Stephanie - EWB Humanitarian Design Summit Nepal

Bachelor of Engineering
February 2019

My experience

I decided to complete the summit, initially, to challenge myself and hopefully grow, personally, from the experience. I wanted to fully immerse myself in a culture and language and learn everything I could from the people surrounding me. I wanted to work in a challenging environment, out of my comfort zone, in a third world country. The summit was also attractive to me, in the sense that it could count towards my degree, as engineering professional practice hours.

How has the experience changed you?

It was a very humbling experience, which made me reflect on the privileges I have been granted because of where I was born. It helped me to appreciate and value genuine happiness as well as education, more than ever before. The summit has inspired me, both academically and professionally, provided me with real world experience, fuelled my passion for engineering, yet again, and opened my eyes to the countless pathways one can take after graduation.

Favourite memory

One of my strongest memories from the summit was the undivided attentiveness and willingness to learn of the community representatives on presentation day. They were actively listening and absorbing the design solutions put forth by every team. They asked challenging, yet engaging, questions and had genuine intentions to implement the strategies presented. The community members even appreciated being simply educated on numerous topics they knew little about, namely, why burning plastics can be cancerous and why inhaling smoke when cooking is so dangerous.

Top tips

The advice I would give someone about to embark on the summit would be – to be open-minded, take every opportunity, have conversations with everyone and anyone, take initiative, soak everything in, listen and absorb information. It is an exhausting two weeks, but that’s it, it’s only two weeks.