Why did you pick IHE Delft for your studies?
That’s an interesting question. Before I came here I didn’t have any contact with professionals specialized in this area, indeed, I didn’t have any mentor to help me in this important decision, all that I knew is that I had to study in the best university in this area for two reasons, first because I wanted, and secondly because that would give me a higher score in my scholarship application. Based on these premises, I started to look in the international rankings and I found a special section in which they rank institutes focused on specific topics, like IHE Delft. Of course, IHE was in the first position in topics related to water sciences, and when I took a look at the structure and the content of the programme I confirmed that this was the university in where I would like to study. For the records, in my application to the scholarship (COLFUTURO), I obtained the highest score in the category related to the excellence of the chosen university.
So far what have been the highlights of your study?
The content is really interesting, the professors are well prepared and they have great expertise (theoretical and practical) in the topics they teach, so you can freely ask them about the problems your country faces and in most of the cases they have a good response or practical solutions to solve them. It is also good to share the class with people enrolled in short courses, because most of the time they have good experience in this area and thus they ask for practical solutions to common problems with which we will deal in our future. Besides that, the program is very time demanding, which is not bad, but it requires you to concentrate not only into study the information you received during classes but also into looking for new info related to that topics (scientific papers, books, etc.). You have to be aware that time management is one of the most important and valuable skill that an IHE student should have.
What is it like to live in Delft? Do you like the atmosphere?
Delft is an incredible city, I love its canals and its ducks. I like it so much because it makes the perfect combination between a small and a large city. On the one hand it has all the facilities to get all the basic things you need for your normal life: good and varied supermarkets, a good and a very well connected transport system, an amazing urbanism, beautiful parks, and an incredible nightlife. On the other hand, life here is like to live in a small village, it is very quiet, people are so kind and always willing to help you, and the most important: you don't have to be worried about the language because all the people speak English, which is a valuable aspect for an international student.
Do you like your new life at IHE Delft?
I love many things about the Institute like the variety of countries represented here which is more than 60, the kindness of the people when you require their assistance, its beautiful facilities and all different cultural activities that the social cultural office organizes. It is a shame that you do not always have time to enjoy those activities because of the pace of the studies.
Do you know what you will be doing afterwards?
I really want to work on the increasing coastal problems that my country is facing right now. More than one-third of its coastline is facing coastal erosion problems, a lower quantity of sediment is reaching the coast because of the increasing construction of hydroelectric projects in the most important rivers and adding this to the unavoidable sea level rise could trigger more noticeable and unforeseen negative impacts on our coastal regions that will be more difficult to control if we don't take short and medium-term measurements. An integrated coastal management provides solutions that can avoid or, at least, control and mitigate these negative impacts, which is right now definitely a weakness in our national environmental planning strategy. This is the area in which I want to work to reward to my country for the opportunity they gave me to come here. To do that I consider that beside all the theory we have received in the classrooms, it is also important to obtain professional experience here from the experts and then go back home to apply all that practical and theoretical knowledge.
Would you recommend IHE Delft to prospective students?
I really encourage all Colombian professionals who love the water sciences and who wishes to learn from the most experienced professors the most advanced techniques in a multicultural environment to do their master studies at IHE Delft Institute for Water Education. The most valuable thing that I have found here is that you don't just concentrate on the problems of your country, you deal with all kind of problems that all countries around the world are facing; by doing this you become an experienced engineer not only for your country but for the world.
More information about Coastal Engineering and Port Development.Read more