Marina Martins Pereira Horta

Country: Brazil

MSc Programme: Environmental Science

Specialization: Environmental Science and Technology

Year: 2012/2014

What made you decide to study this particular program?
Brazil is one of the most water rich countries in the world and thus has a great responsibility to the sustainable management of its water resources for the present and future generations. Indeed, this is not an easy task and the need for a skilled workforce is urgent. 
The program is directly related to my academic background in Biological Sciences and allows me to establish connections with other related areas of study in order to acquire a broad understanding of the concepts necessary to implement research utilizing an interdisciplinary approach.
 
Can you say something about studying in Delft/the Netherlands? (Cultural and social experiences)
One of the first things I noticed when I arrived in Delft was that the Netherlands as a whole is a very safe country. Here, you can walk during the night and day without fear. This doesn't mean that one should not be conscious of their surroundings. The Dutch are very open minded people and accept and respect persons from all parts of the world. On the other hand, the weather was a bit difficult to adapt to at first coming from a tropical country, but it was nice to witness the changing of the seasons and to experience snow for the first time. Delft is very small and charming city which attracts many tourists, especially during the warmer months. Every Thursday and Saturday during the entire year, nearby IHE Delft there is a local market which is excellent for buying fruits, vegetables and the best, muffins! There you also can taste one of the most famous dishes, "Herrings" (a raw fish served with onions or in a sandwich) and "Patat" (French fries). Moreover, Delft has a good location, just 1 hour from Amsterdam and less than 15 min from Rotterdam and Den Haag by train. So, during weekends, you can explore the different provinces and neighboring countries such as Belgium.
 
What kind of professional background do you need to succeed in this program?
The ES program is the one which receives the greatest variety of people with different backgrounds. Due to this fact, the first four modules are intended to allow everyone to attain the same level of understanding of the foundation principles of Environmental Science. Nevertheless, I would say that students with backgrounds in Earth Sciences, Biology, Engineering and Chemistry are prone to follow classes more easily. Despite this, success will be mostly based on individual effort and enthusiasm rather than previous background. IHE Delft looks forward to receiving candidates with some previous working experience that would allow the participants to share their individual knowledge with their colleagues within the class.   
 
Why should new students/water professionals choose this program?
This is a very flexible program and gives participants an overview of the entire field of study. The wide range of available courses allows participants to adapt their learning to their preferred areas of interests. Participants receive an overview of different issues from technical assessments of water to planning and management allowing them to later decide which field they wish to specialize and focus on through their thesis. 
 
Do you have any advice for new students?
IHE Delft is definitely a unique place in the world. If you are looking for a place where you can enhance your knowledge and also your social and communication skills, this is the place. Many of the modules are very dynamic and require you to be engaged and pro-active. Having a good command of English is essential to communicate with the lecturers and colleagues and of course effectively follow the courses. Besides, it is an amazing experience to meet and interact with people from all over the world. So, be open-minded and enjoy this experience the most you can. People are always interested in each other's culture, religion and beliefs and it is essential for you to respect each other. Here, you should be a diplomat from your own country.  In the end, we are actually a big global IHE Delft family that relies on each other for this period and even beyond. 
 
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