Yibeltal Yihunie’s PhD Journey at KU Leuven: A Rich Experience

Yibeltal Yihunie’s PhD Journey at KU Leuven: A Rich Experience

Yibeltal Yihunie Mekonnen, a PhD student within AMU IUC Project’s Research sub-project 4, is making significant strides in academia at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at KU Leuven, Belgium. His research focuses on devising water conservation methods to combat land degradation, specifically emphasizing gully control.

Expressing heartfelt appreciation, Yibeltal attributed much of his smooth transition to KU Leuven to the unwavering support of the International OfficeFrom aiding with mobility form submissions to streamlining visa applications, their proactive assistance ensured a seamless journey for the budding researcher.

Residing at the KU Leuven Stuvo residence hall, Home Vesalius, Yibeltal enjoyed a diverse community of international peers. Despite increased rental rates, he cherishes the enriching cultural exchange opportunities. Moreover, the Intercultural Meeting Centre Pangaea enriched his experience, though his rigorous research commitments limit full engagement.

Furthermore, the nearby Agora Learning Centre has facilitated interactions with international peers. Additionally, sharing an office space with fellow PhD students and teaching assistants fosters meaningful exchanges. Although KU Leuven offers abundant avenues for cultural exchange, his tight schedule and short stay have somewhat constrained his ability to embrace these opportunities fully.

Yibeltal expressed his deep sense of security within KU Leuven’s campus and the wider Leuven cityscape. He lauded the clear and visible emergency protocols, prominently displayed not only within campus premises but also in his office, residence, and throughout the city. These protocols provide concise directives in various scenarios, ensuring ease of understanding and adherence for all.

He highlighted the extensive networking opportunities available to international students at KU Leuven. He has found valuable connections through everyday interactions in shared spaces like kitchens and learning centers. Additionally, departmental coffee breaks and research meetings provide opportunities to connect with peers and professors from various backgrounds.

The diversity at KU Leuven is incredible,” he remarked. “These connections are invaluable, not just for my studies, but for my future career as well.” He also took advantage of workshops offered by KU Leuven, such as the upcoming “Networking for Researchers” workshop.

Overall, Yibeltal’s journey highlights the transformative impact of international education and the myriad opportunities for academic and personal growth offered by KU Leuven. His story serves as an inspiration for aspiring scholars seeking to pursue their academic and research aspirations in a diverse and supportive environment.