Delia Gadea - BSc (Hons) Environmental Studies
It’s funny when you think back at which events shape your future. Mine was a local charity visiting my school to give a presentation on sustainability and protecting our environment. At the time that kind of thinking was quite new for Romania and it felt exciting, like something I should be a part of.
By 16 I was working with that charity, campaigning for people to take better care of the environment and getting my hands dirty, cleaning up nearby parks and forests. I loved the work and knew that I wanted to go on and study the field at university, but the options were limited in my country.
I looked all over for a course that was focused on our environmental impact, and how we might improve it, and right away the University of Portsmouth course stood out. It was one of the few courses that mixed lectures with actually learning in the field, which was really appealing after my time at the charity. Heading out in to the environment to learn first hand gave me a much greater understanding than if I’d been sitting in a classroom day-after-day.
The University of Portsmouth course stood out. It was one of the few courses that mixed lectures with actually learning in the field, which was really appealing after my time at the charity.
By my final year I was confident enough to undertake a research project on the Greek islands, which the University helped me secure. There I worked with local authorities, private companies and locals to analyse the region’s recycling system and people’s attitudes towards it. After six months I had the opportunity to present my findings and leave a list of recommendations with local Government. It was a priceless experience.
Now I work as a sustainability officer at the University of London, promoting sustainability and environmental action. One day I’d like to return to Romania, but environmentalism still isn’t a major priority there and I wouldn’t want to compromise my work. And anyway, being here has a lot to offer.
At the time I didn't realise how big a decision moving to the UK was. I took a jump without knowing exactly where I’d land and from there I just figured it out as I went along. I’m glad I did it that way, it meant I embraced my choice without hesitation. And now look where I am.