Studentenverhaal

"This programme is technical as well as social"

“After finishing the International Land and Water Management Bachelor’s programme, I continued on to the Master’s. This programme was a good choice for me as it is technical as well as social, with a lot of travel opportunities. My work placement in Morocco during my Bachelor’s was the greatest experience I ever had!”

I could get used to living almost anywhere

“I was in high school in Germany when I found out about the International Land & Water Management Bachelor’s programme at Wageningen University. This programme offered exactly what I wanted, since I preferred to do something with water and wanted to go abroad. I went to the Open Day, which was an eight-hour journey, and decided to enrol. I really liked the impression that I got of the atmosphere at the university. People were very nice, open and down to earth.”

Group work

“The first two years of the programme offer a broad variety of courses. I really liked Introduction to Hydraulics in the second year and I also liked a course called Natural Resource Governance in a Complex World, which was about land and water rights. Furthermore, I really appreciated the design course in the end of the second year, Design 2. I had a very nice group and I enjoyed the freedom which each group had in this course. Students can make many decisions themselves, be creative, and explore what is possible and what to focus on. It was also very interesting to talk with the people from Tanzania. You make a plan, for instance to make terraces, and then you speak with them and they say: ‘Well, no, that’s too expensive’. So, you can be creative but you also get a reality check. It was also good to work with the same group for such a long time. It was challenging, but we learned a lot from each other. During the programme, we had to do a lot of group work. In the beginning, I didn’t particularly like group work, nor was I very good at it. But now after having done it so often, being a team player is one of my biggest strengths! And since one usually has to work in groups in professional life as well, it’s a very important skill to learn.”

Internship

“In my second year, we went to Morocco for an excursion and I loved it so much that I wanted to go back. That’s the reason why I went to Morocco for my Bachelor’s internship at an agricultural cooperation. In that area, they use groundwater for irrigation. The groundwater resources are heavily overexploited and the water level has fallen drastically. I tried to measure the impact of changes in irrigation practices and crop choices on ground water. I interviewed farmers about what was happening and what choices they made concerning the succession of their crops. And then I tried to put everything together in a model, representing some combination of social changes and their impact on ground water resources. It was a great experience and I loved it! The farmers were so hospitable. I had been to Morocco before, but in a more touristic setting and it’s totally different from being in the field with local people.”

“During my studies, something that I’ve learned about myself is that I adapt quickly and I can get used to living almost anywhere. I think that’s why they put the internship in the Bachelor’s programme: so that people can find out whether the lifestyle suits them. I think that’s a good thing. This is a study programme in which you really learn a lot about yourself and you also learn skills which enable you to utilise interdisciplinary thinking, work in a group, work in a foreign country and work with people with different cultural backgrounds.”

Future plans

“This year I started the Master’s in International Land and Water Management, specialising in Adaptive Water Management. For my thesis, I want to go abroad. Hopefully, I’ll go to Myanmar, which is a country with an important delta, to study how people might adapt to climate change. The river is still in its natural state and can thus change its course and is prone to flooding. I want to see how people can adapt to a river that constantly changes since it’s totally different from here, where the rivers are fixed. I also intend to do an internship at Arcadis, a consultancy company. I would like to get to know the working culture here and learn more about how it is to work in a big company.”

Eva Diestelhorst, Master's student from Germany