Echange Utrecht - season VIII - February 2014

An overview by Flore : Feelings about my trip in Holland
When we arrived in Holland, I felt really enjoyed to discover a new country. It was a little bit strange to integrate a new family with an other culture but it was more easy than I thought. Jaqueline’s family was very smiling and welcoming with me, I lived in their home as if I had been in mine during one week so It was interesting to see their way of life. In the morning, they eat a lot of things as bacon and eggs to feel good for the rest of the journey. For lunch, they just eat a little sandwich but it’s not the same as in France where we eat more at lunch and later in the evening.

Then, I was really impressed when i saw Utrecht because I thought it was like Quimper but that’s really different. In the street, most people use their bike to move in the city, to go to school or at work. Rain or sun, it’s not a problem for them ! There is a big difference too in their way of life. For example, when we got lost in Amsterdam with Alix, everybody looked happy to help us : they are more relax and they take the time to do things. I could observe respect between people, in Utrecht Gymnasium especially. It’s sure that we can’t love everybody but, for example, when they do sports together, they are united. Maybe it’s because of their school education witch is specific. I went to a French lesson and the teacher explained to me that , firstly, when they are young, they have a test to define their level of intelligence. From this test, there are three categories and Gymnasium is the highest, like a kind of elite, representing 5% of Dutch people. In class, most of the time students know their teachers well ; they speak together with their first names so there is no hierarchy between oldest and youngest peoples but still in respect.

To finish, I discovered a unique country with their beautiful landscapes. Amsterdam is really cute, but I preferred the city center of Utrecht where it’s typical and we had really good times between French and Dutch students. I believe that I can keep in touch with my exchange student, Jaqueline. I want to go back to Holland one day, maybe...

Impressions by Arthur :
"I adapted to the Netherlands’s way of life and without trouble for me because I liked it. I took the bike everyday to go to school and to move about in Utrecht. I was very impressed by the use of bikes in the Netherlands, this is the primary means of transport in the centre of Utrecht. I was impressed by the education system too, which is very different from the French education system. Students don’t have the same relationships with their teachers and have an other view of school which is better in comparison to French students.
I was very well hosted by Lucas’s family. In this house there were his parents and his 18-year-old sister , his sister was adopted by his parents, she was originally from Ivory Coast. They live in a beautiful house which is next to the center, In fact the school was 10 minutes by bike. I could talk with them, we spoke principally in English but just a little in French too.
Utrecht is very different from Amsterdam but is very pleasant too, I found that the city was modern, clean and very attractive. I found that Rotterdam was interesting, it’s true that this first European port is impressive by the number of container ships. However I really would like to visit the city itself."

Marielle : Dès le lundi matin, j’ai été dans la même situation que ma correspondante. En effet pour aller au lycée il nous a fallu 1 heure de vélo. Cela m’a fait du bien et j’ai pu voir une autre société plus proche de l’environnement. Cette première journée fut riche en découverte puisque nous avons aussi assisté à certains cours avec des classes hollandaises. Tout d’abord le lycée est plus moderne puis les professeurs sont plus sympas avec les élèves et enfin l’ambiance est plus détendue. En effet le jour ou nous partions les étudiants pouvaient assister à concert sur le thème de Woodstock.
Les pays bas m’ont plu, mais Utrecht que je ne connaissais pas auparavant m’a charmée par ces canaux, ces nombreux magasins,...
La visite qui m’a marquée le plus fut le Rijskmuseum. En effet ce musée est impressionnant par sa taille et par son architecture de style Renaissance. Et puis sa collection est importante contenant 800 ans d’art et d’Histoire des Pays Bas. L’on y retrouve surtout des peintres du 17ème siècle tel que Rembrandt, Vermeer ou encore Frans Hals. Malgré le peu de temps passé dans le musée, la grandeur et l’atmosphère du lieu m’auront fascinée.

Tuesday February 25th
Jeanne : We arrived on Monday evening and my exchange friend Renske was waiting for me with her father. We went to their house, it was very pretty, in a district of Utrecht where all the houses are pretty much the same. I met Renske’s mother and Renske showed me her house, then we sat in the lounge and talked, they asked me about how my life was in France, how were my school, my family, about my hobbies too, until the moment when I said I was tired and went to bed. The next day, we all went to our exchange friends’ school in Utrecht and I was put in a French class with students from 5ème with Damien and Flavie. We went introduce ourselves in front of the class and then they asked us some questions in French, like “When are you leaving Utrecht ?”, “Which sport are you doing ?”, “What do you like about Holland ?”… When they had no question left, we watched them learn the endings of the “Imparfait”. During the class, the students are very “free”, they can talk between them and with the professor and make jokes but they are still working. When the class ended, we left and went to Rotterdam harbor.

