Sandra is from Mexico, and before starting her Master programme at Wageningen, she studied Biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM. For her, coming to the Netherlands, represented a big change that she eagerly accepted and now she is enjoying her life and studies in this new country.
"Hello, my name is Sandra and I come from Mexico City. Although for me, the switch from a big city to a small town like Wageningen was big, right now I feel like I am enjoying my stay and learning a lot here. I am 25 years old and I did a 4 year bachelor's in Biology at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, UNAM. I am now enrolled in the master Biobased Science and I do the specialisation Biomass production and Carbon Capture."
Why did you decide to come to Wageningen?
"I came to Wageningen because it is one of the best European universities that offer a study in which social, environmental and technological aspects are integrated. During my bachelor's thesis, I got involved with topics related to climate change, carbon storage and sustainable management.
I also learnt that including local people is key to success in environmental projects. Being part of projects with socio-environmental impact has been extremely rewarding and enjoyable so far, so I think I would like to continue with an academic career in this field."
Is the study system at Wageningen very different than the one from your country?
"Studying here has been quite different from what I was used to in Mexico. For example, I have never heard about the concept of a circular economy, but it is really interesting and useful. For this course, we went to OrgaWorld in Amsterdam and I enjoyed this experience a lot because I was able to make a connection with the practical application of the study."
What extracurricular activities do you participate in?
"Next to my master's, I am learning Dutch. But of course, studying is not the only thing I do. I regularly meet with friends, I have a lot of contact with my roommates and also with other people from Latin-America.
Furthermore, I like doing sports at the Bongerd, like yoga or swimming. I enjoy the international environment of Wageningen. It is a safe, quiet town and I like the fact that you can go everywhere by bike. I only miss the good weather and food from Mexico and of course my family and friends."
What are your future plans?
"Regarding the rest of my studies, I do not have a clear idea yet of what I will do for my thesis and internship. I have a lot of interest in carbon capture, but also in social topics. For example, teaching and human behaviour. I believe that if more people are aware of our environment, we can generate ideas together.
Perhaps, it wouldn´t be a radical change in the way of living, but small actions can lead to bigger steps because when several people are aware of their reality, they can make constructive changes.
After graduation, I would like to stay in the Netherlands if I find good job opportunities. If not, I will go back to my home country. In the future, I would like to do a PhD, but first I will try to find a job to get some work experience. I would also like to go to Thailand and travel to the North of Europe."
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