Eske Eilts

Environmental Social Sciences with a Year in Professional Practice - BA

This course gives you the skills to be a future environmental leader.

Why did you choose to study this subject at degree level?

I’ve always been into nature and there are a lot of threats to nature and the environment at the moment in the world. This is a global, urgent issue and it’s really necessary to have people in this area. I could have just studied environmental sciences but I’m also really interested in the social interactions with the environment, and different cultures.

What appealed to you about the programme at Kent?

I’m from Germany so originally I was looking for a course there but I couldn’t find anything like this there. There were a couple of similar courses elsewhere in the UK but not exactly like Kent. I came to an open day and had a chance to chat to the professors. It was great to talk to them and after that it was clear I should come to Kent.

What have been the highlights of the programme so far?

I really enjoyed the Contested Environments module in the first term because it was really broad. It looked at things like media coverage of the environment, how it was in the past compared to now, and issues like climate change consciousness and behaviour change.

We’ve also had field trips, for example to farms around Kent and to Folkestone, a coastal town, to see what’s happening there about eco-tourism. We’re not just sitting here reading; we’re also getting out there and getting people’s real opinions and a practical viewpoint.

I enjoy how broadly based the course is because it’s interdisciplinary and it focuses on global problems, not just what’s in your own backyard. As well as opening your eyes to global challenges, the course gives you the skills to be a change maker and a future environmental leader.

Will you do a year of professional practice after your second year?

Yes, it’s a great opportunity and part of the reason I chose Kent. I’d like to go abroad, maybe to South America and work in the rainforest or something like that. The programme’s really flexible and you don’t have to decide until nearer the time.

What do you do outside of your studies?

I’ve joined societies like swing dance, yoga and the Conservation Society. Also in my free time I’m really into environmental activism. I’m really passionate about it, and there’s so much you can do, such as starting projects and going to strikes and protests.

What advice would you give a new student about settling in to university life?

Choose to study something you’re passionate about, not because you want to earn a lot of money afterwards. As long as you like it, you’ll enjoy studying.

And don’t be afraid. Everyone is new to university life. I joined some group chats when I arrived and people would meet up and have a few drinks. There are people I met on the first night that I’m still friends with now. Speak to people on your course, join societies and you’ll meet people.