Linda Riefling, Germany (Class of 0)

Hello to the vast and diverse Heritage Community and to all of those who want to become part of it - just like me ! 

I am Linda from Dresden (Germany) and I just startet the Master’s Dual Degree Programme World Heritage Studies at BTU Cottbus and Cultural Heritage at Deakin University in Melbourne. I am more than happy and very grateful that I was given the chance to be part of this enriching experience, to meet experts related to cultural and natural heritage, to gain first hand knowledge from professionals all over the world and to actively participate in this wide-ranging and fascinating field as much as possible.

I have a bachelor's degree in Cultural Studies from the Europa-Universität Viadrina in Frankfurt Oder (Germany). Consequently, my academic background is rather broad and covers different aspects of Social Studies and Human Sciences, Urban Studies, Cultural History, History of Arts and Architecture, Museology and Cultural Management. 

In my point of view, the (World) Heritage Studies are the perfect connection of those areas, they offer a unique frame for intercultural and international interacting and cooperation, for exchanging and transferring local, regional and/or national histories and specialities and enable us to discover the world’s history  in general - may it be through architecture, historical sites, objects or through intangible acts, ideas or traditions. I am convinced that thanks to that, it is possible to work on a better and more sustainable future concerning all aspects of life and existing. Thankfully, I have been able to spend a couple of months in New Zealand as well as in Peru. Physically being in these parts of the world, meeting and talking directly to inhabitants and members of different (indigenous) communities and discovering the magnificent cultural landscapes and sceneries in person deeply impressed me. These kind of journeys represent a unique pool of knowledge(sources) and create experiences one cannot achieve by simply reading a book or watching a documentary without ever actively leaving the own - in my case eurocentric - point of view/perspective. By participating in the Dual Degree Programme at BTU Cottbus and DU Melbourne, I hope to further expand my horizons like this . 

My fields of interests are very broad: I would love to engage myself in rising awareness about the manifold cultures and facets our planet has to offer and by doing so, help to create a better understanding among all people. I am interested in how to include historical buildings, sites and spaces into a region or city, so everyone - locals and visitors - can profit from and enjoy it. This is also about promoting and developing rural regions and their traditional essence and turn them, for example, into places of encounter, education and culture. During a volunteering work in Thuringia (Germany) in April 2021, I was given the opportunity to experience the great commitment and passion that can be put in such projects… And there is so much more! 

Therefore, I am extremely excited about the upcoming courses of the Dual Degree Programme in World Heritage Studies and Cultural Heritage which appear to be the best academic training and education I could have hoped for.