Robin : ... Bob and his father received me at the exit of the bus and we went to their home by car. There I met Bob´s mother and his two cats, they were very welcoming and they quickly made me comfortable. I was tired and I went to bed. The buzz of my alarmclock announced the end of my first night in Holland and the beginning of my first day in Holland. After having Dutch specialities like cheese which I would never have the idea of eating at breakfast in France, and when I was ready, Bob told me that our trip to the CGU would begin soon. In front of the house I saw two bikes, Bob´s parents were looking at me so I pretended I was enjoying go to school by bike even if in reality I was tired and I couldn’t find the motivation needed. Ten minutes later we made a break to wait for Bob´ s friends and we continued our way. I was colder than I thought I would be but I was riding next to a canal and what I saw was amazing, I really enjoyed the architecture of the city. 30 minutes and a lot of magnificient views later we reached the CGU ...I was quickly sent to a class with some of my French friends in a class of young students studying French. At the break, Jacques and I visited the high school and we were very surprised of the fact that the break was taken inside and only some students passed their break outside, but this is not the only different point of the school, in fact the teaching method was also very different because student are more « free « and they are only 20 by class.

Audrey : When we arrived at school so that our host families could pick us up, I was surprised that my host parents told me that we would go home by bicycle knowing that the father took my big luggage !
When i discovered the house , i was surprised by the staircase which was very steep. The first evening, my penfriend was absent because she went to a concert, so I spoke with my host parents who were very friendly and talkative. I tasted her fruit juices which were delicious.
The next day, with my penfriend we went to school with bicycles. We cycled during 5 minutes. It was awesome to see more bicycles on the street and in the school playground than cars. I liked very much going to school like that ...

Chloé : During 5 days, i went in holland for an exchange. It was a very good experience, again. Indeed i have already had an exchange last year, so I saw some students i met last year and my penfriend Julia, it was very nice ! My new host family was very nice too. There was the mother of Mirthe and her 2 sisters. The mother spoke in English just for me so I found this friendly. In Holland, people are more relax, it’s my feeling. The streets are clean, almost everyone is moving by bike, I think it’s a good system because it reduces pollution.

Maïwenn : on Tuesday morning I attended a classe of Latin whose topic was the conquest of Gaul by Caesar.I find that students talked a lot and were freer than us, in fact they could use their laptop, eat, move freely in and out of the classe.
During the class, students formed working groups and at the end we watched a movie about the conquest of Gaul by Julius Caesar.

Visit of Lans by Baptiste : Lans is a very big plantation of tomatoes in greenhouses . It is situated near to Rotterdam. The company works only with tomatoes. The presentator told us the surface of the greenhouse is as big as 52 football grounds. The company needs 30 people in winter for one hectar and 50 people in summer to collect the tomatoes. They use less water with a system of recuperation. It’s a big investment with more than 1.6 million € to buy just the motor of the system of the water. But now they have their own water, in long time, it’s a big economy. And he told us they don’t need a lot of water, they use the minimum. The tomatoes need 10 weeks to be ready. They use lamps to accelerate the production. They have two kinds of tomatoes, the big ones and the little ones. The French like the little tomatoes better . To finish he said their bigger customers are the English and Germans.

Entreprise LANS : Gestion de l’ eau
Par Antoine , Robin et Jacques
L’ entreprise produit des tomates sur une superficie de 52 hectares soit la taille de 52 terrains de foot.

Le plant de tomate se nourrit par la tige d’ éléments nutritifs et d’ eau.
Cette tige pousse dans la laine de roche, à son arrivée dans l’ entreprise la tige mesure 50 centimètres. Elle est nourrit au goutte à goutte par de l’ eau et des nutriments. La mousse doit être toujours humide. La plante n’ a pas besoin de racines car les nutriments sont amenés a la tige et la plante n’ a pas besoin d’ aller les puiser . Celle ci a besoin entre 1 et 2 litres donc il leur est fournit le maximum c’ est a dire par vague de 2 litres, si la plante ne consomme pas les 2 litres, les excédents sont récupérés pour être purifiés et ensuite ré-utilisés.
On donne à la plante entre 8 et 12 litres d’eau par jour.
L’ eau utilisée est de l’ eau de pluie récupérée des toits qui a été purifiée ou l’ eau qui a été puiser du sol grâce aux moulins et qui a été dé-salinisée car les sols sont secs et l’ eau de mer s’ y imprègne donc l’ eau du sol est salée.

L’ entreprise a été créée en 2006 et n’ a pas eu besoin d’ évacuer d’ eau depuis 2007.
30 employés sont utilisés l’ hiver et 50 pendant l’ été.
Les plantes peuvent mesurer de 12 à 13 mètres, la salle est à une température d’ environ 19 degrés, si la température descend trop, la serre est chauffée par de l’ eau dans les tuyaux. Cette eau est chauffée par l’ énergie des moteurs qui servent a chauffer les lampes, ces moteurs tournent au gaz naturel, en été les lampes sont éteintes et l’ énergie produite est redistribué aux particuliers.

