Friday & Saturday / Last evening and trip home

Hi everyone!

Friday night:
After the official ending at school we all went to the city center of Middelburg by bikes. We built two groups, one of them went to Floris’ house and the other one went to a café in town. The group by Floris did a campfire, sang songs and ate popcorn. We also played card-games with “Jasskarten” and were laughing a lot. It was a lot of fun and a special last evening. The other group at the café drank quite a lot of hot chocolates and non-alcohol-drinks like “safe sex on the beach”. They were having a good time, too. We think that all of us had a special last evening with the Dutch friends and slept a bit less then the other nights.

Saturday / Trip home:
We met each other at the train station at 9:55am. Now it was time to say good bye to our host families. We regrouped in a big circle, held hands and then everyone shook hands or hugged his or her host-brother / host-sister and said good bye. Then we took our luggage and went on the train. We were waving a lot and happy to know that we’ll see our host-brothers / sisters in Switzerland again. Philipp’s host-brother was running next to the train and was waving like crazy.:)

After one hour we arrived in Rosendaal and changed trains. Everyone was getting a bit nervous and afraid, because of the strike in Germany. In s-Hertogenbosch we had to change trains again, this time to a DB-train to Frankfurt….. Mr. Brugger went to the ticket desk and asked for our train to Frankfurt. The person behind the desk told him that there was NO TRAIN! For our luck Mr. Brugger asked to control that with the computer and luckily there really was a train going to Frankfurt. When he came back to our group he told us what happened and stopped after the NO-TRAIN, so everyone was shocked and we thought we have to stay here waiting for the next train until Sunday. But then he told us the end of the story and everybody was very happy! 🙂

In the ICE we had a reserved seats, so some of us were a bit disappointed because we only had 2 seats next to each other which made it not so easy to talk with the rest of the group. But we found little radios next to our seat and we could listen to music and stories about Christmas and Peter Pan. But we think the machine was broken because the quality was bad. Anyway, later we played games like “Stadt, Land, Fluss”. Others were talking, some were reading on others were listening to music.

In Frankfurt we changed the train to Basel SBB (ICE again). We were lucky because everything was working like on the plan. Now we’re sitting in the train to Basel SBB and are writing this text. We are looking forward to see our families. We really had a wonferdul week and we’re happy to see the Dutch students again in April. A big THANK YOU ALL for this awesome week!

Rahel & Malin

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Some quotes by students on the trip home:

“We had great evenings with mixed groups of Dutch and Swiss students. It was so great we will never forget that!”.

“The day in Den Haag was very nice and we had beautiful evenings in restaurants with our new friends.”.

“Thursday was the best day because we have never been riding tandems before. We will never forget that week!”.

“The film about the flood of 53 was impressive! A bit too dramatic, too.”.

Things we’re looking forward at home:
– Zopf
– my own room
– my family
– the own bed
– Swiss chocolate

Friday / Sports day & last evening

Hi everybody!

Today we could sleep an hour longer, the sports day started at 9:30am. They welcomed us with a really fun warm-up and dance.

At Taekwondo we learned how to fight. The blind-volleyball was very funny to play because we didn’t see what the other group was doing. At the dance-lesson we learned a choreography from a Dutch dance-group. It was very funny but a little bit difficult. The Dutch games we played were skipping rope, hola hoop, tug war (Seilziehen) and other small games. At 2:00pm we finished and went home again.

Some of us stayed at home, others went to the city. At 6:00pm we went back to school and got a delicious american-style dinner. An american-style dinner ist that everyone brings some food for 3-4 persons. After dinner we listened to another song performed in the classroom. Miëtte sang, Thijn played the guitar, Philippe played drums and Delano, too.

Then we went to the mensa. The other exchange students sang some songs, we were having fun and a little party together. In the end, Miëtte and a friend of her sang a song again and then we could go home.

It was an awesome last day with  much sport and fun.

Virgilia & Nicole

Thursday / Tandem day

Hi there!

We had to be at school at 8:30am, which is late when we compare it with the start of our school in Switzerland. We were one hour at school, where we learned some new Dutch words again, which is funny every morning. A few people created small plastic-windmills to put them on the bikes later. We also read some blog texts from the last days and it was really funny to look at our pictures.

After that we went to the bicycle renting station in Burgh Haamstede (Schouwen-Duiveland) by bus. By the way: two Dutch teachers live there. After one small crash we arrived at a tower near the sea and we went up there. Later we visited “Oosterschelde”, which is one of the huge dikes in that area. After that stop some of us went the wrong way into an dead end and we had to wait for them.

Later we went to an old windmill which also had a restaurant. We were taken on a tour into the windmill and had some delicious pancakes for lunch. We continued our tandem tour and stopped somewhere at the beach. It was really special because all of us were there and after many hours cycling in the fog finally the sun was shining.  Close to the beach, we went to a lovely pub and warmed ourselves with a hot chocolate. or just drank a Cola. After that we had new power to ride our tandems, which was so funny because it’s hard to ride.

Finally we went to the family-house of one of the Dutch teachers, met his mother his father there and cleaned our tandems. They offered us a snack and we also got a lovely souvenir as a present. After that we brought our tandems to the renting-station and got back into the bus.

It was a really funny day, mostly because of the cycling with tandems.

Janick, Andi & Joel

Wednesday / Den Haag

Hi everyone!

Today we went to Den Haag. We met each other at school at 7:45am.

When we arrived at Den Haag we started with a city walk. First, we were going to a the Knight hall at the Dutch Parliament where our guide told us many things about the Dutch politics. Once a year, the king comes to the Hall of Knights and delivers a speech in the beautiful hall.

Then we walked to the Swiss embassy where we rang the bell. A man opened the door and to our surprise two students where allowed to get in. It was really awesome that they went to Swiss territory. After a few minutes they came back, told us what happened and we went on.

