Friday, 16 March 2012

Dresden: a brief recap

It seems odd that in the first real post of the site we say 'Hello' to the site and 'Goodbye' to Dresden. After the completion of six months and the first segment of our two-year Flood Risk Management journey in Dresden, the time came for the 18 of us to move on to Delft. Before we discuss our current situation, though, it seems fitting to provide a recap of our six months in Dresden.

Dresden, and specifically the Technical University of Dresden (TUD), welcomed us with open arms back in September and thanks to catching the end of a glorious summer and a number of introductory courses, we were soon into the full swing of the course as a unified group. And, with some highly basic German language skills! Sehr gut!

With the (very) last-minute declinations of places on the course by two participants, the door to the course was opened for two reserve candidates: Siobhán and Richard from Ireland and the United Kingdom respectively. After a brief period of organisational catch-up for the newcomers, the course was up to the full compliment of 18 by mid-October. Things were not always smooth and living in one of Dresden's hostels for a month whilst arranging accommodation was, at time testing, but, in the end, we were eventually all sorted.

With the academic courses at TUD split into 'Engineers' and 'Natural Scientists' (or, arguably more accurately, 'Non-Engineers'), everyone was given the opportunity to improve upon necessary academic fields in which they had less experience to achieve a more-equal level of ability. This seemed to be more useful for the 'non-engineers'! Overall, the modules were designed to provide an introduction to hydrology and it's basic principles, providing a sold foundation of knowledge upon which to build upon for the remainder of our flood studies.

And, so after six months that included snow, ice, sub-zero temperatures, fieldtrips, social trips and much, much more, our time in Dresden was up. It was a fantastic introduction to the course and each other and I know that we would all like to thank our fellow TUD Hydro- Science and Engineering coursemates (whom we reluctantly had to leave behind) and the academic staff who lectured us.

Then, with the aid of a Polish bus, it was onwards to Delft and the new academic and personal experiences that awaited in the Netherlands.

by Richard Vause

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