The Side Job: Robin leads guided tours

Robin Bredero earns a living as a Campus Tour Guide.
Photo: Guy Ackermans

Who: Robin Bredero
What: giving guided tours of the campus
Why: the campus is full of interesting things to tell people about
Hourly wage: 20 euros per hour

You’ve got to make ends meet somehow. We can all borrow from Uncle Duo, but there are also students who earn money in unusual ways. In this series, we put some interesting side jobs in the spotlight. This time we meet Robin Bredero (28), a Master’s student of Forest and Nature Management, and of Ethnobotany, who earns a living as a Campus Tour Guide.

‘A wide variety of groups sign up for a tour, from business partners of the university to government delegations, university alumni or high school students. I once showed staff from the South Korean Ministry of Agriculture around. A tour lasts an hour and the content depends a bit on the group. With business contacts, I mainly focus on the commercial activity on the campus. If they are prospective students, I also tell them about student life. Schoolkids tend to run around and all they really want to do is to eat burgers. The really nice groups are the international guests who have never been to the Netherlands before. I have to work hard to keep those people alive, because they nearly get run over by cyclists all the time.

Schoolkids tend to run around and all they really want to do is to eat burgers

‘During a tour, I talk about the history of the university, and about current Wageningen issues as well. The sustainability of the campus comes up too. We’ve got a thermal energy storage system, for instance, in which excess heat is pumped 90 metres underground in summer and brought back up in winter. And there are so many fun facts to tell people about the buildings, such as how the names are related to the architecture or the purpose of the building: Omnia means everything and this building is the big central meeting place, while the building called Lumen has a lot of glass and light. I also talk about mistakes in building designs: Atlas was supposed to be covered in plants, but there was too much of a risk that the plants would damage the concrete. And do you know why the toilets in Leeuwenborch are in such odd places? Because, the story goes, they weren’t included in the original building plan.

‘As a campus guide, I represent the university. Sometimes I find it hard to keep my personal opinion to myself, especially when people ask for it. Concerning all the companies that are on campus, for example. Personally, I have some reservations about that, but I can still explain why WUR opts to have them here.’

Are you or do you know someone with an interesting side job? Send an email to

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