Laura Emeline Tsang Mang Kin

It was an enriching experience and built more confidence in myself. I learned so much from my mistakes and the research/academic world in a Dutch environment

Sub-Saharan Africa
Mauritius Sub-Saharan Africa

What were your expectations when you applied for a SIDS MSc fellowship at IHE Delft? And were these expectations met? 

I wanted to experience learning in a Dutch environment and this was a very enriching experience. I expected more structure and organization but numerous times I was very lost in what was being taught. It depends on the module coordinator’s work aptitude and aim. There is hard work and dedication that are put in courses which is undeniable.

I was surprised to see a very friendly and informal relationship between students and lecturers which I am not used to. I have always been in an environment where “the line is drawn”. This at times, led to misunderstandings on my part. I took people’s word about getting things done or commitment which, I realised that people do not take ‘seriously’ and need to be reminded of. I think this is cultural adjustment which I still have trouble with. In terms of lectures in the classroom, I was pleasantly surprised about the Dutch style of interacting with students. I was used to large lecture classes and being obliged to ask questions at the end of the lecture or email.  

What can IHE Delft do to improve the impact of its programmes to support water management in SIDS?

There were 3-4 training workshops organised which included all the SIDS scholars, I enjoyed it. The more activities and exercises organized, the better because it will create a better network among students and connect us to IHE as there will be a stronger platform. I would even make it compulsory for all SIDS scholars to attend the workshops.

How do you intend to apply your lessons learned?

I intend to work in a sector which allows me to apply what I have learnt here. Mauritius is in need to develop better with respect to allocation of its water resources.

How will you stay in touch with your fellow SIDS students?

I am active and connected to other SIDS students on social media, hence I will be informed of what they are up to and vice versa. Keeping a live network with other water professionals in small islands are important. I believe in capacity building and sharing hence I would like to be informed and if possible, participate.

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More information about Planning and Management for Water and Environment.

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