Tobias Schulz

  • Master student of “Wild life ecology and wild life management”
  • At Universidad Bodenkultur, Vienna (Austria)
  • Internship at UEA: November - January 2016

 


Why did you elect Ecuador for your studies?

Because of the possibility the UEA gave me. Many countries have primary rainforests, but there are only little opportunities where the research, in this supreme ecosystem, is supported with such a good infrastructure like the CIPCA has to offer. I think the CICPA is a unique possibility to conduct a study, without lacking any needs for up to date science. 

 

How was your experience at the UEA?

All together it was great. The fact that some things did not worked out like it would have been in Europe for example, was compensated by the friendliness of the people I was working with or on whose help I depended.

 

What were the biggest differences you found between university lifestyle in Ecuador and in your country?

The bureaucracy and the trust that were placed in me, as a foreign student. The bureaucracy is horrible. All departments have so much to do with the paperwork, which actually still is a lot of paper, that they do not work as efficient as they could without it. The other big difference is the hierarchy. It is a bit strange that you need the allowance of the director for everything, without having any authority levels in between you and him. On the other hand, once you got this paper from the director everything works very easy.

The big positive difference I experienced and that really surprised me, was, that without even checking my real identity, or whether I am a student at all, I was allowed to work with equipment worth a couple of thousand dollars. That would not have been so easy in Europe I guess.

 

What was the first thing you told your friends when you came back home?

That it was a great experience, but if they want to do something similar, they have to prepare their project much better than I did, meaning to learn at least a minimum amount of Spanish and at check what equipment is available for the project and in which condition, to avoid any extra costs that will not be absorbed by the university.