Our students do not only study and share water-related knowledge, but also get to broaden their perspective on the wonders of each others cultures, religions and beliefs.

Student life

Studying at UNESCO-IHE entails that you will live in Delft, the Netherlands. Delft is a small town with just about 90.000 inhabitants, famous because of Delft Blue ceramics, canals and the paintings of Vermeer. Moreover, Delft is the center of Dutch water knowledge, hosting TU Delft, the Deltares Institute and of course UNESCO-IHE.

A unique place to be

UNESCO-IHE is relatively small compared to universities in the Netherlands, and it is specialized in the field of water. Literally all cultures, countries, religions and beliefs you can imagine are gathered here under one roof. Consequently, our students do not only gain and share study related knowledge, but get to broaden their perspective on the wonders of each other's cultures as well.

Feel at home in the heart of Europe

The institute attaches great importance to personal contact and social interaction and staff and students act informally towards each other. From the moment our students arrive, much effort is put in creating a social network to support you. UNESCO-IHE courses can justifiably be called intensive, with a heavy workload. With such a heavy programme it is important that extra-curricular activities are organized, during which the study can be put aside, and during which participants can enjoy themselves and relax. For this reason, UNESCO-IHE offers an extensive social cultural programme and various sports facilities. Many activities are organized together with participants.

UNESCO-IHE’s Student and Education Affairs Department offers all the services and information that new participants will need in order to familiarize themselves with their new surroundings.

Social and cultural activities

According to many alumni, the UNESCO-IHE social and cultural programme offers many unforgettable events. The social calendar starts with the official opening of the academic year. During the year, many other events are organized, such as:

  • a sightseeing tour of Delft and a canal ride;
  • the introductory programme after the first week of the course;
  • international social evenings, with performances from participants, music and dancing afterwards;
  • the weekly movie night at UNESCO-IHE auditorium;
  • the traditional Christmas Dinner;
  • excursions to European cities such as Paris, Berlin, Prague,  Antwerp, Brussels;
  • and several one day excursions to the most prominent attractions in the Netherlands.


From October to April, UNESCO-IHE arranges free facilities to actively practise a number of sports, such as indoor soccer, basketball, volleyball and badminton on a regular basis. Staff members or participants volunteer as coaches for these sports. Every year, UNESCO-IHE aims to organize some sporting competitions for participants. One main annual event is the ‘International Education Sports Day’ when teams from different institutes for international education compete. Every year it presents a big challenge, and a lot of prestige for the teams of the winning institute.

Meet the Dutch

UNESCO-IHE has a unique ‘Meet the Dutch’ programme that aims to encourage cultural exchanges. This volunteer programme matches participants studying at the Institute to the local inhabitants of Delft and its surroundings. During their stay in the Netherlands, the participants are able to visit their ‘host family’ on a regular basis, and to sample Dutch culture and festivities from a family perspective.

The exchange works both ways – the host family is also invited to join the participant in festivities at UNESCO-IHE or at home. Many participants have maintained contact with their host family for many years after leaving the Netherlands.

For more information send an e-mail to: or visit the website


Our institute UNESCO-IHE is situated in Delft, which is one of the student cities in the Netherlands. Because it is quite difficult to find accommodation in student cities yourself, UNESCO-IHE has obtained student accommodation for all participants in our UNESCO-IHE programmes throughout the year.

Over 350 units of fully furnished accommodation, including linen sets, internet and television are available in different hostels in Delft . The availability, allocation and maintenance of the rooms are arranged by DUWO, the Delft student housing corporation. Most of the units are single rooms, with shared sanitary and cooking facilities. DUWO also offers a limited number of single rooms with private sanitary and cooking facilities.

Student Association Board

During the academic year 1988/89 the first steps were taken to establish a Student Association of which all UNESCO-IHE course participants are members. The objectives of the UNESCO-IHE Student Association are the following:

  • to represent the Institute course participants in all UNESCO-IHE related matters;
  • and to discuss views and suggestions on course matters and the welfare of the student with the UNESCO-IHE-management.


All UNESCO-IHE participants who follow courses with a minimum duration of 6 months will become member of this Association. All members have the right to elect their representatives and to participate in all activities organized by the Association.
Interaction between the different programmes is very important. The SAB may play an essential role in this respect. Participants of the different courses probably have similar experiences, which they would like to share with each other. The SAB provides a body through which they can channel their experiences and problems.

Student experiences

Education is not just about future scope and opportunity. Choose a programme you are passionate about.
Prabin Rokaya,
Studying in Delft has so far proved to be one of my best academic experiences ever.
I hope to contribute towards upgrading the living conditions of people in a sustainable manner.
Andrew Ahumuza,
Considering it affects public health, sanitation is a top priority.
One of the biggest advantages of studying at UNESCO-IHE is the possibility to learn from the problems, solutions and experiences of students from all over the world.
Vivian Camacho Suarez,
United States of America
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