Student Testimonials
jule11   Why NOHA? Why Bochum?
Julia Weiß

“My name is Julia Weiß, I am German and studied NOHA in Bochum in [the academic year] 2015/2016. Apart from the interdisciplinary nature and the international orientation of the studies, it was especially the possibility of going abroad for the master's thesis that made this program interesting for me. From the beginning on, I was clear about going to Colombia for my research. And, I was fortunate; thanks to contacts from my host university in Deusto, Spain, I could immediately join the team in Cali in the Instituto de Estudios Interculturales (IEI). The IEI focuses on peace construction especially in territorial conflicts based on mediation. In my investigation the central question was, what impact the jurisdiction of the indigenous people can have on the peace process in Colombia. The institute helped me to establish a contact to leaders and elders of the indigenous tribe of the Nasa. In the end, it was not only interviews that I conducted that contributed to the content of the thesis, but a bright insight into their culture, by joining legal proceedings and a harvest festival. All in all it was a very enriching experience not only for my professional but rather my personal growth to decide for this Master's Degree.”

 horstmann   Why NOHA? Why Bochum?
Lara Horstmann, Welthungerhilfe (Liberia)

My name is Lara Horstmann. I was a NOHA student from 2015-2017. The first semester I spent in Bochum, the second in Bilbao. The time in Bochum was unique due to two reasons. First, I gained exactly what I expected from the first semester: a comprehensive overview of the humanitarian system. Second, the learning environment for us 22 students at the IFHV triggered an outstanding sense of group belonging. The mixture of professionalism, knowledge, its network and ability to guide students makes the IFHV an outstanding academic institution.
After graduating, I started as Junior Expert for Program Coordination with the German NGO Welthungerhilfe (WHH) in the Southeast of Liberia. Rather being a rehabilitation and development context instead of humanitarian emergency, the remoteness and the amount of work make this a unique experience.
Overall, NOHA taught me valuable knowledge and practical skills. It provided me with an immense network to the humanitarian world. I would do NOHA again- any time!“

simon sternmann  

Why NOHA? Why Bochum?
Simon Stermann, ECHO (Brussels, Belgium)

Hello, bonjour and mambo! I am Simon Stermann, born in Germany and member of the 2013/2014 NOHA group. I decided to join the NOHA Master during my work in Nairobi´s Mathare slum in order to further professionalize my work and passion. The Ruhr-University Bochum offered a convincing programme with a high degree of practical parts. The first semester was challenging but convincingly communicated by the young NOHA Bochum teaching staff. The close and friendly support by the Bochum team was striking and continued even after my leave for the second semester and, successively, even during my new job at ECHO; this is exceptional! Thanks to my NOHA internship I now have joined the European Commission in their ECHO department in Brussels. See you soon somewhere around the world!

tessa finch  

Why NOHA? Why Bochum?
Tessa Finch, One Acre Fund (various places, East Africa)

I studied in Bochum for the entire NOHA Masters programme in 2011 and 2012. Being a part of the NOHA family provided me with the necessary foundation of knowledge and strong networks that I still use to this day. Since my graduation, I've been working in various East African countries, specializing in monitoring and evaluation in the development sector. I still keep in touch with many fellow NOHAs from around the world -- and continue to meet old NOHAs in strange places!

will wright  

Why NOHA? Why Bochum?
Will Wright, University College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)

My name is Will Wright from the United States and I did the NOHA program in Bochum in 2014/2015. My experience in Bochum was phenomenal. It is hard to find such a great mix between the outstanding staff at the IFHV and the great culture in Bochum and the cities around it. The people in the Ruhrgebiet and the professors and coordinators at the institute are helpful, knowledgeable, and always full of surprises. After spending my second semester in Dublin, I plan to focus on continuing research on international relations and international humanitarian law.

mable ann chang  

Why NOHA? Why Bochum?
Mable-Ann Chang, University College Dublin (Dublin, Ireland)

My name is Mable-Ann Chang and I’m from both South Africa and Taiwan. I am part of the NOHA 2014/2015 intake and am fortunate enough to have had my home university in Bochum. During my second semester in Dublin, it became clear to me that I had received the best foundation of knowledge from the lecturers at the IFHV to build on. The staff at the institute were always very open and welcoming, with the professors making the study material accessible to all students, regardless of background or level of experience. I will be spending my third semester completing an internship at ECHO in Brussels, and am very happy with the opportunities and networks that being a part of the NOHA family has afforded me.

harald bier

Why NOHA? Why Bochum?
Harald Bier, Swiss Red Cross (Port-au Prince, Haiti)

My name is Harald Bier from south-west Germany. I did my first semester of the NOHA program 2011 in Bochum. I was never too fond of Bochum itself, but I must say I made many of my best experiences there with my NOHA colleagues. From my own experience and what I have heard from others, Bochum certainly has one of the best programs in the NOHA network. I can definitely recommend it. After my second semester in Bilbao, I spent the third semester working with the German Welthungerhilfe in Haiti. After an internship, I was contracted as a consultant to setup and implement a pilot project on Terra Preta-soil construction and -gardening, went to Djibouti and am now working as DRR Delegate for the Swiss Red Cross back in Haiti. The NOHA program in Bochum has taught me professionalism in humanitarian action before even being a professional in this field. I still appreciate the acquired knowledge a lot.

nazanin bagherzadeh  

Why NOHA? Why Bochum?
Nazanin Bagherzadeh, City University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong, China)

My name is Nazanin Bagherzadeh and I'm from Boston, USA. I studied the NOHA Master in Bochum in 2012/2013. The first semester courses in Bochum provided a comprehensive foundation for studying humanitarian issues. I particularly enjoyed studying law and public health, and felt supported by IFHV staff along the way. I spent my third semester in Indonesia, and consistently referred back to what I had learned in Bochum to help me write my thesis. I am now in Hong Kong, working on a PhD on humanitarian aid and North Korea. Studying NOHA in Bochum equipped me to move forward in academia while also connecting with more practical humanitarian knowledge.

diebo longjhon  

Why NOHA? Why Bochum?
Diebo S. LongJohn, Humanitarian Freelancer (Bochum, Germany)

Greetings! My name is Diebo from Nigeria and my NOHA experience was in Bochum in the class of 2013/2014. The NOHA programme was not only excellent in terms of the modules offered, but the friendly atmosphere created by the staff made it conducive for learning. Thanks to NOHA, I met people from all over the world who were not shy to share their views and opinions, broadening my understanding, at the same time preparing me for the work ahead. Above all, NOHA gave me the chance to go to places I would only have dreamed of, like the International Criminal Court and the European Parliarment. I have no doubt that with the knowledge acquired from the NOHA programme, I'm well prepared to contribute to the betterment of humanitarian action.

lily gardener  

Why NOHA? Why Bochum?
Lily Gardener, IFRC (Gaborone, Botswana)

My name is Lily Gardener. I am Australian and was part of the 2014 NOHA intake. What I liked most about the program was meeting people from all over the world who not only challenged my world view but also reinforced many of my ideas about social justice. Classes in Bochum were thought-provoking and not a day went by without a class debate, whether it was about "do-no-harm", "latrines" or the complexity of the "R2P".  So, despite the plain exterior of the city, the people who reside in the "Ruhrpott" are incredibly hospitable and always ready to share a Fiege (locally brewed beer). Now, in my first post NOHA year, I am doing an Australian International Volunteer assignment with the IFRC in Botswana working in the Disaster Management Department for the Southern Africa region.