Master River Delta Development: Michelle shares her experiences

Why did you opt for the new River Delta Development master?
“The idea arose during my graduation internship at the Water Management bachelor programme at Hogeschool Rotterdam. At the Municipality of Rotterdam, I helped housing corporations with a transition process related to climate adaptation for their real estate. I noticed that I had little knowledge of transitions and how to manage these. My attention was drawn to this new study programme and I thought it would be the perfect addition to what I wanted to learn. Moreover, I am only 22 years old. During this master we can live in three student cities Rotterdam, Middelburg and Velp within a year and a half, and I really enjoy that.”

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How do you like studying at HZ?
“I really like it! HZ is small-scale and personal. The university facilitates a lot for its students. If we invite stakeholders to HZ, you can easily reserve a space; there is coffee and tea and even lunch, if you want. As a result, it feels more like flexible working than studying. We have lectures every Wednesday and I really enjoy the combination of the lectures with the assignments in the professional field. I now live temporarily in Middelburg and we actually live there with our whole class. At the end of the year we organized a drink at the student house and even the lecturers joined in. The atmosphere is very good and that makes studying in this place really nice!”

What is it like to study for this new first-year Master?
“Sometimes it is still a little difficult because we are the first batch. However, the advantage of this is that we can still steer certain processes ourselves. When we give feedback to the lecturers about a process, we can see things gradually changing. This participation is very nice. It is also very challenging to study a completely new concept together. The disadvantage is that some things are still unclear and that sometimes results in uncertainty. But the next batch will certainly benefit from that. For us it is cool that we can be part of this insightful process.”

What is the most valuable part of this study programme for you so far?
“The combination of the living lab and the lectures we follow. In fact, we first get the tools during the lectures how to research certain things and examine something in a certain way. Then we immediately apply this in practice, or in the living lab. In the living lab, we work three to four days a week over a certain period. That is a very nice experience. And as they sometimes say: learning is trial and error. We certainly see this reflected in the study programme where we are often thrown in at the deep end. But through this process we notice that because we often fall, we learn a lot.”

What are your future plans after this master's degree?
“I would most of all like to work for the Municipality of Rotterdam after my master. I would like to continue there with the process that I graduated on earlier. I still have sparring sessions with former colleagues. At the time, I did not yet have all the knowledge I needed but this programme ensures that I will be able to give sound advice later. Because we will already have worked in the professional field for one and a half year during this practical master, we will have gained so much experience. That will be very valuable.”

Read more about River Delta Development (MSc)

Guest lecture: Deltas worldwide - An introduction into river delta development
Deltas can be found along most coastlines globally. Well-known examples are the Mississippi, Nile and the Dutch Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt deltas. Yet, none of these deltas are the same. They differ in, among others, size, shape, ecosystem functioning and anthropogenic use.
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