Diversity, knowledge, and enthusiasm: these are the three words that summarise my experience at the TU Delft Planning and Design with Water summer school. In 2019, the school hosted 100 students from 52 countries. The learning process started from the moment I walked through the door. The opportunity to learn from different cultures and feeling the energy in each one of them. It was nice to notice the differences and similarities between cultures. As one of my friends there said, “we were different, but we were the same”.
In the educational aspect, the summer school was informative and constructive. We had the chance to see in real life how the Dutch carried out their water management issues through site visits, lectures and presentations. We had the chance to hear from different perspectives of the Dutch authorities. We have learned how to apply urban planning strategies and sustainable development goals to the working environment. I have learned how to think strategically, how to define problems, how to point out questions. Who’s the beneficiary and who we need to attract and encourage to make an action towards our project, as well as thinking about the green and blue systems and the balance between design factors.
I really liked the interactive way of teaching. You never feel disconnected. Instead, all the class was involved in the discussion and each genuine opinion was considered. Also, we learned how to work in groups with different backgrounds and how to discuss our concepts respectfully.
The passion and thirst for change were seen clearly through the summer school. Both students and teachers were ready to take action and think about the future.
I will never forget these words:
Can we do this?
Great guys, let’s do it.
These words had a great impact on our performance during the two weeks we spent there, I strongly believe students will do anything possible to achieve their goals. At the end, I would like to thank everyone who made this experience possible for me and my colleagues, TU Delft Global Initiative for making this opportunity financially possible, TU Delft Global Initiative provided several types of scholarships for students from all over the world, Roberto Rocco and Vincent Nadin for putting time and effort in organizing the summer school and bringing the joyful spirit to the summer school, Amina, Jan and all the teaching assistants for the help and guidance they offered, faculty staff, speaking guests,ministry of infrastructure and water management and visiting professors for sharing their knowledge and experiences.