William Ricardo Arevalo Garcia is from Colombia and studies Sanitary Engineering, with a background in Environmental and Sanitation Engineering. He was still doing his bachelor when he heard that the Netherlands is one of the best countries for water management. One of his lecturers told William that IHE Delft was the best Institute in the world for water education. So, he was interested in doing a masters at IHE Delft in Sanitary Engineering. From this moment he started to look at the website and saw that IHE Delft was involved in many projects in developing countries. Even though other universities had great programs, IHE Delft focussed specifically on water, and on integrating social programs with water, which he found very important.
William had previously worked on designing building aqueducts, sewerage systems, and waste water and drinking water treatment plans. He chose this field because he is interested in topics related to environment and nature. He decided to follow a career with the focus on reducing pollution and creating new strategies to develop real sustainable systems as he understood that the well-being of any community depends on the quality of its sanitation scheme, and that the development of any region relies largely on its water availability.
“One of the benefits of studying at IHE Delft: ‘’I can learn about new technologies used in combating water pollution. In addition, the teachers share their knowledge and experiences on the subject, as they also conduct their own research and projects in countries”.
About the teaching style, William says “it is very different, but in a good way. In Colombia, the teachers stick with the books and teach you theories, but here at IHE Delft, they also teach how to put the theory into practice, as well as sharing their personal experiences in the field, and that does not happen in Colombia.”
“There are many water resources in my home country, but unfortunately, our government has made decisions that were not good for the country, some regions are suffering from lack of water. There are some projects that can solve this problem, but there is also a lack of water engineers. Some regions have problems with water supply because in many places the water is polluted, for this reason the government started some programs but did not have enough knowledge to manage it.’’ After his studies, William is planning to back to Colombia to implement the knowledge his has gained and help to solve water problems.
His first impression of the Netherlands: “Delft is a quiet place, the quality of life is very good. Everything is nearby, so you do not need to spend much time on commuting. Also, it has a very relaxing environment and you can find many things to do. The landscape is very beautiful, and the weather is good. In addition, the people here are gentle and nice. This experience (of studying and living abroad) is about meeting other cultures and meeting new people. This experience will change my mind. Since I started my classes I have made friends from non-Spanish speaking countries, such as India, Pakistan, and Nepal. You can find people from everywhere in the world in only one place.”
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