Alumni Testimonials
and Stories

Testimonials

Levent Tökün, Turkey (Class of 2020)

"At #BTU, I most liked about my diverse and hardworking colleagues, where I felt no discrimination or any kind of unrest. Being a large, colorful and warm family was the most inspiring and significant aspect of my study." - Levent

Loredana Scuto, Italy (Class of 2020)

  • Origins: Catania, Italy
  • Home University: BTU Cottbus - Senftenberg
  • Exchange year: 2018
  • Graduation year: 2020

"I have always been fascinated by culture and heritage since I was a kid. I would spend all my time drawing, painting and going to exhibitions with my dad. Therefore, the decision to pursue a career in heritage came with no surprise. In order to 'spice things up', I decided to incorporate an economic component to culture, and as of today, I am extremely grateful I took this decision." - Loredana

New:

Look here how Loredana's concept of Heritage changed after the #HeritageDualDegree here. 

Tanja Ehrlein, Germany (Class of 2017)

"Heritage is one of many thousands of puzzle pieces that make up me as a human being and as a potential cultural user - an audience. Heritage sites are testimonies from the past and thus evidence of the experiences that other people have had before you. Heritage, whether tangible or intangible, is not rigid but changeable and must always be re-examined from the perspective of „right-now“, considering the diversity of our society. Only in this way, heritage can convey important messages and, above all, still be relevant for the debates and developments of future generations.”

Jaq Anderson, Australia (Class of 2020)

From film editing to heritage, how? Jaq, Our Alumni from Deakin University, Australia, tells us how life led her to enter this field.

"I started off wanting to get into film editing. Unfortunately, I was unable to get my foot into any kind of volunteer work, so before I finished I switched to my back up. I had always loved history but didn't want just a Bachelor of Arts, so went for a Bachelor of Archaeology and haven't looked back since.

Where I have ended up has just been a matter of apply for everything that has come my way, even if I doubted my experience/qualification level. This has led me to multiple opportunities which I hadn't expected to get, chances to network, opened up new positions and roles. Some of these roles have also allowed me to utilise my background in media."
 

Isabelle Rupp, USA/Austria (Class of 0)

Meet Isabelle Rupp (@isabelle_cr ).

She is Austrian-American and grew up in different countries like the USA, Jordan, Sudan, Germany and France. She is a citizen of the world!. Isabelle studied an undergraduate degree in Anthropology and Classics in the United States and was working in South Korea for a year.

In 2019, she entered the Master of Arts in World Heritage Studies at #BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg. She was one of five selected from 2020 to pursue the dual program in heritage in Germany and Australia. She travelled to Melbourne in March 2020 and experienced the first wave of #COVID19 there with her BTU colleagues.

After this experience in Deakin, museum-related classes are her favourite, and her idea of Heritage has been expanded, as she now has a perception of the Asia-Pacific region.

Know more about here experience in the #heritageDualDegree during the Pandemic and why she decided to get close to the Heritage field. 

Desirée Buentello Garcia, Mexico (Class of 2018)

Travel across the world to do the #HeritageDualDegree? That's exactly what Desiree Buentello from Mexico did. It's a great day to say ¡Hola! to our Alumni of the Week!

Desiree is a conservator and restorer from #Mexico and today she tells us why she made the decision to travel across several continents to do the dual Master's degree in heritage at BTU Cottbus-Senftenberg and Deaking University:

"I was, and still am interested in understanding how local and global contexts offer diverse ways of approaching heritage. As a conservator-restorer, I am used to work with the physical matter, but with the Dual Degree, I was aiming to detach myself from the material form of heritage. This has given me the chance to critically explore what heritage is and lean my practice towards a more people-centred approach." - Desirée
 

Bisrat Kebede, Ethiopia (Class of 0)

What is the role of Heritage professionals? 

This is one of the questions we ask ourselves the most when we are in the heritage field, and today we want to share with you what our #HeritageDualDegree Alumni Bisrat shared with us on the topic. 

"We are working with the local people wherever we go. We have to know that they are the experts, and we are just helpers". 

Bisrat, who currently works with @Unesco #Ethipia as an intern, started the #HeritageDualDegree at #BTU in the World Heritage Studies' Masters Degree, and in 2020 he made his exchange at Deakin, where he went deep on the importance of communities. For him, communities are the base of #Heritage. 

Watch this clip of Bisrat, and stay tuned for his full interview: https://www.instagram.com/p/CTz08eKlDAj/ 

Sarah Schwarz, Germany (Class of 0)

"I remember an experience that brought me closer to heritage. During my Bachelor studies in architecture, I made an exchange semester to Indonesia. This university in Indonesia taught completely different subjects in the field of architecture than my German university. I gained an incredible insight into their traditional concepts and building techniques. In a study project, I even had the chance to design my own building that combined modern and traditional concepts. This experience with the tangible and intangible aspects brought up my passion and interest for vernacular architecture and heritage at all.

