17 June 2019

My UEA Story: Matt Kirkegaard

My name is Matt Kirkegaard and I’m a former Masters student who studied Water Security and International Development. I chose UEA for the chance to learn from some incredible researchers at the Water Security Research Centre in the School of International Development (or DEV, for short). The specificity and depth offered by this unique course coupled with possibilities for mentorship by leading thinkers in the growing field of water security drew me to UEA. The globally respected reputation of both the School of International Development and UEA as a whole made my decision to attend even easier.  

The courses and lecturers at UEA utterly exceeded my expectations. The diverse range of module (class) options allows you to tailor the course to your specific interests and study the topics you find most valuable. No matter the modules you ultimately choose, the quality of the lecturers are sure to be world class. Each of my lecturers cares deeply about their fields, their courses, and doing the most they can to transfer this passion on to students. Outside of the classroom, professors are more than happy to meet and engage with students in a way I never quite experienced as an undergraduate in the US. Most importantly, the faculty in the School of International Development are among the top scholars within their respective areas. This allows students the chance not only to grapple with cutting edge ideas, but to also learn directly from those pushing the boundaries of their respective fields.

Apart from my academic life, Norwich is a perfect city for any American to spend a year. English history is alive in Norwich, from the towering cathedral to the bustling market set among cobblestone lanes. Living in university accommodation (Mary Chapman Court) in the medieval city centre gave me a view out on the River Wensum and its miles of running and biking trails, access to countless pubs and shops. I experienced a UEA community though I lived off-campus, and UEA main campus was an easy 20 minute bike ride away. I cannot recommend it highly enough.