You might have read on the blog that the 2nd years are busy with the IFP. Meanwhile the 1st years have been pretty busy themselves too. A month ago we wandered the streets of beautiful Amsterdam. But what does this year’s National Field Project look like?

Let’s start with the topic of this year: memorable tourism experience, beauty of the neighbourhood, and emotions. However, a lot of students included concepts like perceived crowdedness or crowdedness in their study as well. The course started out with introductory lectures on memorable tourism experience and how to write a literature review. We were all assigned a supervisor, started collecting and reading academic articles, and eventually we all produced a literature review.

Time for the exciting part! We went to Amsterdam. This research week started on Monday evening with some drinks in the city. At least for some; those who did not arrive terribly late…missing the train because they were standing on the wrong side of the railway tracks. Shame on me! However, Tuesday morning started off with a nice breakfast. With a sweet good luck message from Pangea we were ready to find our way to the research ‘hotspots’.

Amsterdam_MuseumThis was the tricky part; finding respondents to fill in the questionnaire. That doesn’t seem to be a nice thing to do, at least that is how I thought about it before I tried. But, it is absolutely fun! You get to meet so many different people and hear their stories. I once asked a British-Dutch guy about his experience in Amsterdam and via Kings Day we eventually ended up talking about darts. There are so many great people to be remembered, like the guy from Amsterdam who was showing a family member around at Amsterdam Noord and who gave me great insight in the place and living in Amsterdam. Or the American girl who volunteered to fill in the questionnaire when I was talking to her brother, while their mum was filling in the questionnaire. She overheard our conversation about travelling and our research project and thought that we could use some extra help with our mission. And how about the woman that did not let go of Joëlle? I could have collected at least six more completed questionnaires during the time she talked. If the people I approached said yes, of course…. However, that meant that there was more time for me to listen to their conversation while the woman was filling in the questionnaire.

Of course, being a research is not always fun, especially not when you keep approaching tourists for almost 45 minutes and keep getting ‘no’ for an answer. Or when you are willing to approach tourists, but they are just nowhere to be found. However, collecting great stories like the ones mentioned above have definitely made sure that being a researcher is fun. Said by the girl who kept on telling everyone who wished her a pleasant stay in Amsterdam to better wish her luck 😉

At the moment that I am writing this, it has already been a while since we were in Amsterdam. We have all been digging through the data, running the analyses with the help of SPSS, and finally finished the National Field Project article. And that feels good! There is only one thing left to do: the oral exam. Presenting and defending our research, which is something most of us are currently a bit scared of. One more sleepless night until the exam; wish us luck!

Written by: Kim de Leeuw