World Environment Day

On World Environment day we learned about the Marker Wadden,

A new addiction to Dutch nature

The new nature on Marker Wadden is an ideal research area for scientists. Which plants and animals settle here? Which food chains are created? And how do they relate to each other? And above all, does Marker Wadden contribute to the restoration of the Markermeer ecosystem? Continue reading

Travel Diary Brno of the Dutch students

Bridget Moorman
OostvaarderscollegeThe Netherlands 

My Brno experience 
Saturday, January 19th
This was the day we were travelling to the Czech Republic. We first flew to Vienna and that flight only lasted one and a half hours. When we arrived at the airport and before we got on the bus, we went to eat something. That was when we met the first people of Erasmus, the Spanish team. Then we took the bus to the train station in Vienna and we went by train from Vienna to Brno. In Brno we got picked up by one of the teachers and she brought me to the home of my host. They live in an apartment which wasn’t too far from school. I immediately felt welcome and I really liked Veronika and her mother and sister.  

 Sunday, January 20th
Today was the first day we were meeting all the students who were taking part in the project. We introduced ourselves by a PowerPoint presentation about Almere and a Dutch artist. After all the presentations there was some food and we’d gotten time to talk to everyone. It was really nice and everyone was really sweet and open to new friendships. After school Veronika, Votja, Marco and I walked through Brno and they showed us the tallest building in Czech Republic. In the evening Michaela, her boyfriend and mother took me to a really beautiful spot. From there you had a stunning view of Brno. I thought it was really nice of them to show me something of their city. 

Monday, January 21th
In the morning we went to a church and a museum about Mendell. I really enjoyed the church, because it was decorated with angels and had a bit of barock style. I thought it was absolutely beautiful, but unfortunately weren’t we aloud to take any pictures. We also went to a ‘secret’ library, but I didn’t think it was that interesting. After we were finished in the library, we went to the Mendell museum. It was interesting, but it was more about his life than about the DNA research he has done. After a few hours we were done there so we went walking in Brno. We went walking up a hill so we had a nice view of the city. When we got back to school it was time for lunch. I was one of the few who actually liked the food and wasn’t complaining. After lunch we had a chemistry lesson and Sumba, which was pretty fun, especially the Sumba! At 4 p.m. we went to jumping park and I really enjoyed that. We went with Yaiza, Alenka, Frederica, Marco and Votja.  

Tuesday, January 22th
It was probably one of the coldest days in here when we went to Prague. We took the train and the ride lasted about 2 hours. My first impression of Prague was that was a beautiful city and that it looked kind of similar to Brno. Besides that, everywhere I looked i saw this sweet bread kind of thing, which we’ve of course tried! We had some free time, but it was too short to actually do something. So I just bought some souvenirs and food, of course. We went inside the astronomical tower, which had the prettiest view so far. I really loved that and it was an opportunity for me to take some beautiful pictures. After the tower we walked with the whole group through Prague and went back to the train station. When we arrived back in Brno the mother of my host family picked us up and we went back home. 

 Wednesday, January 23th
Today we met with the class at school and went walking in the city center of Brno. We had a tour-guide, although I normally find these tours quite interesting, this one was a bit boring. The tour guide showed of the vegetable market, a cathedral and Freedom Square. When we arrived back at school, we had lunch and afterwards we went to a computer classroom, where we could start on writing ‘my Brno experience’. We had free time after school, so we went to a shopping mall and had gone laser gaming.  

Thursday, January 24th
We walked to the ‘VIDA!’ science center in Brno. First my part of the group had almost 2 hours of free time, which was way to much! I didn’t really like the museum if I’m being honest. A lot of things weren’t working and I feel like that after 2 minutes you’ve had seen it and would move on to the next thing. I thought it would be nice for younger children, but not so much for teenagers. The second part at the museum was a workshop which was really fun! We were separated into different groups and that gave me the opportunity to get to know the other students. We had to make a Rube Goldberg machine, which is a machine which has to do a simple task to perform a chain reaction. At the end of the chain reaction we had to make a bell ring. This was so much fun to do, because it was more a creative assignment. Unfortunately our time at the workshop was over and we went downstairs to have lunch. A few of us went to the city center to buy the last souvenirs, so I said goodbye to everyone. When we had bought everything in Brno, we went home and I packed my suitcase. 

