Michael Batame

What's the Master's Geo-information Science and Earth Observation about?

My name is Michael Batame, and I am Ghanaian. I am a fresh graduate from the Univesity of Ghana where I studied Geography and Resource Development, AND I LOVE TO do RESEARCH.

Why did you choose ITC?

My dream country is the USA, but when I checked the curriculum of their Master's programmes, they were all linked to geography. They didn't have a specialized programme like Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation or perhaps Geo-Information Science; they only had Geography.

I already have a Bachelor's degree in Geography, I wanted to stand out from the crowd, so I was interested in a Master's degree in GIS. That's what brought me to ITC.

How do you like it so far?

ITC has the state of the art technology, the structure is in place, the labs are well equipped, and they have experienced tutors and staff. 

My favourite teachers were Gabriel Parodi; he is really good, then Lucas De Oto and Wan Bakx, also the teacher who taught us Atmospheric Correction.

Still, it was a shock adapting to a different teaching system. Education here is very self-centred. Back in Ghana, we had a lecture, and right after a guided practical session where you just followed the instructor, it was entirely different.

What is your goal with studying abroad?

My goal is to acquire my degree and meet others, make friends, and build new networks.

What are the benefits of a multicultural classroom?

Being in a multicultural classroom is very good for building team spirit and interpersonal relationships.

For example, before this interview, we had a good discussion, and I could identify brilliant ideas from my classmates. When you are not in a multicultural environment, it isn't easy to get such diverse points of view, but we came up with very good definitions of some concepts due to having these different ideas.

What surprised you the most about The Netherlands?

When I arrived, I saw a lot of bicycles. I barely saw cars around, and I thought, "Wow!, these people cherish bicycles, even going to the extent of having paths exclusively for bikes". In my country that is so different, there are so many cars; we barely have enough space for them.

I don't have a bike yet, but perhaps when we relocate to the Campus, I will get one as well.

How are you adjusting to life abroad?

It is difficult to leave your family back home and come abroad to live alone. Sometimes you miss your family. It's even sad when they call, but I am coping with it. I made new friends here that are like my family.

I am fortunate enough to have arrived with other four Ghanaians, and we are really close. I can go to them if I have a problem, we do shopping together, go out together, it's like a home away from home.

Have you mainly made Ghanaian friends?

I have also made friends from South America, India, and other parts of Europe and tasted their food. 

With my floormates, I have tasted Indian food, and they have tasted my food as well. My first time trying Chinese food was also at the ITC Hotel, it was chicken, and it was different from Ghana, but it was also delicious. I also tasted traditional pastry from India.

It's like travelling around the world through the food.

What are your future plans?

Becoming a renowned researcher, getting my PhD and becoming a lecturer. I love teaching. I want to get a PhD, work on publications and collaborative publications and become a lecturer.