Sumya Sydunnaher


Sumya Sydunnaher


Project Officer


Community Reconstruction Center (CRC),

Khulna, Bangladesh




Society and Economics


Sustainable Development Management (M.A.)

Date of the interview

July 2022


You earned a degree in Sustainable Development Management from Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences. What motivated you to do your masters in Germany?

There are several reasons that motivated me to pursue my master’s degree at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences in Germany. First, I came to know about the DAAD programme from a seminar held by the German Embassy at my home university. Second, my husband, who is also a DAAD scholar, encouraged me to apply. Third, I was looking for a subject related to Development Studies, and I found Germany offers the best programs in this subject area. Lastly, the opportunity to travel around Europe also motivated me to apply for a master’s programme in Germany.

Looking back at your master’s programme – how would you rate it in terms of subjects and atmosphere? What did you enjoy most?

I appreciated the diversity of the programme, both in terms of academic as well as participants. The academic atmosphere is exceptional; however, initially, I found the university support services difficult to avail. Lack of housing for the students was also a downer. Because of COVID, I could only experience the actual campus for six months. 

I enjoyed the transportation system connecting the university and shopping areas. During the first year, I lived far from the university, out in a rural area. I enjoyed the countryside very much.

You received the EPOS scholarship from the DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service). Can you tell us more about the purpose of the scholarship and how you benefitted from it?

More than an academic exchange, I found the EPOS scholarship was also a door to cultural exchange. I had many encounters with German culture and family environments. Similarly, I was able to make many international friends, too.

Currently, you are working as a project officer at the Community Reconstruction Center (CRC) in Khulna, Bangladesh. What are your main tasks?

I am working for a “Sanitation Behaviour Change Project” funded by the Japan Association of Drainage and Environment (JADE). My main task is to prepare weekly or monthly project progress reports, checking the problems occurring at the field level. I often facilitate workshops and FGDs with the community as well.

Which competences did you acquire during your studies that are particularly useful for your career?

The programme taught me to conceptualize different perspectives of development and to push for a more grounded understanding of development.

Could you imagine working in Germany? Why or why not?

Yes, I can. I am qualified to work for any international development organization. However, the lack of advanced German language proficiency can be a crucial factor. I look forward to pursuing PhD in Germany, actually.

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences?

The falling leaves by the canal turning everything yellow!!