Student testimonial

Student Jonas - MSc Tourism, Society and Environment

After finishing my bachelor degree with a strong business orientation, I knew that this direction is not what I fully expected to pursue in my future. I was unsure of what I wanted from my future, so I went traveling around North and Central America to ‘discover myself’ and see whether I could navigate to a clearer path for my future. My travels have showed me that there are several things about our consumer society that I’d like to learn more about and see what’s behind it to better understand it. Especially in the sector of tourism, where, coming from a business education, everything seemed very straightforward and profit oriented. However, I wanted to learn more, I wanted to get an insight on whether the reality of tourism is that simple and what is being done to tackle the issues related to our leisure time spent in foreign environments…

My travels have showed me that there are several things about our consumer society that I’d like to learn more about and see what’s behind it to better understand it

The program

…and, as I hoped for and kind of had expected, it turned out to be a lot more complex than I could have imagined. After my first year of pretty much absorbing all new knowledge, I realized I learnt more than I came here for. Even though it was quite an intense year, I got a very enjoyable insight into tourism and leisure research methods, while learning a lot about innovative tourism efforts and endeavors all around the globe. There is, after all, a lot more to tourism than a fresh business graduate, who went to travel to ‘seek himself’, could have imagined.

Experience of Wageningen

Those two years of travelling, however, changed me as a person. For instance, I became more aware of the environment, and started contributing here and there to change how people, including myself, treat it and think about sustaining it. Then later, when I came to Wageningen without any expectations, it immediately felt like I found a place where people are very likeminded in the thoughts I have been discovering in my past two years. Furthermore, any efforts for environmental sustainability and any form of environmental friendly behavior comes so natural here that it almost feels impossible seeing it otherwise anymore. Travelling elsewhere, be it home or just other cities only makes me realize, that there is still a need for more effort, which brings opportunities to us students. Wageningen offers a great spectrum of people from very varied backgrounds, who are at the same time connected with their like-minded attitudes towards our environment and often times, topics of just casual conversations are about various sustainable pro-environment ideas. 

Future plans/ambitions

One of the main reasons why I applied for the program was the vision that once I finish this degree a whole new world of opportunities and ideas for my future paths will emerge.  Although, it seems that it is a bit tricky to combine it with my nomadic and adventurous lifestyle, I am convinced that having this degree will enable me to engage in projects through which I will be able to see the world, while making a difference where it matters.  Even though I have no particular plan for my future yet, I have a long-time fascination for South America and the development of natural reserves in Chile and Argentina, so this is something I would like to engage with and see where it takes me. Studying this program gives me the confidence that I am only a few steps away from laying these new paths and exploring the new opportunities.

Recommendations for future students

Get the most out of your studies at Wageningen University. And when you feel like you are getting enough, get even more.  The opportunities are here….and if not here, getting this degree will lead you to find them elsewhere, but still ‘closer’ than ever.