This article was written during Noelle's first year in MSc MADE. She has completed her studies and is now an MSc MADE alumna.

What brought you to Amsterdam?

After graduating from my bachelor’s I continued to work in Melbourne and then later relocated to Bangkok, Thailand to gain more experience working in Asia and the Middle East. I decided to return to studying because I wanted to expand and deepen my knowledge about urban environments and the challenges towards sustainability and climate change adaptation.

What do you think so far of the MSc MADE program?

At this time, I have just finished most of the first year of the MSc MADE program. I am currently completing my electives at Wageningen University & Research and TU Delft which are about co-creating sustainable cities, soil quality, and the Internet of Things (IoT). Recently I had the chance to participate in a rapid prototyping workshop with students from Wageningen and Lilongwe University of Agriculture & Natural Resources (LUANAR) in Malawi. The MSc MADE program has really given me a new way to participate in programs like this. The entrepreneurship courses really help to think about the different dimensions of sustainable solutions!

When did you first hear about this program, and what was the moment you knew that this was the right master’s program for you?

I first heard about the program via the TU Delft and Wageningen UR websites when I was searching for a master's level program about sustainability and urban environments. The MOOC that is part of the admission requirements was a really great introduction to what would be discussed and taught in the program. This really made the decision easier! I had looked into other urban-focused programs at the London School of Economics and KU Leuven, but what really attracted me to the MADE program was the second year when we have the opportunity to do a Living Lab in Amsterdam and even start our own sustainability-focused start-ups.

Can you tell us something about your study program?

Although there are a lot of common core subjects, they are all diverse enough to allow me to pursue aspects of the study which are interesting to me personally. For the elective periods, one of my classes was in Intercultural Communication, and although it’s not directly related to urban studies I learned a lot about what influences the way we talk to each other. Especially when it comes to environmental issues and sustainability! Again, the benefit is that you can really tailor things to your interest, and the double degree means more choice for the elective periods.

Which parts of your study did you find the most interesting? Which courses did you like best?

I haven’t finished the first year yet, but so far I’ve enjoyed almost all of my courses! Although each course is quite different in content, I think the underlying emphasis on sustainability and metropolitan issues keeps it consistently fascinating for me.

What do you do besides studying?

At the moment I’m a student assistant for the MADE program, and I’m working on a start-up with another classmate. So I’ve been quite absorbed with that recently! But during the weekends I’d like to see more of the Netherlands and go to the galleries and museums more often. In between the hours of the day, I do like to squeeze in some knitting (a hobby I had in Melbourne but put on hold in Bangkok) so it’s also been great to visit knitting shops in Amsterdam!

What do you think of student life in Amsterdam?

I’m usually at the Advanced Metropolitan Solutions Institute (AMS Institute) in Amsterdam, which means I get to know the other students quite well! During the electives, I’ve been in Wageningen, which is a big change from the city, but it’s really nice to be in a campus setting for a while and enjoy some open green spaces! Student life in Amsterdam is great because there’s always something going on in the city – galleries, film festivals, anything, and everything!