At the beginning, our buddies and we were not best friends but that feeling changed quickly over the week. We got to know each other very fast because of cool activities we did together. Staying with them was an amazing experience because talking English the whole time helped us to get more self-confident and it also was a lot of fun making new friends from a different country. We are looking forward to seeing them again in May 2020.
(Konstantin 9d & Lou Maximilian 9b)
The Over-Betuwe College
The Over-Betuwe College was very special for us because of all the differences we noticed. It already started with the way to school, where the students cycled in a group of at least four, without even causing an accident! They always cycled next to each other, so we had to get used to that first. After the 40-minute ride, we arrived at school. School-life is very relaxed in the colourful building, with nice teachers and the opportunities they have to learn. For example, they could use their phones, whenever they had to research something. Also, teachers create their lessons with a lot of digital material, which is really nice in our opinion.
On our first day of visiting our exchange buddies in the Netherlands we took a look at their school and participated in a Delftware workshop. First we designed our plate on a piece of paper. Then we started to paint Delft Blue on the plates. I (Patricia) decided to draw a windmill next to a river.
(Emilija 9e & Patricia 9d)
The Hague (Den Haag)
One day we spent in The Hague. It is an amazing city, because it has narrow streets with old houses in a nice building style. We saw famous buildings like the International Court of Justice or the Royal Palace. The city is full of life and much more beautiful than Berlin. We took very many pictures, because we liked the old architecture and it was our first visit there. Last but not least, there are good shopping oppportunities for clothes, postcards or presents or for other things. We liked The Hague very much.
(Costa & Merle 9b)
Openlucht Museum in Arnhem
On Friday the 13th we visited an outdoor museum, which shows how people lived in the Netherlands in the past. Together with our exchange partners we had to solve multiple crime cases with the help of hints in different locations. This task was a real life mediation task for which we had to communicate in English in our groups to be able to give the correct answers. (The app was in Dutch only.) We enjoyed the games we could play in the exhibition centre the most and hope to do it again sometime.
(Alessia & Minh 9b)
Our cycling tour in the Betuwe
We also did a cycling tour from the school in Bemmel to Doornenburg Castle. We got assignments for which we had to take pictures of certain places. We cycled on the dykes and saw a lot of cattle in the polders and the river Waal. After a while it started to rain and it was pretty cold but altogether it was a wonderful cycling tour.
(Tina 9e & Finja 9a)
When we arrived at Doornenburg Castle, we had a picnic. The food our hosts brought was nice and everyone got a hot chocolate from the café because of the cold and rainy weather. The castle was already built in the 13th century and it’s located in the east of the Betuwe.
(Paulina & Tom 9b)
What surprised us
The first thing that was very surprising was that the English skills of the exchange partners were not as different from ours as Ms Scheyhing wanted to make us believe.
In the bilingual course of the OBC Bemmel, every single subject is taught in English – except for the languages of course. They also have a different system of grades. They have numbers one to ten, ten being the best. When we went to our buddies’ homes, we noticed that the houses in the region are rather small, but also very colorful and often different from each other in their architecture. In the cities the houses were often quite big with huge back yards, trampolines, pets and other forms of entertainment. The home furnishing wasn´t that special compared to Germany.
(Ivo 9a, Lena & Izabella 9d)