My name is Folasade Adeboyejo, and I am from Nigeria. Prior to my gaining my degree in Marine Ecology at the University of Bremen, I obtained a Bachelor’s degree at in Animal Sciences from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. I became a DAAD scholarship holder in 2011 with the vision of studying International Studies in Aquatic Tropical Ecology (ISATEC). I have a Master’s of Science in Environmental Sciences from the University of Bremen in conjunction with the Leibniz Center for Tropical Marine Ecology (ZMT).
ISATEC is a two-year programme, with the first year consisting of course work and the second devoted to research. The programme also allows for six months of field work in a tropical or subtropical region. Employing interdisciplinary research methods, the programme focuses on coastal resources management and tropical marine ecosystem sustainability.
The course was a great platform for achieving some of my professional development goals. I have improved my command of the German language, learnt different research methods in Aquatic Ecology (both qualitative and quantitative) and have become acquainted with technologies used in the natural and socio-ecological sciences. I have also expanded my knowledge of biological, physical and geological processes regulating the earth system. The course, highlighting the complexities of the earth system and the interaction between man and nature, encouraged the use of holistic approaches in scientific investigation. As such, we learned to view challenges in their entirety and from all angles.
Another plus was the informal knowledge shared between my colleagues and our esteemed lecturers; this was truly priceless. For one it expanded my cultural knowledge of countries in Europe, Asia, and even Africa. The internationality of the programme has improved my interpersonal skills and multicultural competencies. The first time I had ever heard of a country called Indonesia was in 2001, in the wake of the Tsunami. A decade later, under DAAD’s auspices, I am friends with a number of young female Indonesian researchers, our academic friendship reaching far beyond the MSc programme. With so many friendly people around me in Bremen, returning back home gives rise to mixed feelings.
Now in the final stages of my programme, I am prepared to accept what the future holds. For scholarship holders, the reintegration process can be a challenge I do not think my own country of Nigeria is an exception. Yet, I am optimistic about this, as I’m so eager to transfer my knowledge to others and move environmental research in my country forward. While my interdisciplinary skills do create a sort of flexibility with career choices, I plan to apply for a PhD position in the field of Marine Biogeochemistry. However, before launching into my doctorate programme, I would like to gain international work experience through a six to twelve-month internship. This would be a great addition to my academic and management skills.