Friday, January 25th
We were going home, so my host brought me to the hotel of my teachers and her mother had given me some souvenirs and cupcakes for on the go. We took a taxi to the train station and went from Brno to Vienna. In Vienna we had some lunch and went to the airport by bus. If it wasn’t a long exhausting day already our plane got delayed, but luckily we’d arrived safely in the Netherlands and got picked up by our families. 

My overall thoughts
This trip to Brno was absolutely a unique experience. I would have never gotten the chance to do something like this if it weren’t for the ERASMUS course. It was special that I’ve basically lived like a Czech for a week; I ate their local specialties, I went to a Czech school, I got to sleep in of their homes, learned a few basics of the language and saw what a few cities of Czech Republic had to offer. This has experience has definitely opened my eyes to the differences we have in this world and has also made me appreciate the Dutch lifestyle and culture a bit more.  

The lessons we had at school maybe could have been a little bit more difficult, but they have taught me a few things. Next time I would also incorporate more creative workshops/lessons instead of almost only science. I did really enjoy the cathedrals we went to visit because of the barok and angelic style and the sightseeing in the cities was also a lot of fun. It showed me a different style of architecture which I found stunning. 

Overall I’m really grateful that I was able to go on this trip, so thank you to everyone that has made this experience possible.

Travel Diary Brno

Marco Kohlbrugge

Almere, The Netherlands

19 January
My journey started at 6 am in the morning. I woke up early because I had to be at Schiphol airport a 8 am. at around 9:50 we departed. We arrived at Vienna at 11 am. At the airport we had lunch, because we had to wait more than an hour for our bus to arrive. The bus brought us to the main train station. From there we took the train to Brno. After that I went to my host family.

20 January
I woke up at 9 am. After I had breakfast we walked to the school. There we gave our presentations and met the students from other countries. We took group pictures and had a welcoming parting. It was really nice to meet all the others. Immediately Bridget and I made new friends form Spain and Italy.

21 January
At this day we had some lessons at the school. I chose Sumba and chemistry. It was real fun because mainly with Sumba I really got a closer relationship with a lot of students. After the lessons we had lunch at school. Than when we got home Vojta took me to the Jump park. They had al kinds of trampolines and it was a really fun experience.

22 January
Tuesday was the big day. The day we would visit Prague. I had to wake up at 6 (!) am. So I arrived at school really tired. Also I was freezing because it was -9. But it was worth it. We walked towards the train station, and took the first train to Prague. The travel was really fun because I sat next to Kristrún (Icelandic girl). We really had I fun because we were making jokes and listening to music from our countries. When we arrived at Prague we at first went to the entrance of the main Museum. Their were a lot of candles and flowers in memorial for Jan Palach. Who killed himself 50 years ago as a protest against communism. I got free time because not everyone could go to the church, old city square and the main tower at once. It was perfect time for buying souvenirs. after we could also go into the church, old city square and the tower. It was really special to walk 9 meters (!) underneath the normal square. You had to imagine that the people used to walk there and that everything used to be on this height. U could even see spots where windows were in the wall. Then we went on top off the tower. That was so exiting. The view from the top was amazing. I took some beautiful pictures. After this we went to  the Tower, we met with the rest of the group. Then we walked to the Charlesbridge. That was also amazing. After we walked over the bridge we went back to the train station and traveled back to Brno.

23 january
At Wednesday we went sightseeing in Brno. That was also really amazing. We went to the old town hall. Where the so called dragon was hanging. It was a gift form Austria to Brno. After that we went to the church on top of the mountain. The view from that spot was amazing. The only downside was the temperature. It was -5 and we were walking all the time. It was really tiring and cold. But it was worth it, because again I took really nice pictures. When we went back to school I decided to play a game of football with Kristrún (from Iceland). It was snowing so it was a really special experience.

24 January
At Thursday we went to the science museum. This was kinda fun. But the most fun was making the machine with chain reactions. We used a lot of different stuff. And the best thing was. Our didn’t look the most spectacular. But it was the only one who proper worked. So our team decided that we won

25 January

Our dutch team met at 11 am at our teachers hotel. We went to Brno’s Train Station and started our travel back to Holland.

I had an amazing week. I met so many amazing people, which I hope to see again sometime. I recommend everyone who reads this, to participate in the Erasmus+ project. You won’t regret it!

Marco Kohlbrugge