How to bring back functioning ecosystems
"The programme in Nature Management meets my expectations of what I’m looking for in a Masters programme’, says Mita Nagarkar from Southfield, Michigan, USA. We met her for a talk after she had studied here for half a year. "I really like how international this programme is. And I find the professors are really helpful and always available for discussions, so it’s been a very positive experience so far."
Why did you choose Nature Management?
I have always been interested in nature. I used to go camping with my parents every summer, so it’s always been a part of my life. Even when I was little I used to study animals and plants. I have a Bachelors degree in Environmental Studies from University of Michigan and I wanted to continue my studies in that direction. I felt a Masters in the same field, especially if it was international, would be relevant for my future opportunities.
But why exactly Nature Management?
Because I’m particularly interested in how we can manage parks and bring back green spaces into our daily lives. I want to be involved in sustaining and bringing back functioning ecosystems that work alongside our societies.
I had a one year break between my Bachelors degree and this programme. I did several internships to try out a couple of different career paths. One was field work and research for METLA, the Finnish Forest Research Institute for three months. The other was a five months stay in Brussels, Belgium, where I learned about environmental policy.
Why did you choose University of Copenhagen?
I looked at several universities when planning to follow an international programme. I decided to come here, because the city had such a good environmental reputation and a great biking culture. Also it’s such an international place and the programme focuses on group work and field work. I knew I wanted that from my earlier education.
What’s going on in the programme so far?
In the first block we had a thematic course. Everybody in the programme had class together. We had weekly excursions where we went out in the field and afterwards we analysed what we found and made group presentations. Right now I have a restoration ecology course and a course in nature perception. It’s about how various stakeholders come together over environmental problems.
How do you find the programme?
I think it meets my expectations of what I’m looking for in a master’s programme. I really like how international this programme is – we are students from 17 countries. And I find the professors are extremely helpful and always available for discussions, so it’s been a very positive experience so far.
Do you already have an idea of what your thesis will be about?
I do actually have an idea. There’s a restoration project of a river delta close to Sacramento in California. I would like to do my thesis about that.
What’s your ambition?
I think it’s changed what career I see myself in. Now I see myself working for an international environmental organization or specifically in the field of restoration of ecology.
What about housing conditions?
The university provides housing for international students. So I share a private apartment with two other international students in a building with other student apartments. We’ve got a room each and a shared kitchen. The rent is 4.500 DKK a month for each of us.
Do you have a student job?
I’ve been looking for a part time job, but it’s difficult if you don’t speak any Danish. But I manage ok.
Would you recommend the programme?
Yes. I think Copenhagen is an amazing city to live in. Everybody has been very welcoming and the programme has been excellent. I’ve had the least amount of paperwork to be able to stay here in Denmark and it has been very easy to adjust to the culture here.
Any tips for future students?
Bring warm clothing. I came here in summertime and forgot to bring enough. And get a bike. You can go everywhere on a bike here - that’s one of my favourite aspects of life in Copenhagen.