By Badruz Zaman, Rotary Scholar from Indonesia
When I was selected to receive a scholarship to do a master’s study at UNESCO-IHE in The Netherlands, a brand new chapter in my life began.
Since October, I have been studying hydroinformatics, water science, and engineering at the Delft campus. Starting a new phase of one’s life is not always easy, and so it has been with me. When I arrived at the airport in the Netherlands, it was so cold I could feel it in my bones. Cooking for myself has been an experience, and of course many things have tasted terrible since I have never cooked before. Bicycling is a common mode of transportation here, so I’ve had to pick that up after having not ridden for 15 years. They say you never forget how to ride a bike, and this may certainly be true, but it doesn’t mean that resuming the practice is without adventure.
Being this far away from my family has also been tough, and it can get lonely. But fortunately, I have a wonderful Rotary club that has been helping me ever since I arrived, and my host counselor has done so many things to help me, I simply can’t thank them enough.
Most people said studying at UNESCO-IHE is very tough. In my first few months here, I have realized how right they were. Every single day is challenging; with tight class schedules, assignments, exams. It has stretched me academically. But as time goes on, I am starting to learn how to synchronize my life around the education system and what is expected of my classmates and I.
When I left for the Netherlands, I saw many problems with water in my country. Just a few examples include flooding in urban areas, poor water quality and sanitation problems in rural areas, and poor drainage in both. These things happen because of improper management. Trained water professionals are badly needed.
UNESCO-IHE, with its outstanding programs, is offering sophisticated solutions to these types of problems by training students in advanced water technologies. By partnering with UNESCO-IHE, Rotary is helping raise up future professionals who will make a difference in their corners of the world. I am excited to be studying to become a water professional. I am hopeful that when I graduate in 2015, I can come back home to Indonesia, and be part of the solution to my country’s water problems. I thank all of you in Rotary for giving me this opportunity.
Learn how to apply for a UNESCO-IHE packaged grant scholarship for the 2014-16 academic year