Later we saw the big working palace of the king. We knew that he was really there because the flag was on the roof. Next we visited another museum next to the Peace Palace. It’s very important because the International Court of Justice is here and it tries to solve conflicts without war. Everyone got an audio guide here. Teacher’s comment: after a while Jana’s audio guide started giving information in Chinese which was big fun!

After the arrival at the “Mesdag” we went through the exhibition with some paintings and photographs. But our real favorite was the famous and impressive Panorama – painting. It looked fabulous and extremely realistic! It felt like being there at the beach! After that beautiful view we had some free time. Most students went shopping souvenirs like Stroopwaffels for friends and family.

We think everybody had fun. Now we’re sitting in the coach and are watching the traffic jam. It was the best day till now.

Tamara, Jana & Kristina

Link to the Mesdag-Panorama:
http://panorama-mesdag.com

Link to the awesome artist who showed his work as well:
http://ready2amaze.wordpress.com

Tuesday / All about floods and Vlissingen

Hi there!

Today I had a Dutch speciality for breakfast: a slice of bred with Hagelslag on it. That’s “Schoggistreuseli” – i really loved it!

At 8:30am, we met each other at school. We were listening to some more presentations, the topics of today were Second World War, the flood of 53, Den Haag and the Flora and Fauna of the Netherlands. Furthermore, we showed our exchange-friends our blog and now we’re hoping that they’ll leave a comment. Suddenly, the Dutch students covered a song for us again – it was very impressive. To finish the morning at school, we had to translate the national anthem of the Netherlands to English in a competition.

Later we went to the cinema in Vlissingen by bus. There were Swiss, Italian, Spanish and Dutch students. It was quite loud and hot in the bus. In the cinema we were watching a movie about the horrible storm in 53. The film was very interesting, scary and sad at the same time. It was touching because it’s based on a real thing.

After the movie we went to the sea and ate our lunch. We had french fries, sandwiches and swiss chocolate.

Later we did a city walk which showed us the center a bit but mainly we were walking along the beautiful sea. Now we’re on our way back to school in Middelburg and are writing this text. At school we’re going to take our bikes and go home to our families.

It was a beautiful day with many new impressions of the Netherlands.

Gloria, Larissa & Mirjam

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Winner of the anthem-translation is group E with 70 points: congratulations!

Wilhelmus from Nassouwe
am I from German blood
fatherlands trust
I will stay until the death
a prince of orange
I am free, unfired
The king of Spain
I have always honored

Monday – Nehalennia & City Walk in Middelburg

Hello out there!

At morning, we went to the extremely big school called “Nehalennia”. We think around 1000 students go to school there, that’s very impressive! The Dutch students did some presentations about the Zeeland (f.e. about the history, culture, geography and so on). Furthermore, in a speed-dating they have showed us typical Dutch things. After that, we played some typical games from the Netherlands which was a nice experience. To our own surprise we already knew some of them, like “Zapfejass”. Others were totally new.

At 12 o’ clock we had a quick lunch at the big school mensa with a lot of other guys from all around Europe.

Later we went on a boat trip through the city on the so called “Grachten”. Every time we passed a bride we had to duck our heads a lot – these bridges were really low. The next activity was a city-walk. Dutch students organized the walk by themselves and presented some highlights, for example the yard of Roosevelt College, the narrow roads of the old town, a very creepy church: it had a skeleton above the entrance door. Last but no least, the major of Middelburg officially welcomed us to his city in the beautiful old town hall.

Now we’re writing this blog text in a nice café while drinking a hot chocolate. We’re looking forward to another great day in Middelburg.

Benjamin, Mika & Philipp

Sunday – Family day

Hello everyone!

After a long trip we finally arrived at Middelburg at 12 o’ clock. The Dutch students, their parents and the teachers were already expecting us. The principal of the project welcomed  us and gave us some important infos. The whole welcoming at the station was a real highlight: we felt very welcomed after a few moments, everyone was friendly, they even prepared small confetti-bombs for us.

First, my host family took me to their home. After lunch we went to Middelburg City Center and met other students (always a tandem of Dutch and Swiss student). We had a look at the city together and played some card games. To learn these new games was one of  my highlights so far, because first of all, the cards are different to ours, they had to explain in English and so it was difficult and funny at the same time.

Later we met even more exchange-students in town and we were talking and having fun a lot.

After this busy day we all went to bed early because we were tired. It was great first day in Holland. 🙂

Svenja & Lea

PS: teacher’s comment:
We also had our “family day”. Cornelius took us to Vlissingen, we enjoyed a delicious lunch in a restaurant in a former train station. After that we were ready for a wonderful boat cruise to the other side (Breskens) and back again. It was just fantastic. The pictures show our day.

Trip to Middelburg

Hello everyone!

Yesterday, the time had come to leave our families for one week and start the adventure. At 7:30pm, we left Andelfingen and went to Zurich main station to change to the connecting night-train to Amsterdam. We were shocked about the small size of the couchette. We were talking to each other until 10pm. Later, we tried to sleep but some people fell out of the bed which made us laugh a lot. In addition, one of us woke up in another bed in the cabin and didn’t know why, which was a bit creepy. We had a very short but funny night.

At 7:45am, we got up. Unfortunately, our train had a one hour delay, so we had to change trains in Arnhem instead of Amsterdam. Everyone was happy in that new train, because free Wifi was available. The teachers were not so happy about that and we put our smartphones away :). Then we were playing a game called “Black Stories” to kill time until our arrival. Slowly, we got more nervous.

By the way: we knew that the Netherlands is a flat country, but we didn’t expect it THAT flat.

It was a funny journey and night. We hope that this week is going to be awesome.

Leona & Vivienne