Certified Tour Guide

So, I did it! I’ve officially got my Tour Guide certificate!

In Dutch, but it’s a certificate for tour guides from the centre where I studied, and apparently accepted by the European Union 😀

A little bit of background information.
I’ve been wanting to become a tour guide for YEARS now. But due to the current global crisis, I’m not allowed to travel internationally. That’s why I decided to look for an organisation that offered a decently priced yet qualitative education, as a placeholder for getting practical experience for now. After a while, I discovered the’ ‘Centrum voor Afstandsonderwijs‘ which is a centre that offers self study courses with official certificates in the Benelux, once you clear their exams.

Since I graduated from my bachelors last year, I decided to get this certificate – or at least start studying the course. It would fit nicely on my résumé, I thought, so why not go for it? A little after getting the course sent to my home, I decided to go for a university masters degree as well, so the self study got put on the backburner.

But eventually, after my first masters semester, I decided to make work of getting this certificate. I’m still in the second semester for my masters, so I decided to plan the exam during the Easter break, when I’d be free from classes. Since I’m used to university-level exams, this one shouldn’t have been a problem to pass.

The ‘issue’ is that they expected you to get 60% to pass, and at university a 50% is enough to get the credit. This was bothering me a little bit, alongside the fact that I had NO clue what the exam would be like. In retrospect, I maybe should’ve been in contact with the lector. But seeing how it was only a theoretical course, I didn’t think it was necessary.
When I got to the exam centre – it was a written exam in Antwerp, one I couldn’t do online – I still didn’t know what to expect. They handed me the exam and to my surprise, I noticed the ENTIRE exam was just 30 multiple choice questions. I was planning on getting essay questions where I had to explain my reasoning and such, since the theoretical course was focussing a lot on communicative skills. The fact it was all multiple choice meant that it was quite clear which answer was the correct one most of the time. Some questions were worded weirdly, where you basicly had to navigate around a double negative, but once you decyphered it, it became quite clear.

After 15 minutes I was done with the exam and I handed it in. Just a few days later I got my results, saying I ACED 26 out of the 30 questions. Well over the 18 necessary to pass.
All this to basicly say, I can now become a certified tour guide y’all!! So once my masters is over, and once international travel is allowed again, you’d better prepare for travel logs and such on this blog! 😀 Can’t wait!


If anything, I want you to realise that this global crisis doesn’t mean you have to postpone or – God forgive – give up on your dreams. It might take a bit longer than expected, but nothing is stopping you from using this time as a way of bettering yourself and reaching new goals. I was never planning on getting a masters degree, or even a tour guide certificate. But I still went for it. Just as you should go for it! You just got to adjust and plan around the crisis. Never think less of yourself but also keep your goals small and attainable if you’re struggling. Or as Matsuoka Shūzō says 「ネヴァーギヴアップ‼」

I hope this post inspired you a bit, and I’ll see you in my next one!
Dieter

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