Ensuite on a été dans la salle du système de gestion, il y avait une odeur d’ engrais, dans les bassins il y a des mélanges d eau et d engrais et le système de pompe vient chercher les nutriments dans les bassins.
Tout est organisé par ordinateur et toutes les semaines il y a un pot de mousse qui est envoyé pour etre testé pour vérifier si les doses sont correctes.

Ensuite nous nous sommes dirigés vers la salle du moteur.
Le moteur produit la chaleur et 3 méga-watts a l’ heure soit l’ énergie consommé en 1 an par une maison, le moteur a coûté 1,6 millions d’ euros.

Wednesday February 26th

Noemie : We went to Amsterdam all day. We began with Anne Frank’s house. And as I had already visited it I could remember a few things. By visiting it I could see more details which are in her diary. Then the Rijskmuseum was bigger than I expected ! Paintings and old items from different countries were very interesting. When we left the museum there were a lot of tourists arround the letters « I amsterdam ». So, it was entertaining to see people trying to climb the letters. Otherwise , I found the boat trip on the canals pleasant during this sunny day.

JPEG - 45.4 koAnne Frank’s church by Morgane

Constance & Colombe : Anne Frank’s House
We can’t go to Netherland without visiting Anne Franck’s house. The Frank’s family were Jews during World War 2 in Germany. They moved to the Netherlands after Hitler came to power. Anne got a diary as a present from her parents for her thirteenth birthday. When the Frank’s family went into hiding, Anne went with her diary. This museum shows the « Annexe » where the family lived for 2 years, before going to the concentration or death camp. When we entered the landing with removable bookcases, it shows the conditions, the insecurity which reigned in the city. The Annexe was small for 8 persons, they could not see the natural light, could’nt make noise... They managed to live like that for 2 years. On the 4th of August 1944, the Sicherheitsdienst (Germany security service) received an anonymous tip, they were arrested by the Nazy and taken away. On the 3rd September 1944, the 8 former inhabitants of the Secret Annexe were deported from the Westerbork Transit camp to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
It was very strange to discover the building of this story, the place where they were and the place they were arrested too. It’s was a very strange sensation and impression to be in this place. It was very strange to imagine people hiding for 2 years in a small place, without seeing the light of the sun and always in complete silence. When we were 15 years old, we read the Anne Frank diary in class and discovered her story and it was very interesting but a sad story. We have to keep this part of history in our minds.

Thursday February 27th

Noemie : This time we went once again to Amsterdam. And we visited the Maritime Museum. Thanks to this visit I could learn a lot of things about subjects like whales, chocolate which is in danger, boats and so on... After we went to one of the biggest Portuguese synagogue. The interior was amazing it was well decorated ! But what I prefered is the free time in the centre. There were many nice shops along pedestrian streets. But it was a pity because it was raining all the afternoon. Then I was tired for the Van Gogh museum. In the evening we went to the « pannenkoek »restaurant with our Dutch penfriends. Pancakes look like crepes in France but it was tastier. Moreover, I didn’t know it could be flavoured too. Finally, there was a good atmosphere in the restaurant and we could speak a lot with the Dutch students.

Friday February 28th
Jeanne : On the last day, we went back to the school and I went in a French class with the “Terminales” and we helped them preparing the exam they have at the end of the year, then I went in a History class with the “secondes” who were doing a debate.

Noémie : The last day came and the farewell to the host family too. Lois’ mom gave me a present and I said goodbye to them. In the morning we attended classes : I was in a French class with the 12th grade. We chatted with them in French to get to know each other. Then we did sport but as I didn’t feel good I didn’t join in with games. However, I would have liked playing with them. Once again the Dutch people won against the French . After we attended classes and this time I was in a geography class. They were debating about Islam. In the afternoon we finally visited Utrecht and I found it better than Amsterdam. Buildings were more traditional than those in Amsterdam. And we had more time to discover the city. So, it was enjoyable especially when we went to the Dom, the cathedral’s tower. The scenery at the top was astounding ! However, there were a lot of stairs to climb so sometimes it was tiring. Otherwise, I enjoyed the centre a lot and I bought Dutch specialities like biscuits. Then the buffet in the evening was full of Dutch dishes cooked by our penfriends. I think everyone was hungry because they jumped on the buffet like savages. At the end, the stay went very fast but it was really nice !

Jeanne : This was a very good journey and I’m very happy that I could have been a part of it and discover a new country and meet so many extraordinary people

Publié le : lundi 31 mars 2014

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