ambitious; a career woman in the making!"
Eugenia Boeh-Ocansey, Ghana
Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Stephen Harianto - Electrical and Electronic Engineering
"American bicycle company back on track"
"In the first year our assignment was to get an American bicycle company that is struggling in the European market back on track. We were to work with a new international team we just knew, and yet, we had so little time to turn the bicycle company around. The mentor’s method “Learning by Shock” was also frustrating. However, we did not end by giving up, but made this tough problem a challenge. We learned a lot of things during the way and successfully managed ourselves to win the game in the end!"
Stephen Harianto, Indonesia
Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Tell us about your experience in Delta – track:
Since I have previous experience in programming in multiple languages the Delta excellency track offered me the challenge I was seeking.
I was able to improve my knowledge at a very fast rate. Everyday you have a challenge that you have to solve together with your team and there are numerous approaches. We have the freedom to experiment and find what are the best steps to take, we receive feedback and correct our mistakes.
I learned a lot about the Scrum Methodology and project planning, which I was able to fit into my daily studies, making everything better structured and planned.
When I started the ratio of English stream students and Dutch students was 1:2. Most students preferred to speak in their native language, however, everyone found a way to interact with each other, leaving no one aside. In the second semester we were only 2 English stream students (me and a Dutch student). When I was surrounded with Dutch students I felt welcomed with every team and I even was able to learn some Dutch.
A great thing about the Delta Track is that you are not students from one specialty. If you do not know something, you are about 2 to 4 meters away from a person that can give you an advice. Skills with Android, WordPress, PHP, Python, Raspberry pi, Arduino, Web Design, 3D Printers... are just a few of them.
• Is an excellent challenge.
• Full of opportunities.
• Structured, fast and progressive.
• Fun and innovative.
Your Mentors give you the foundation, the Projects to work on and the technologies needed. Then it's up to you and your team to see, how will you realise the rest.
When I look back, I am still happy I chose the Delta track, as It offered me a great boost toward my professional career.
In what project(s) you were involved?
I worked on 3 projects.
•S.A.M. (Student Activity Monitoring)
S.A.M. is a project to keep track of time spent on a certain project by a student and the quality of their work that they provide for that time. Using your Android phone you can easily keep track of your progress and update it, sending it to the group anonymously.
The teachers receive your progress and are able to keep track of who's performance is lacking or who is overworking.
I was evolved in the planning of the project and I was lead Android developer.
EARIS is a project that is focused on creating a platform that allows visually impaired people to experience their environment in a new way.
We were able to interact with Kinect and Arduino. I learn a lot about python, object tracking and motion tracking.
And something else that you want to mention about being an excellent student in Delta track.
I was the first English (Not Dutch) stream student that finished the programme..
I was able to inspire my fellow students that came after me, after I finished.
I really felt as an excellent student and I will most probably join the excellency track in my 4-th year, if I have the opportunity.
I believe that the programme is well suitable for students that wish to take on more responsibility, work in a team environment, use their knowledge from school and find the reason why do we study it. It allowed me to see my limits and surpass them.
Nikola Nikushev, Bulgaria
Information and Communication Technology
What is the pre-master programme?
The pre-master programme offers students the opportunity of following a master after finishing a University of Applied Sciences such as Fontys. It consists of a number of courses worth a semester of study and it is being held at TU/e. If during the first year a student has good average grade and if he is doing very well with the Mathematical courses, he can choose to follow this programme. The possibilities are either to start from the second year, in parallel with the Fontys courses, or in the third year. Of course, this can also be done after finishing university, but it is more time and money consuming.
How important is having a master degree?
A very good aspect of the curriculum at Fontys is that most of the studies are practical-oriented. The accent is not on theory like in other universities, but on the applied side of IT. On one side, this is a really good and helpful thing, especially for finding future jobs after finishing the Bachelors. On the other side, if a student aims to be even more successful in this field, having a master degree is crucial in his self-development process. The theoretical part that TU/e provides combined with the practical knowledge gained at Fontys is the recipe for a very good engineer.
Why did you choose to follow this path?
