Country of origin: Mexico
Programme: Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation with a specialization in Natural Resource Management (MSc)
Hola! My name is Luis Figueroa, I was born and raised in Tijuana, which is one of the most famous border cities in the world due to its closeness to the United States. At 18 years old I moved to Guadalajara to study a Bachelor’s in Environmental Engineering from which I graduated in 2017. After working as a teacher and in scientific research, I developed a love for geography and climate change. That is why I am currently studying the Master's program in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation with a specialization in Natural Resource Management at the University of Twente.
Finding a master’s program that fitted my needs was not an easy task; I had begun searching for options when I was about to graduate from my bachelor’s. After working for a couple of years in scientific research, my boss (who was a Ph.D. student some years back) told me that the University of Twente had its own faculty of geography. After reviewing the program options, I knew straight away that this would reinforce my knowledge of climate change mitigation and geographical information systems.
The program has everything that I want, a multidisciplinary and multicultural environment, it assures the quality of teaching by being in the top 10 universities that offer my topic of interest and has multiple renowned awards of entrepreneurship and innovation. Out of all the previous possibilities, the University of Twente became a clear winner.
What seemed so far away three years ago is now a reality. I am currently living in Enschede in my first year of study in the master’s. It was (and still is sometimes) a challenge to change from living in the second-largest city in Mexico to a small town in the East of The Netherlands. There a lot of experiences that I miss from Mexico, but there are plenty more, which I’m currently living that make me enjoy studying abroad. Now I am studying what I love next to a community of international students with the same will to keep exploring, and each one of them has a different background that brings something new to the table. I’ll admit, it is sometimes hard for me to work with people from all over the world, but this is also a great learning process that has enriched my time studying here.
Living in Enschede has also been a good experience for me as I love to travel and party in my spare time. Germany is only a few minutes by bicycle, and Amsterdam is two hours away by train; I’ve had the opportunity to visit new locations around Europe, attend concerts, and cultural and historic sites. There is also a small but reliable Latin-American community in Enschede in which I feel just at home by replicating Mexican cuisine, sing and dance Latin music, and speak Spanish! All in all, I’ve had a great time studying at the University of Twente in Enschede, I’ve increased my knowledge in the topics I am most interested in, and I’ve met awesome people along the way.