By Kenechukwu "Kaycee" Okoli, Rotary Scholar from Nigeria
(Published in Rotary Voices)
Leaving Nigeria for Delft, Netherlands, to take part in a Rotary scholarship program at UNESCO-IHE has been an overwhelmingly positive experience. It has been a goal of mine to pursue advanced studies in hydraulic engineering. Being a Rotary scholar, not only has funding been provided for my graduate studies, but I am part of a strategy conceived by Rotary to address the complex issues of water and sanitation. It inspires me to rise to the challenge of seeking solutions to the world's water and sanitation crisis as a water professional.
The academic environment at UNESCO-IHE is vibrant. The lecture sessions are delivered in an interactive style. Each student brings a different level of experience and practices unique to their countries. Assignments and role plays are used to bring us together as a team in solving problems.
My host counselors Henk-Jaap Kloosterman, Kees Mohring and the rest of the Rotary Club of Voorburg-Vliet are super nice! Their social gatherings have been a way to let out some steam after intense academic work and also experience Dutch culture.
Being my first time in Europe, I am still slugging it out with the cold weather and learning to ride a bicycle, a typical means of transportation in the Netherlands. I consider my pool of friends here among my most cherished assets. They are awesome! The fact that we all came from different nationalities and social backgrounds has not deterred us from doing things together and supporting each other through challenges. We took turns preparing typical dishes from our respective countries and this act made us close-knit.
The Rotary scholarship is not only ensuring that I'm able to go through my studies, but is also improving my confidence and interpersonal skills. I am living one of the best moments of my life in the Netherlands!
Recently Rotary International President Tanaka visited the program in Delft. Below is an interview following that visit.