Photonic technology definitely plays an important role in the worlds of informatics, telecommunications and instrumentation. Therefore, at the faculty of applied sciences of the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, we have established a new multidisciplinary engineering curriculum in Photonics, where besides theoretical courses, a lot of time is spent giving students a hands-on, in depth practical training. In this paper we focus on the different innovative aspects of our approach to train basic and practical photonic skills of EE students. The concept of the practical classes is special in the sense that they encompass the different theoretical courses, like 'Diffractive and Fourier Optics,' 'Physical properties of optical materials and artificial structures,' 'Optical telecommunication,' 'Displays,' and 'Computer aided design of optical and opto-mechanical systems.' Students acquire the methodology and the skills to work with modern, sophisticated instrumentation and experience team work. In a first phase, the integrated practical classes are concerned with teaching students how to make basic table-top set-ups with modular opto-mechanical elements, using visible lasers and opto-electronic devices. In addition, they learn how to use measuring and diagnostic equipment and how to interpret measurement results. The next step consists in dealing with mini-projects. Topics can be either academically or industrially oriented. Here we focus on 'How to report, communicate and disseminate results.' We strongly believe in combining the assimilation of fundamental concepts with the acquisition of practical skills in electronic and photonic instrumentation, design methods and experimental set-ups to form flexible and practically inspired photonic engineers.