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Making a difference    Jan 17, 2019

Making a difference
Jan 17, 2019

From Manila to Diepenbeek. An unexpected change in scenery for most but a logical step for Reina Tenorio. Find out how a passion for transportation sciences got her from one side of the globe to the other.


“Why do they call it rush hour, when nothing moves?” – Robin Williams. 

“Everyone who lives in Manila quickly realizes that our current traffic situation is a real issue”, Reina Tenorio explains. “Already at 4 o’clock in the morning, traffic is jammed and people are looking desperately for a parking spot. Traveling by car over a mere distance of 20 km will cost you approximately 4 hours. That’s how out of hand things have gotten in Manila.”

The problems in Manila are caused by a wide variety of factors like poor road infrastructure, non-existing traffic rules, lack of public transport and no facilities for people who travel by bike or foot. “Everyone who lives in our capital knows that things have to change. However, in the Philippines, we simply lack the knowledge about these subjects. By coming to the UHasselt, I am hoping to gain more insight and, in the end, get rid of this dangerous situation in Manila and all the frustrations that come along with it.”


After receiving her degree in civil engineering Reina went on to work for a consultancy company which main focus was to supervise road constructions both at home and abroad. “I have always been interested in mobility sciences and this fascination increased even more over the 4 year period I was working there. As an engineer, my main focus was to use mathematics to create road models. However, I started to wonder about things like: Why are we building a road in that location and why are we constructing it in this manner? These were the subjects I wanted to learn more about.”

The question as to where I wanted to expand my knowledge on these matters was quickly answered for Reina: UHasselt. “I already knew two Filipino students who came to Belgium last year to study the international master of Transportation Sciences and they were really enthusiastic."They told me that during the program, you learn about transportation sciences in a broad manner. From modeling and simulations to the actual investigation of human behavior and how you can modify it, you see it all. They also take a very practical approach to their teaching methods instead of solely relying on theory, which is really refreshing. As a result, I got enthusiastic as well and here I am”, Reina laughs.


“From the moment I arrived, I immediately noticed how different the traffic situation was in Belgium. This on its own was already extremely valuable and inspiring. On top of this, the master is also literally an international one. There are students from all over the world in my class: Bolivia, Peru, Indonesia, … you name it. Getting to know so many amazing people with a different background and story is truly an enriching experience.”

“Yet despite me being used to being on my own, it still feels unreal that I am studying on the other side of the planet, so far away from my loved ones. In the end, it will be worth it, as I am sure that I will be able to use the insights I gain here to make a difference at home.”


Find out more about the international master of Transportation Sciences here.