My name is Melissa Rodriguez Martin, I am a former student of the Master in Urban Planning and Policy Design at Politecnico di Milano. For the summer of 2021, I had the opportunity to work on my Master´s thesis at TU Berlin, having as a supervisor Dr. Houshmand Masoumi. From July to September I worked in the Center for Technology and Society of TU Berlin with the topic of “The Sense of Belonging” having the case studies of Medellin in Colombia and Milan in Italy.
My thesis involved investigation about the concept and the case studies together with surveys that I spread on social media to understand the perception of the inhabitants of both cities about their neighborhoods. Using the answers, I compared them using the Chi-square test to have a statistical base for my findings. Professor Masoumi taught me how to do it using SSPS and introduced me to basic concepts that I was not aware of before my stay in Berlin. The use of different tools helped me to achieve a good result for my Master´s thesis. Despite all the impediments I experienced, the supervision I had in Berlin helped me to transform the difficulties into opportunities. Constantly, my supervisor proposed different paths to achieve my goal in time and form.
I am very grateful to the ide3a team for giving me this opportunity, not only because of the experience abroad but also because of the academic experience. Working with the TU Berlin gave my research a more complete outcome than without the scholarship. I had two supervisors, the other one was from Politecnico, and having both points of view made my research deeper and wider since the research experience of both professors is different.
Berlin is an amazing city with a lot to offer, I was involved in different activities besides the academic field, such as arts and sports. Berlin is a welcoming city for foreign people and there are a lot of different activities to do. I found accommodation through Facebook, I was lucky because the flat was close to the research center. I met many people in different fields and I learned so much from them. My experience in Berlin was positive and I consider that I have grown in so many aspects that I would advise everyone to try to have an opportunity like this one.