Even before I started university, I knew that I was going to go further with my studies, as in getting a master degree as well. This is the reason why I chose to follow the Excellence Master Track during my Bachelors. The path that suited me best was the one with all the courses in the third year. The downside of taking this pre-master programme was that I had to choose between this and doing a minor. The minor is a specialisation in a certain field and it represents a good amount of knowledge as well. However, I still believe that I made the right choice that will get me to the point of achieving my final goal.
What are the differences between Fontys and TU/e?
I was used to be assigned a task and to have to complete it, to always have a final project or to always see the results of my work concretised. This is the reason why for me it was a little hard in the beginning to accommodate with the regular, theoretical type of courses. Of course, it takes little time to realise how important they are and how much they make a difference in the way you approach and complete certain tasks. However, it is true that TU/e requires more hard work, dedication and self-study. The amount of workload is bigger than the average courses at Fontys and that is because there is a great amount of knowledge that has to be grasped in a rather short period of time.
How do I feel about the workload of the pre-master?
Most of the courses have weekly mandatory homework and even tests that count for the final grade. This means that during the courses there is not much free time, as you always have to do the assignments on time and be present at lectures and tutoring classes. These can also be challenging most of the time and it requires a huge amount of self-study. However, it is also a good thing because in this way students are bound to working during the whole course. Otherwise it is really tempting to postpone the studying until the exam is approaching, a moment that is too late for a student to start gaining a course worth of knowledge necessary for passing the exam.
More students (movie)
Jiaqi Ni - ICT & Software Engineering
Hello, my name is Jiaqi Ni, I am from China. I am currently studying in Fontys, Eindhoven. My major is ICT and this is my 4th year in the Netherlands. I am here to share some of my personal experiences about Fontys to those who are interested in studying here. Hopefully, this can give you a better overview about living and studying in the Netherlands. Speaking of some tips of living in the Netherlands, there are really too much to be told, since the Netherlands and China are two countries with really different cultures. But personally, I think students who are interested in studying in the Netherlands or in Fontys will mostly concern the following two aspects: the quality of education and living expense. First of all, about the education quality, Fontys is wildly accepted as a great university in the ICT field in the Netherlands. However, if you are really smart and really want to pursue higher level education, you can also apply for Tu/e if you successfully pass and achieve high marks for all the subjects in the first year of Fontys. Speaking of studying in Fontys, the school mostly focuses on the practical work, which means, basically all the stuff you learned can be easily applied to real life. This will benefit you a lot. For instance, it would be great helpful when you are trying to get an internship position or a real job. Moreover, if you are interested in ICT and study in Fontys Eindhoven, it would even be easier, since Eindhoven is a city with a lot of high-tech companies who are in great eager for finding people like you. Many students may also have concerns about taking courses in English. To be honest, I had experienced the exactly same situation before. I only got 6 for the IELTS and frankly speaking, English was one of my biggest concerns at that time. But fortunately, when I got here, I found that Dutch people can actually speak English quite clearly. They mainly use simple, or at least uncomplicated words, which makes me feel pretty easy to follow and understand what they are trying to explain. Moreover, in Fontys, there are students from many different countries, talking with them about different cultures will definitely broaden your horizon and meanwhile practice your English as well. About the living expenses in the Netherlands. I will skip the tuition part since that can be easily accessed online. So, the living expense. I personally think, it is basically similar as first-tier or second-tier cities, for instance, Hangzhou in China. To be more specific, in the Netherlands, the price of stuff in the supermarket, clothes stores, shoes stores or other departments stores are actually a little bit cheaper than in China, but the restaurant here are indeed more expensive because of the expensive labour. Moreover, if you go traveling, then it will probably cost you a little more than in China as well. But generally speaking, living in the Netherlands should not be as expensive as you thought it would be. PS: Rent fee in Eindhoven is about 300 euro per month per person. Living expense in Eindhoven is also about 300 euro per month per person. This is basically what I have in my mind so far, for reference only. I hope it can more or less help you a little. Anyway, welcome to the Netherlands, you will love it.
Jiaqi Ni, People's Republic of China
ICT & Software Engineering