A tour around Tharandt? Check! A weekend get-together? Check! International food party? Also check! A warm welcome to the 2018-2020 batch of Tropical Forestry master students!
On their very first day, the new students were guided by Dr. Auch on a tour around the Tharandt campus to introduce the most important buildings like the library, lecture halls and mensa. We also went up the hill and had an introduction about the ownership of the forest land surrounding Tharandt, and some historical background of the campus.
On the following weekend of 13th to 14th of October 2018, the institute organized a get-together in a youth hostel among the woods in Grillenburg, which is about 20 minutes by bus from Tharandt train station. On this weekend, the first batch students had the opportunity to get to know the staff of the Chair of Tropical Forestry together with the second batch students.
The weekend started with a dynamic activity in which we introduced each other by crafting posters. We had the chance to exchange not only academic and professional background, but also success stories, which can be associated with forestry. In times of many negative news, it is surely refreshing and motivating to hear otherwise. As it turns out, the first batch students are a group of lively, future change-makers.
Coming from around 15 countries including Suriname, Belize, Ethiopia, Uganda, Vietnam and India, they are a group with diverse backgrounds who are united with a strong interest in tropical forestry. Among them are, for instance, an architect with an interest in urban forestry or a Guatemalan who studied engineering in Taiwan. In this batch, there are 5 SUTROFOR (Sustainable Tropical Forestry) students and 7 DAAD scholarship holders.
To enjoy the last rays of autumn sun of the year, Prof. Pretzsch led the students to have a tour around Grillenburg with the aid of a hand-drawn map. Students visited an old hunter’s house, which is now property of the state forest administration. It is located at the edge of a big forest opening, which in former times was used as a “kurort” or curation site. Many local houses were in part built with wood, since this construction material is currently subsidized by the state.
A highlight of this event was also the experience-sharing, where students of the second batch gave some insights about life in Dresden and Tharandt, and their first year of the master program. New students got the opportunity to solve their doubts and exchange ideas.
International food evening, with dishes from around the world that mostly students brought, and a grill prepared by the institute were enjoyed by everybody. Between music and new flavors, students, professors and staff danced to different tropical beats. The next morning a nice breakfast and a relaxed walk through the Tharandt forest was perfect for a Sunday, before the new semester started.
By Gabriela Huidobro, Ana Nicole Acosta & Kendisha S. Hintz