Student - November 30, 2017

YOU on campus - This is my vision

Anne van der Heijden

Joshua Wanbugu (34) is in the second year of his MSc in Leisure, Tourism & Environment, and therefore also in his second year in the Netherlands. ‘People are very welcoming, which is nice. In Kenya, where I come from, there is always a lot of social life. So it’s very nice for me that people are friendly here too.’

Photo Anne van der Heijden

Wambugu’s convivial nature is obvious from his hobby: cooking. ‘I invite a few friends round for a meal and we exchange stories.’ In other ways his activities have changed a bit since he came to the Netherlands – he cycles much more here than he did in Kenya, for instance. One thing that hasn’t changed is his love of birds. ‘I don’t have as much time for bird-watching here, but I enjoy watching the ducks on the campus pond sometimes.’

The campus is not the only thing Wambugu likes about Wageningen University. ‘I enjoy my Master’s programme. Tourism and conservation combine well: people can enjoy nature as tourists and help to protect it at the same time.’ He is also impressed by the diversity here. ‘There is a diversity of people, subjects and knowledge.’

Wambugu is chair of UCAS (United Community of African Students), where he works to promote integration and internationalization in Wageningen. ‘I want to help students in Wageningen to understand the stories, the people and the diversity of Africa. Some people see Africa as one big country, but it has lots of countries, cultures and potential.’

My aim is to inform, educate and involve people

‘My aim is to inform, educate and involve people. The elections give me a good starting point for going to people and saying: ‘I am one of your sons, I come from your village, I understand your problems, and this is my vision.’