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Tijmen Traanman: I was certain I wanted to study this master

Date:14 December 2021
Tijmen Traanman, MSc Tourism Geography and Planning
Tijmen Traanman, MSc Tourism Geography and Planning

Tijmen Traanman is a current Master’s student in the MSc. Tourism, Geography and Planning. He comes from the bachelor in Human Geography and Planning at the University of Groningen and has always been interested in the relationship between people and places. Tijmen enjoys the atmosphere in the north of Netherlands and his master’s programme he has never had any doubts about following.

Truly interdisciplinary

courses and a variety of topics

In the first term I really liked the course Places, Regions and Identities, because it investigates the relationship between place and how it interplays with other regions in a cultural, social and economic way. In this term we have a Sustainable Tourism and Regional Development course, where you learn about how tourism can help a region to develop in a sustainable way both socially and economically. For someone who enjoys interdisciplinary studies, Campus Fryslân is really the place to be. Even within one course so many approaches and frameworks are coming into play. One week you will have a guest lecture in sociology, another week in landscape history, and a week after – in economic geography. It gives you a very good and thorough overview of the topics so later in your individual work you can choose one and go more in-depth with it.

Places and their narratives

So far I am most interested in… It is very specific, a more sociological approach to how language shapes the way people anticipate certain regions to be. There is a spatial connection to it and this is how it has to do with cultural geography. This phenomenon can be observed on both macro and micro scale. Within a province, country and internationally there are places people are talking about that they are “left-behind”, “lacking”, they would say “oh, you don’t want to go there”.  And the way people talk about it may also be something that influences the development of the policies. For example, someone would say about certain regions that they are not able to develop on their own and they need outside money and people from outside telling them what to do. But very often it is just an assumption coming from the negative narrative. It is also an important topic in terms of overtourism and subsequent attempts to spread the tourists. And people can be very stubborn in this regard but you could try and challenge it.

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Investigating relationships between places and people

For someone with a background in geography, sociology or anthropology, who likes investigating relationships between places and people I’d say this is the best pogramme they can think of. But if it is clear for you that you would like to be a tourism coordinator for example, a tourism management related study will be more suitable.
I am happy that the master is more focused on the relationship between places and people because I have always found it fascinating, and because I see myself rather as a geographer than a tourism-researcher. 

Tijmen’s typical day

On my typical day I arrive here by train, go to the Beurs and have a coffee with my group mates before the lectures. Because it is so small-scale, everyone is basically with each other, talking to each other about the weekend  or some plans after the classes. Then we have our lectures, with some coffee breaks and nice conversations. Most of the time if I’m done with the classes at 13:00 or 15:00, but I would stay here and work in the Beurs for a couple more hours to prepare for the next day for example, because I’m already in the studying mindset. And also in hear it is quiet but also not too quiet, which makes for a great study environment. And then afterwards I take my train home or I have coffee or a few beers in the city centre with a few people in Leeuwarden. And then afterwards I would either crash here or will take the last train home.

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Tijmen’s favourite travel destinations

 I’m really Eurocentric, I haven’t been outside Europe that much yet, and I also feel like there is still enough of Europe to discover. Besides, here I don’t feel like an intruder, whereas in other regions I wouldn’t like interfering in the course of people’s lives.

  • In terms of relaxation I like France best. This is down to the memories from my childhood when we used to always go to France with my family. But all of the Mediterranean is really nice. And now, because I’m also a cyclist I like to take a bike to France and go cycling there.
  •  In terms of city trips I’m really into football tourism. So we go to England or to Germany for a day or a weekend trip to really dive into the football culture.  In England it is very different to what it is in the Netherlands .  In England it is more about the atmosphere - you sing chants with everyone, people come to the stadium with their whole families, everyone is buzzing for the game.
  • I’ve got some family in Australia. So I still have a to go there for a longer period. That’s on my wish list. 

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