Nonso Nwabunwanne Okpalanze

Country: Nigeria

MSc Programme: Environmental Science

Specialization: Environmental Science and Technology

Year: 2012/2014

What made you decide to study this particular programme?
I was attracted to Environmental Science and Technology specialization in IHE Delft because of the interesting modules offered and its relevance to my future career goals. The opportunity to get a degree and expertise in a subject that is dear to me from the largest water institute in the world left me with no other option.
Can you say something about studying in Delft/the Netherlands? (Cultural and social experiences)
My speedy transition from the Nigerian culture to Netherlands was made easy by the meet the Dutch program and the International Student Chaplaincy (ISC). The meet the Dutch program matched me with a wonderful family who took me in like their son. Even though I'm far away from home it's like I never left. I now have another grandpa, grandma, dad, mom, bro, sis and aunts. I was integrated into a culture of extended family which means a lot to me. The ISC is another meeting point for me and of great importance to my spiritual development. The mix of people from different cultures and beliefs under one roof takes spirituality to another dimension (I am forever grateful to have had this experience). 
International social events like the UN World Water Day (UNWWD) with over 65 countries in attendance gave me the opportunity to acquire skills like organizing events, managing a multi-cultural team and time management as the WWD chair. 
What kind of professional background do you need to succeed in this programme?
To be adequately fortified against the shock of international study for a first timer you will want to have some professional experience in any of environmental/water/soil/ecological science. If you are looking to make a transition from environmental management as a profession to science this programme requires basic understanding of the concept of chemistry, physics and mathematics. 
Why should new students/water professional choose this programme?
If a prospective water professional is looking for a programme where the lecturers have a wealth of experience in environmental science and technology and the modules are tailored to suit your career path from the largest water institute in the world - then come on, IHE Delft is the only option. This programme incorporates theory and practice in the form of a field trip possibly to 4 countries for 3 weeks. You will see all theoretical mentions in class practicalized in the field from government, municipal and industrial experts. 
Do you have any advice for new students?
Make sure you understand the modules being offered and don't be afraid to send mails to inquire about them before choosing a programme. Surprisingly there is a difference between programmes even though they share similar content. And get ready for what will be a memorable experience that only the greatest adventures can match. 
What are you going to do once back home?
My long-term goal is to work towards reducing the negative impacts of human activities to the environment and to promote sustainable development in Nigeria, with a special interest in pollution prevention and control through use of low cost measures. 
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