Brigitta Setiawan: Learning about real-life climate adaptation problems
|Date:||17 March 2022|
Brigitta from Indonesia studies Climate Adaptation Governance at Campus Fryslân in Leeuwarden. Learn how she is enjoying her Master in the new location and what she finds special about it.
1. Tell a little bit of your moving story (where are you from what was your living situation before the Master and currently)
I was born in Singapore to Indonesian parents. I spent equal times living in Jakarta and Singapore all throughout my childhood, up until I graduated high school. After graduating high school, I felt like I was ready to be independent and see more of the world. When I was 18 years old I moved to Columbus, Ohio to complete my bachelor’s education at The Ohio State University. I lived there for 4 years for the full duration of my studies. After I graduated, I decided that I wanted to pursue a Master's right away, so here I am now, happily living in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands!
2. What persuaded you to take the decision to move to another place for your Master's?
My last semester of university was rudely interrupted by covid. I didn’t get to have a graduation, I didn’t get to see a lot of my friends, and I was thrown into an unfamiliar world with no idea what I wanted to do career wise. Although I learned a lot from my undergraduate program, I still felt like there was a lot more to learn about the big scary world we’re living in. I loved moving far away from home when I moved for my bachelor studies, and learning about different cultures and practices around the world. I knew I wanted to experience a whole different culture for my Master’s and I’ve always loved the Dutch culture (their biking culture in particular) so I decided to look for Master’s program in the country.
3. What is your favourite place in Leeuwarden and why?
My favorite place(s) in Leeuwarden is the Prinsentuin. I grew up in the tropics, with lots and lots of greeneries. When I moved to Columbus, OH for my bachelor program, I felt really homesick as Columbus is an old industrial city with very little nature in its city center. There were no parks, no rivers, no nature at all! When I moved to Leeuwarden I found my piece of home in the parks all throughout the city. I love how I can walk 10 minutes, sit in a park with friends, or just bring a book and sit and enjoy the nature (especially now that it’s getting warmer and sunnier). I can take a break from my hectic academic schedule and really unwind in nature at these places.
4. What is the most exciting part of your Master's?
The most exciting part of my Master study is the people I got to meet. Maybe it’s because of the nature of my program or maybe I just got lucky. But all my friends and the people within my program have such a beautiful outlook on the world around them, they really care about important social causes, and many of them have traveled all around the world. It has been so lovely to be surrounded by like minded people and to be able to learn from their experiences. In addition, I have loved all the field excursions that I have been able to partake in in the program. Some of the most memorable ones include a bicycle tour of various adaptation projects in Amsterdam, a visit to the UNESCO heritage site in Veenhuizen, and a trip to the Afsluitdijk-Wadden Center.
5. Did you have an opportunity to work on some local issue within the global perspective?
One of my favorite things about my program is that we have had multiple opportunities to go on field trips that allow us to learn about real life adaptation problems. One opportunity that was particularly memorable was a bicycle tour of Wetterskip-related projects in Leeuwarden. We explored various development projects around Leeuwarden such as the football stadium where they are planning on developing it into sustainable housing which will include water and greenery, all while enjoying the scenery of Leeuwarden on a bicycle. Not only was it educational but it also allowed us to explore more of the sights in Leeuwarden. I grew up in big urban settings with little infrastructure for bicycles, before going on this trip I had to re-learn how to ride the bicycle (as embarrassing as it is), but after the trip I felt fully integrated into Dutch culture!