Echange Utrecht - season VI - Spring 2013

After a long day in the bus we arrived at 10h30 pm in Utrecht . Our backs hurt and we were very tired . With a little stress everybody went to their host families . We offered presents to our nice hosts . They were very welcoming . Then we visited the house and organized the next day ( showers, bike ...) and it was time to go to sleep .
7 hours later we woke up . Romane and I were afraid of breakfast : chees ? milk ? .. In fact it’s the same food as in France . We are excited to discover Utrecht and Rotterdam .. When we rode our bikes this morning it was a shock : there are no brakes .. Now we go to school .. [Romane & Marion ]

« Our host families were very nice and the houses are pretty big . What we found a little strange was the stairs . It was very hard to get up to our room. But now we’ve got used to it . The place is very big too. We didn’t expect so many bikes but we think it’s pretty nice and it’s also good for the environment. »

When I arrived in Utrecht, before getting out of the bus I was a little bit nervous to see my Dutch correspondent again and his family. But after I arrived at her home, I was more relaxed after a little time in the car to get to know each other . I began to speak, to laugh and had a very good moment with them at our arrival. The time with family was very nice, and very important for me, and the time spent with my correspondent too. During this moment I spoke about a lot of things, laughed a lot with my friend and their correspondent. The things that shocked me most is the important place of bicycles in their life. I have never seen so many bicycles in my life. The last time I rode a bicycle was when I was 14 years old ...and I have been very upset because there are no brakes, and when you are at the back of the bike it hurts your butt !! (Moran, Catheline )

Last Tuesday we arrived in school. We discovered their educational system. We were very surprised and students aren’t stressed. They eat, drink, move in class with relaxation. We see a strong link between teachers and students. For example, last Tuesday, in history class, we watched a Chinese movie. Almost all students used their mobile phones ! If we use our mobile phone in class in France we will be punished. And it’s the same thing for the food. Lots of people eat during the class and even teachers !
We found this unusual and surprising !
In France the educational system is too strict but we think the system of Holland is too lax. Maybe there is a country where there is a happy half way ! ( Nolwenn & Léna)

Hans, the headmaster of CGU received us with a speech in English this year , maybe because we didn’t congratulate him enough for doing it in French last year ?? And we offered the school a Monopoly game of Quimper that was used on the same day it seems ... to prepare next year’s visit ?

And then we went for our first outing South to the Maestrant Barrier trying to figure out what it means to live below sea level ...

and the harbor of Rotterdam , chatting away among the giant boats of the world ...

La maison d’Anne Franck
C’est la 3e fois que je visite la maison d’Anne Franck à Amsterdam et l’émotion est toujours aussi vive. Dès que l’on passe la porte cachée derrière la bibliothèque pivotante, on a réellement l’impression de revivre le confinement de la jeune fille. Chaque pièce raconte son histoire et le temps semble s’être arrêté au 4 aout 1944, jour où les 8 clandestins ont été dénoncés et déportés.
Mais le moment le plus difficile est celui où Otto Franck, le seul survivant, évoque ce qu’il a ressenti en découvrant le journal de sa fille Anne : douleur, curiosité et étonnement car c’est une Anne différente de celle qu’il avait connue.
Le moment est si fort qu’il n’est pas rare de voir pleurer les visiteurs.
On en ressort toujours bouleversé. - Frédérique -

The Maritime Museum

We went to the Maritime Museum on Thursday morning and we liked it very much . It doesn’t look like a museum because theer are a lot of interesting activities. For example we were allowed to visit a boat .We had a lot of fun there , we took a lot of pictures , some of them for the photo cotest organized by the teachers .

Museums are more boring in France because theer are no games . We could also sea the blue sky through the roof ; the architecture of the museum is very beautiful .
We learnt a lot of things . Now we know that a whale has 2 teeth and there are 80 species of whales maily in Greenland . We also liked teh beautiful crystal glass, the huge hall representing the constellations of the solar system .. It was amazing . We didn’t have time to discob-ver everything ... [ Aline, Manon, Marie)

Une rencontre improvisée au musée maritime
Sur les quais d’Amsterdam, la visite d’un brise-glace à vapeur datant du début du XXe siècle a été une belle surprise.
Nous sommes d’abord descendus dans les cabines de l’équipage lambrissées de bois clair avec couchette et coin toilette. Elles étaient petites mais bien agencées et d’autant plus vivantes qu’elles étaient occupées par les bénévoles en retraite chargés de l’entretien du navire. Le carré et la chambre du commandant étaient plus confortables : boiseries, marbre, fauteuils de velours et poêle. So dutch ! !
La salle des machines était surprenante car la chaudière au charbon était en température et prête à fonctionner, Toute la tuyauterie et les instruments étaient en cuivre ou en laiton, parfaitement entretenus et surtout en parfait état de marche.
On était prêt à appareiller ……- Frédérique-

My first impression when I went inside the maritime museum was to see that it was huge . After, when I visited the museum, I was aware the interior was high tech whereas the exterior was old. As it’s a new museum, there is a lot of empty space, what a shame ! I would like to see more things.
The moment I’ve preferred was the visit in the old ship because I was able to see how the life at that time was. The cabins were small so the sailor must have been cramped for room.
To finish, this museum was the most interesting of the week because there’s not only paintings.
(Marc & Corentin )

We have visited the Portuguese synagogue in Amsterdam. From outside it doesn’t really look like a synagogue but when they asked the boys to wear a kippa, we were sure that it was this.
After a short time of good fun we started the visit. It was interesting to see that they didn’t change anything for hundreds of year. They told to us that they didn’t use electricity but we have seen mike-stands. We remember that it was really cold and it started snowing outside. The seats are not in the same order as in a Catholic church but they are face to face and the altar is nearer to the door. There are chandeliers all around us. We were wondering how they can light them. After this we went to the treasure room. On our way many of us were surprised to see all the gifts that the members of this community did, because in the box used for the donations there were many tickets. In the treasure room it was surprising to see how they have conserved their books and gold. We left the synagogue with good memories.
(Brieuc & Julien)

The visit to the Tropen Museum was also a highlight of the trip ... We didn’t really know about Dutch colonies in Indonesia , or Surinam .. And sometimes you find strange paintings in this museum too ....

First, the school here is smaller than le Likes, here there are 1000 students and in our school we are 3000. The rules are less strict. For example we can smoke at breaks, the students are allowed to drink in class and to use their mobile phone. They don’t eat at lunch, they don’t have as much class as us. We were very happy to discover a new school with a different culture from ours. The houses are built with red bricks. The foundations are made of sand . At breakfast they don’t eat the same things as us. They eat sugar bread, cheese. In Amsterdam we have seen a lot of bikes and parking places for bikes with floors. It is strange because helmets are not required, a lot of people did not have one.
(Guillaume, Kelig )

We thank you all , students and teachers and families from Utrecht .. Thank you for your hospitality .. and the farewell buffet and karaoke will stay in our memories ..

Publié le : dimanche 7 avril 2013

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