Why did you choose to study at HZ University of Applied Sciences?
"I decided to study at HZ after visiting the university and joining two Water Management students for one day. During the visit, I met with lecturers from the Water Management programme. They had given me a detailed overview of the content of the study programme. I was intrigued and very interested in the different topics and liked the idea of combining theory and practicals. I also joined the two Water Management students to understand what a school day looks like. I was very impressed by the relations between lecturers and students and the pleasant atmosphere that prevailed on campus. After my visit, I realised this is the place I want to study."
How was the transition from your home country to the Netherlands?
"After receiving the letter of acceptance, I had a call with one of the lecturers. She explained to me what I had to arrange before my arrival. I found accommodation with the help of the university's website. My mother's family lives in the Netherlands and they helped me during the transition. A week before school officially began, we had a Kick-off week. We had also a formation day for all 1st-year Water Management students, it was a great opportunity to get to know each other and form new friendships."
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Why did you choose to study Water Management and which specialisation did you choose?
"When I was in high school, I chose to study biology and chemistry because I was interested in knowing what was behind different phenomena. I have always been intrigued by how different things work, how different processes in nature happen. It was also important for me to learn a profession in which I could lead positive change in the environment and people. The water crisis is a global crisis that contains a wide range of problems such as water quality, water quantity and maintaining the balance of ecosystems. After being exposed to various stories in TV shows and the press, I decided this was the field I wanted to delve into. I chose Aquatic Ecotechnology (AET) that focuses on areas such as water quality conservation, biodiversity protection and ecosystem balancing as well as water treatment and water quantity."
What is the most valuable part of your studies?
"The combination of practice and theory. During my studies, there is a direct connection between the material learned during the lessons and the projects we carry out. We have the opportunity to work on real issues, together with companies and stakeholders. Also, during the practicals, we learn how to set up our experiments and improve our research skills."
What has been the most interesting project you have worked on?
"One of the projects I liked was during the second year as part of the module wastewater treatment. We were given an assignment from a local company and had to structure an experiment plan to answer the research question. During the project, we spent many hours in the lab, held meetings with the lecturers and the company representative to discuss our progress and get guidance. In the end, we had to present our findings and conclusions to the company."
Do you already know where you would like to do your internship or minor?
"I would love to take this opportunity to deepen my knowledge in two areas. The first is wastewater treatment and the second is marine ecology. My plan at the moment is to stay at the university and join one of the research groups or try to join one of the local companies."
What would your advice be to a student applying to HZ?
"Join an Open Day and feel the atmosphere of the place. Meeting with students and lecturers can be very helpful in making a decision. I recommend coming with an open mind, don’t be afraid to try new things and ask questions."