I think a master’s degree in Heritage is a great add-on to a bachelor’s degree in architecture. I decided to go in this direction after my experience in Indonesia." - Sarah

 

Ivan Enev, Bulgaria (Class of 2016)

“Imagine having a dream of a distant land – a dream that takes you back to your childhood: irrational, intensive, colourful and warm. Many years later you have left it behind, walking a path that seems to lengthen the distance between you and that blurry childhood dream. This was me and my dream of Australia, almost inherent to my mind – a dream or a memory? I cannot tell. Later on, my architectural education provoked me to start looking at my future from a different angle – rational, organised, sketchy, decorous... and local. This meant Bulgaria, or Europe at the very most. What eventually brought me to Australia, was my fascination with cultural heritage, with the charm of ancient sites and the mystery of agelong cultural traditions. Following a brief professional experience in the field of architectural conservation, I was fortunate to be accepted into the Dual Master’s Degree Programme (DMDP). Today I see this experience as a milestone in my development – both professional and personal; as a rewarding synthesis of multidisciplinary knowledge and transformative encounters with people, places and cultures.

The DMDP is based on a holistic academic approach, which seeks to combine the best practices from the European and Australian heritage field. It offers a rare opportunity for rich intercultural exchange at both academic and personal level. It has helped me gain a deeper and more comprehensive reading of heritage – one that more closely relates to UNESCO’s urge for inclusive and balanced approach in defining and promoting the topic. Somewhat unexpectedly, the DMDP has also given me the chance to compare different education methodologies and practical issues in the heritage field. Looking back at the curricula, I see that the disciplines “Intangible Heritage” and “Understanding Significance” were a great part of my motivation to apply for the DMDP – a whole new side to heritage for those, educated in the fabric- and authenticity-focused European approaches to defining and looking after heritage. And finally, amongst the greatest assets of the DMDP is the rather unusual combination of high academic standards and warm informal attitude of many lecturers and academic staff at both BTU and DU.”

Angela Jones, UK (Class of 2018)

“The dual degree programme was such an amazing other level to an already fascinating degree. Being part of the Cultural Heritage programme at Deakin University meant access to a wealth of expertise, rich class discussions and absorbing field visits.  I also managed to secure a place on the ICOMOS mentoring programme which is offered annually and really gets under the skin of heritage legislation in Victoria, heritage impact assessments and conservation management plans.  I also secured some awesome voluntary positions at 3 amazing World Heritage sites in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales; Port Arthur, Tasmania; and Shark Bay, Western Australia. Being part of the programme meant it was possible for me to experience urban, cultural, natural, marine and intangible world heritage values, which have rounded and expanded my enthusiasm and love of the field even further.”

Alumni Stories

Levent Tökün,
Turkey

"I always loved global history, which is quite diverse but also connected to one another. Yet, rather than studying it as a war/conflict history which is highly chronological and one-sided, I chose to study the materials that humans produced for different purposes in the history. That is why, archaeology and history of art or cultural heritage provided me the ...

Read More

Taryn Culbert,
Australia

“The Dual Degree Programme is the opportunity to be immersed in a nurturing, challenging and immeasurably rewarding educational framework. The combination of the World Heritage and Cultural Heritage curricula has allowed me to more fully comprehend the scope of heritage and the practical tools available for its protection. The cross-cultural learning environment has ...

Read More

Gayathri Hegde,
India

“I am currently employed as a Heritage Conservator (Conservation and Heritage Management) with GN Heritage Matters, Bangalore, India. In working with different heritage sites, my job allows me to utilise the understanding and skills acquired through the dual-degree program. Notably in engaging with the World Heritage site at Hampi, I am able to employ a comprehensive ...

Read More

Gabrielle Harrington,
Australia

“As I have just completed my dual Masters this June, I am currently looking towards expanding my practical experience in the heritage industry. Presently, I work as an Education Officer at the University of Sydney Museums an das a Curriculum Program Deliverer at Sydney Living Museums. As a result of my dual award experience I have discovered that I have a passion for ...

Read More

Angela Jones,
UK

“During my six month stay in Australia I made sure to take the opportunity to gather experience at some of the many World Heritage Sites Australia has to offer. I squeezed in three unique volunteer roles, in three completely different environments, each with distinct management systems.

The first was at the World Heritage Institute in Katoomba, in the spectacular ...

Read More

Lea Brönner,
Germany

Lea Brönner is a cultural officer, currently working in Cultural and Events Management at a retirement home in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. While her former experience was mainly based on intercultural exchange in an international context, she is currently trying to grasp the role and potential of intergenerational work in German society. She is interested in personal ...

Read More

Laura Brandt,
Germany

“The dual award and especially my volunteering positions heavily influenced my choice of the research topic for my MA thesis. My experience in the dual award influenced and changed my area of interest for future career jobs. I’m currently working as a tour guide in two museums and together with a former classmate I also work on a project following a successful site ...

Read More

Bethany Exiner,
Australia

“I am currently working for Archaeology at Tardis, an archaeological and heritage consulting company in Melbourne. I work on a number of projects around Victoria, undertaking sample and salvage excavations in accordance with the Cultural Heritage Management Plans.”

Alumni Wisdom:
Use the other students in the program for support. You will all be an invaluable comfort ...

Read More

Tyler Whitmarsh,
Australia

“As a career driven person, world-renowned heritage programmes, universities and lecturers was an unmissable opportunity. I am extremely thankful the Dual Degree is no ordinary Master’s degree as the first year alone has given me more experience than I ever thought possible! The constant support of a close knit (but huge) community of friends and lecturers has made ...

Read More