Alumnus testimonial

Testimonial Daniek Nijland - MSc Cultural Geography

I’m currently following an MSc in Cultural Geography at the Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.

During the bachelor I had become most interested in the social implications and considerations of tourism

The MSc in Cultural Geography focuses on people’s attachment to place in relation to spatial transformations and livability. I like it a lot that I can combine my knowledge and interests from my bachelor with the study field of my master programme. During the bachelor I had become most interested in the social implications and considerations of tourism.  I was also very enthusiastic about the Tourism Geographies course, in which especially the human geography part captured my interest. I wanted to do a master programme in another discipline that could somehow be combined with tourism in my future career, to broaden my horizon. Next to my studies I’m representing our class in the educational committee and I’m a personal tutor in foreign languages for high school pupils. I must say though, that my master requires a lot more time and effort than my bachelor.

Role of BTO in career development

The bachelor has given me a broad and holistic view of the field of tourism. Next to that, it has provided me with the opportunity to develop academic research skills that I needed to enroll in the master programme of my choice. I have been taught to think critically, holistically and across disciplines. In my opinion, these skills are a crucial basis for obtaining my master degree. Courses such as Tourism Geographies and Tourism Destination Management have helped me to discover my interest in people-place relationships. I also talked to lecturers from the Cultural Geography Chair Group at Wageningen University to get to know more about the discipline. I became all the more enthusiastic and began to look for master programmes in Human Geography. One master programme fitted my interests completely, and so I decided to enroll in the Cultural Geography programme in Groningen.

Student life

The International Field Project is something I will never forget. It was an amazing experience which combined fun, sight-seeing and relaxation with culture shocks, hard work, and many opportunities to learn. Furthermore, I liked the small-scale and personal approach of the programme, its international character and the fact that we had a real class. Also, the international team of lecturers has brought a great variety of views into the programme.

Future plans

After finishing my master programme I would like to go abroad for a while to do an internship or a temporary job to gain experience in the field. After having discovered a bit of the world I would like to settle down in The Netherlands and work for a consultancy agency dealing with the fields of landscape planning, tourism, and/or cultural geography. That way I hope to be able to go abroad once in a while and to work on a variety of projects throughout several fields.

Advice for future graduates

I would strongly advise current BTO students to start thinking about the sort of master programme you would like to do as soon as possible, and at least in the second year of your bachelor programme. Since I had made my decision for a master programme somewhere in the middle of the second year already, I was able to design my minor in such a way that it allowed me to gain 30EC in geography-related courses, which I needed to meet the master’s admission requirements. Most master programmes require at least 30 EC in relevant courses and your minor provides a great opportunity to collect them during your bachelor, in order to avoid having to follow any kind of pre-master programme after graduation.