Co-funded by the
of the European Union
"Studying at the University of Bologna was a remarkable experience, we were introduced to Coastal and Marine Management with high quality teaching, fieldtrips and laboratory work. We were constantly encouraged to take a step further and think outside the box, always assisted by experienced professors. Apart from the academic life, a very inclusive environment supported by the University promoted the integration of international students during all the semester, giving us the opportunity to meet other people and share our culture.
Aiming to focus my research on Social-Ecological Systems, I found in the University of Algarve the right place to work on my thesis. As part of my thesis plan I had the unique opportunity to do an internship at Future Earth Coasts International Project Office in Ireland, which was an amazing experience to learn from top coastal and marine researchers, expand my network and add new perspectives to my research.
I would never be able to imagine all the opportunities that being part of Wacoma would offer me, all the great people I would meet, friends I would make and cultures I would explore - and for that I am truly grateful."
"WACOMA has fulfilled my European dream. From every class to field trips and laboratory works, I have had the opportunities to achieve vital knowledge and experiences from wonderful teachers. I could learn beautiful languages and cook their cuisine from each country I’ve stayed. It has given not only the chance to explore the rich of European culture and history but I’ve also share and exchange culture with my amazing WACOMA friends. This is an incredible journey in my life that I will never forget."
"Erasmus Mundus offered me the greatest experience ever. I added to my academic background in Communication Engineering a new perspective in Water and Coastal Management and environment which resulted in a highly qualified job position as Wireless Systems Engineer in a top company specialized in Wireless Communication Systems. I am based in Italy but the headquarter of the company is in New York and I often travel to some of the other branches in Milan, Paris, Taipei, Chicago and London.
"Attending WACOMA program is one of the best things that has ever happened in my life. Everything in WACOMA to me was open, free and fair starting from advertisement, selection and the whole operation of the program. To my surprise, I was one of the selected candidates. It was a mixture of confusion and happiness as I knew no one and didn’t know anything about Europe. Having been born and brought up in a small village in my country (Kenya) the imagination of travelling outside the country to ‘unknown’ destination a board a flight was a dream that I didn’t want to wake up from."
"Studying abroad doing Erasmus Mundus Programs turned out to be the best time of my life. It was unique from the personal as well as the academic point of view. I ended up studying in many countries, England, Spain, Italy. It was full of great moments and discoveries, life-time lasting friendships and a total immersion into new exciting cultures, an experience that changed my life completely. It was definitely challenging for me in some ways, however I learned so much about myself and it also helped me develop in so many different ways; I never thought I would be able to overcome these challenges on my own. I am now able to see it as a learning curve within my life, as well as an absolutely fantastic challenge that I appreciated and loved every minute of. Career-speaking, doing Erasmus Mundus definitely increased my employability prospects. Erasmus Mundus has opened many doors for me, and it gave that world knowledge that helped me to position myself in the world and get a new job in my research field. A few months ago I got a postdoc in Brazil, I believe that being Erasmus Mundus graduate made a big deal in getting the job."
Attending WACOMA program is one of the best things that has ever happened in my life. Everything in WACOMA to me was open, free and fair starting from advertisement, selection and the whole operation of the program. To my surprise, I was one of the selected candidates. It was a mixture of confusion and happiness as I knew no one and didn’t know anything about Europe. Having been born and brought up in a small village in my country (Kenya) the imagination of travelling outside the country to ‘unknown’ destination a board a flight was a dream that I didn’t want to wake up from. Within no time, I processed my passport (I never had one before WACOMA) things were happening very fast, my tickets were processed, my insurance ready, my visa ready and was ready to face the ‘unknown’, first time away from my family. My arrival in Italy (Ravenna) was filled with so much joy, everything was well organized (thanks to Filomena Volpe). I was capable of meeting a bunch of other confused candidates from different parts of the world and the confusion made us blend so well becoming a wonderful family.
Through WACOMA, I was capable of realizing my love for travel, managed to travel to more than ten cities in more than five Schengen countries in Europe driven by my desires to explore more of the ‘unknown’ world. The program hardened me to be able to survive anywhere in the world and put up with any culture. The cold weather was my worst experience, the better part was that for the first time in my life, I saw a snow fall in January in Ravenna.
Professionally, WACOMA is an interdisciplinary program that anyone interested in any aspect of aquatic resources need to attend, it has wide coverage ranging from aquatic biology (field work and laboratory bio assessment), physical, chemical to social aspects in policy formulation and environmental ethics considerations. The program equipped me with a well-developed field and laboratory research and professional networking skills, it gives opportunity to interact with experienced professionals in the areas of coastal and aquatic management. Personally I have maintained contacts with several professors that have been of great importance in my career to date.
The Professors were very friendly, understanding and helpful, am forever thankful to Prof. Elena Fabbri; Second semester in Cadiz Spain was another good experience and second year I went to in Portugal at University of Algarve, under supervision of Prof. Alice Newton. I developed my analytical skills and created professional links. Besides, as a Kenya team (WACOMA alumni’s) we have come together and working with communities in Kenya on sustainable coastal resource management (the birth of ERACOMA Consultants).