Helen Sequeira Barbosa

At IHE Delft, they go beyond just what the textbooks says, we are allowed to unpack a great deal of information that is more detailed and complex.

Sub-Saharan Africa
Cape Verde Sub-Saharan Africa

Helen Sequeira Barbosa is from Cape Verde. In Portuguese, it is called Cabo Verde. She is studying for a Masters in Water Management and Governance, with a specialization in Urban Water. 

How did you hear about IHE Delft?
I heard about IHE Delft 5 to 10 years ago, so a while ago. IHE Delft is the best in the field of water, everyone talks about IHE Delft. In 2020, I did my Master’s Degree in Environmental Science in Hungary. A colleague, who is a Chief Officer from Water Sanitation, told me that there was a scholarship so I applied right away. He knew my background and that I wanted to pursue a Masters at IHE Delft.

What made you choose IHE Delft?
I chose IHE Delft because it gives me the chance to unpack everything. It is not just about the reputation of IHE Delft itself, but also the opportunity to analyse complex issues regarding water. At IHE Delft, they go beyond just what the textbooks says. This is the main benefit of studying at IHE Delft. 

Why did you choose to study in the field of water?
Water Scarcity is an issue on Cape Verde. It is the country’s weakest point and we are very vulnerable. I would like to contribute towards finding a solution to this issue via implementing strategies.

When did you start discovering your passion for water? How did you notice?
I remember my mother and I needing to collect water. We had to walk for about 20 to 30 minutes and I always wondered why that is, when I knew there could have been a better and more efficient way for us to collect water. This is how I discovered and noticed my passion for water.

Can you tell us more about the problems you encounter in your home country regarding water?
Sure! Cape Verde is a semi-arid country, so that is another major issue we face. When it comes to precipitation, there is less than 300 millilitres of water a year sometimes! 

Do you find the teaching style very different to what you are used to?
Yes. IHE Delft goes beyond what the textbooks show. At IHE Delft, we are allowed to unpack a great deal of information that is more detailed and complex.

What are your goals when you finish studying?
I would like to continue with a PhD. Otherwise, I would like to help my country in the governmental sector. Decision-making is an important aspect, I would like to build on this. 

Do you want to apply what you have learned in your home country or elsewhere?
I would like to apply it in my home country within the government and the decision-making processes. 

How did you experience your first week?
It was challenging at first because of quarantine, but IHE Delft handled everything so well, given the circumstances due to COVID-19. All documentation and other information were already in place when we came, even the transportation was ready for us. 

How have you found getting to know other students?
This was difficult at first because of the COVID-19 lockdowns, but IHE Delft helped out by organizing virtual events! Since the lockdown measures are slowly decreasing, we can meet in small groups.

What is your first impression of Delft, The Netherlands?
Delft is very cosy. Everything is so small, I can’t describe it. It is a very nice city. People are so friendly, they always smile and laugh while they ride their bicycles around the city. I really like it! I also love the decor all over the city.

What has come as a surprise to you, now you are at IHE Delft?
The most shocking thing is that we are still facing the COVID-19 situation. This is because COVID-19 is so unpredictable and I did not know what was going to happen. IHE Delft has been very good. We are always adapting and have excellent class representatives, too!

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