Olivier Kramer dives during internship in Thailand

Olivier Kramer is a third-year student of Coastal and Marine Management. In his second year he did a work placement in Thailand, where he was part of an international team that protects the reefs.

Coral recovery

‘During my second year, I was on the Thai island Ko Pha Ngan for five months for a work placement. I participated in several COREsea projects (Center for Oceanic Research and Education) in a team of international marine biologists and students. One thing we did was growing corals to put them in the reef later. It’s a method that is used to help the reef recover.’

Who, what, where and how

‘I had a leading role under water. Before we went diving I had to instruct the group, which was a great learning experience for me. Once you’re under water you can only communicate with a few hand signals, so it’s very important to give a short and clear briefing beforehand. I learned how to convey “who, what, where and how”!’


‘All my life I’ve been happy whenever I was at the beach or at sea. In high school I already knew I wanted to go into marine biology. It was important to me that the education would be practice-based – that’s why I decided on a vocational training. So I visited an open day and a walk-in day at VHL and, since they offer the opportunity to do two work placements abroad, it was an easy choice to make.’

Never work

‘If I find a job in marine biology, I’ll never have to work :-). Because that’s where my heart is. I advise future students, who haven’t made a choice yet, to follow their hearts!’

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