International Disaster Science Graduate

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Edward Mendy Story

I have completed my master degree at Universitas Syiah Kuala with a scholarship through the Office of International Affairs (OIA). I appreciated the offer as this had contributed a lot to the achievement of my goals and vision.

Having been offered the scholarship, I was able to read Masters in Disaster Science from the year 2019 to 2021. I felt grateful and honored to interact with technocrats and intellectuals from diverse areas of specialization. This has made my quest for research and the dissemination of knowledge more widen.

It is a burning desire in me towards the production and dissemination of knowledge through teaching and learning and by extension through research to better help in nation (Gambia) building. I also realize that there are so many activities in the Gambia that are causing environmental hazards and the way to prevent such is to have disaster scientists and educationists who will help in the sensitization of people about sustaining our natural resources and living in a disaster-free environment.

In this vein, I deem it is necessary to study Disaster Science in Universitas Syiah Kuala – Banda Aceh where the province had experienced a real disaster in the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami. Secondly, upon going through the service, knowledge, and academia that the university is providing to the society both in Indonesia and the sub-regions, I thought it wise to get myself trained by the university.

Even though there were challenges of life and acculturation, my Acehnese friends are very accommodating and friendly. My interaction with my lecturers especially my Supervisors and Head of Department was remarkable. Due to the friendly nature of Acehnese, I was able to make friends with many Acehnese students who were helpful during my stay in Banda Aceh. I was able to understand the courses I offered because the program was in English and most especially the lecturers were all ready to deliver even outside the classroom.

The challenge I faced in my research was a normal challenge that any researcher will face (Eg. financial and global pandemic). In other words, I face less challenge in my research apart from the global pandemic which could not allow me to return to my country to conduct the research myself. Knowing fully well that without the research been accomplished I will not be able to graduate from my program, I had to raise money by myself to pay people to conduct the interview for my where I collect the questioners completed the research.

All the experiences I had, I counted as part of what will make me more fit to any society in which I will see myself. This shows that I had no bitter memorable experience while I was on studies in Banda Aceh.

Like I mentioned above, I believe the only way I can play my quota in nation-building is to develop myself in the production and dissemination of knowledge through teaching and learning and by extension through research.