My name is Daria and I am first-year student of Environmental Engineering in Mikkelin Campus. I have just returned from the best week-trip ever and now I want to inspire you to use every opportunity in your life.
How it turned out that I become a participant?
Our university Xamk offered our group to come to the Netherlands for a project Neptune. I immediately applied and – hooray! – was accepted. One week in the Netherlands with 4 more groups from different countries. I still can’t believe that it happened to me.
Our Mikkeli group consisted of seven people: three Finnish, one Vietnamese and two Russians from different degree programs.
Small “erasmus”, how we called it, turned out to be an unforgettable experience for each of us.
What was the project about?
There is a wastewater treatment plant in Leeuwarden that needs to be more efficient. Workers already tried some methods, but they needed some fresh view. And we presented our own vision how we can improve the plant and make this place more attractive for tourists (next year Leeuwarden is the capital of culture in Europe).
What we did?
Solar panels in a shape of trees or leaves, wind trees, waterotors, solar thermal dryers, bridges, interactive map – we tried a lot of crazy things! Our team chose “Science Technology Art” as a motto and we did everything according to this concept. However, the jury didn`t know that we were the best team and gave prize to another group, but we got so many things like experience and new friends that such minor detail didn’t spoil our impression.
What we did apart the project work?
Well, can you imagine students in Amsterdam? And students in student city like Leeuwarden? Hah, our project was a balance between party and work. They even gave us special time for partying! Ok, I still want to sleep, so no more about parties.
We visited the plant itself and I saw real working solar panels and wind turbines! Finally I got the picture where I can work after graduation. Seriously, when you see it with your own eyes, you can’t believe that we are already in the future.
My own points that I guess somehow changed my own mindset
It was amazing to see that each person has his/her own view, tactics, skills, everything! Hah, I even noticed that people from the same country-school had the same kind of ideas (and even resources as we did with my groupmate). That’s why it’s extremely important not to sit at the same place. U can evolve everyday if u move your ass out of your room (or country).
While we were presented the main challenges of the project, I was looking outside from the window. Can u imagine: you are hearing about the problems u need to solve, and easily feel that they are real — here, just out of the window you see with your own eyes what you should improve. It was my first time since i started my Environmental engineering path I realized that my profession matters! It can sound childish, but I was even afraid of being adult in a sense of working, because on the working place everybody looks so confident, as they have never had problems. But these guys from the plant easily showed us their weaknesses and “asked for help”. Even in such places everything starts with crazy ideas and further estimations. Just think, it was only one plant in one city, so how many such places exist in the world? Will find the place for me, for sure.
Speaking about different jobs, I not only realized my own role but also saw that other specialists matter as well! I’ve never thought from this point, but while working on the project I felt how I need people who can tell me where to put my wind tree so that it will meet my innate beauty requirement. Returning back to the point that everybody has different skills, it was so cool that each of us could do work that he/she knows how to deal with.
At the beginning, I prepared to listened to (boring) lectures, but we didn’t have them at all. We were put into real situation and needed to use already gained knowledge. Because of it I again felt that I know so little and got motivation to study more. I saw how people work, which programs they can use and how organize their work. I learned from them.
We partied hard, but also worked hard. So that we really enjoyed our time!
If you ever have a chance to participate in educational-party project, use this opportunity! It will change your mindset, open eyes and inspire you for the further work.
Credits to XAMK for giving me the possibility to be a part of NEPTUNE project!