START WORKING WITH, NOT AGAINST NATURE
Student Coastal Zone Management
Katrin Markull from Germany studies Coastal Zone Management. Her interest lies in the relationship between coastal defence and giving room to nature.
'Before this, I studied Tourism Management for a year. I enjoy Coastal Zone Management more, because I feel like I am really learning something about the earth. Also, I think that there are some very interesting job opportunities after this study.'
At the moment I really enjoy the student's life and at the same time I think about what I could do in the future and how to best achieve my goals. I am not totally sure yet about what profession I want to have later but I hope to find a job in coastal defence. It is a very interesting topic to me. Finding new ways of living close to the water, giving it the space it needs and at the same time not being afraid of floods is very interesting. You can really achieve something. You can help the people to live in a safer environment, at the same time giving room to nature. At the same time it is a big challenge to develop a plan with which all the different people concerned in the coastal area agree.
There is a lot of development in this field of action going on at the moment. People start to understand that they need to give the water space. This is in my opinion a great change. We start working with, not against nature.'
Studying at VHL
'I know all the people I study with. It is the same with the tutors. Everyone knows each other and there is always help if you need it. Studying in Leeuwarden is heaps of fun. There are a lot of students living here which creates a great, international atmosphere. The parties, both private and public, are awesome and also the sports opportunities for students are cheap and versatile. In my study there is a lot of group work. In almost every subject there is a part that you have to do in a group of 2 to 6 people. In my opinion this is a good training for teamwork skills. Studying for a test is something I prefer doing by myself because everyone has a different way of studying.
The study Coastal Zone Management is very versatile. On the one hand, there are a lot of courses about the ocean, you learn about fisheries, energy generation possibilities, erosion, waves, microbiology and much more. On the other hand there are the management courses in which you learn for example about sea laws or how to include different stakeholders in a decision.
I do not really have an idea about my thesis yet but I might write about coastal defence because this is the topic I am interested in most.'
'I am doing my first work placement at the moment at Rijkswaterstaat. It is very interesting and I learn a lot. Together with my traineeship tutor for the company I try to find out how realistic an innovative way of coastal defence is. The project is a lot of fun and the atmosphere in the company is very nice too. Also, I feel like I can use a lot of the skills I gained during the study so far.'
'I would like to go abroad and work in coastal defence. Australia would be my dream destination but if that does not work out I will find something else.'
Advice to students
'I think it is important to find a personal balance between enjoying being a student and getting the most out of the study itself.'