Echange Utrecht -season IX

Cette année les Français rendaient visite à leurs correspondants et leurs familles à la veille de Noël et recevront au printemps [du 28 mars au 2 Avril ] ; l’occasion de profiter d’ Amsterdam et Utrecht by night ...

Our reporters tell us how they felt ...

Sunday December 14th - On the way to Utrecht -
Monday 15th : reception at the school and afternoon in Amsterdam

Margaux : After school work, I went to Anne Frank’s house. I visited it and I found the house very strange, I felt that Anne Frank was with us. And after the visit, we got free time during one hour. After, we went to the Rijskmuseum. It was very interesting and beautiful.

Julie : When I arrived, my pen-pal was ten minutes late. Then, we went to her house, I felt a little akward but the family was nice and they made me feel more confortable after that. I talked with Milou until 00:30 PM ! But in the morning, I was tired. The next day, I was so happy to take a shower that a stayed under the shower for 25 minutes.

Mathilde : Before we arrived we we’re so stressed because we didn’t really know our pen friends. Dina was with one of her big sisters. We took the car to go to her house and I met her parents and another sister. The family was very nice. I took a shower, I stayed with them till 0:30 watching TV and talking. At the breakfast, I ate Chocapic and drank milk like in France. The weird thing was that we had to prepare our lunchbox. In the evening, I met her little brother and her little sister (she’s so crazy !).
Their way of life is the same as ours (food, house..) except some Dutch specialities like the big bottles of yoghurt . Going to school by bike every day was cool but it hurt me so bad to be on the rack, I didn’t have legs, bottom and back anymore.

Mélissa : On the night when we arrived, i found the family was really welcoming and generous. They are always eager to know if you liked your travel. Their food is a little different because they are vegetarian but it’s good the mother of my exchange cooks very well.

Youna : During my travel , I was so excited , but when I reached Utrecht I was very stressed . Then when I met Mikki’s family I had a really good welcome. We became friend fast, it was amazing. Mikki’s family tried to teach me the Dutch language (some words). Mikki’s house is pretty
The next day, I went to class with Mikki’s friends, I went to French (it was super), and also in Latin where I met Maxime Bart-Jan and Martin (Mikki’s friend).

Angèle : When I arrived, the family was very nice and funny. They spoke a lot with me it was very cool. They really appreciate Breton biscuits. In the morning, I saw all the family and the little brother tried to speak English, I thought that it was cute. School is very different here because Dutch people call their teachers by their names and the atmosphere is relaxed. They also use computers a lot in language classes. I think that they also like to do a lot of parties !

Faustine : On Sunday we left Fouesnant to go to Amsterdam. We spent 14h in the bus. When we arrived, the pen-friends took us to their house. Personaly, my exchange partner has a very big house with 3 floors. I spoke English with her parents and I went to sleep.The day after, we visited museums in Amsterdam (it’s a very beautiful town) and went to Anne Franck’s house, I was « émue » cause the visit was very interesting ! After we had a free time but it was raining and we couldn’t profit..After we were back to the school we went to one of the pen-friends’ house.

Margaux : on Sunday, when I arrived I felt good with my family. I had a very good welcome reception . At the start, her parents spoke in French and after in English. At home, I had very good sleep.Then on monday , I went to school with my pen-friend and I attended mathematics and latin.

Meline : In the evening, we went to Myriam’s house for a little girls party, it was very good , we saw Untouchables in French and we ate pizzas, ice cream...it looked like a pyjama party..we were 5 french girls and it was good because we mixed very well.

Salomé : SCHOOL FOOD
For the dinners i have had with my host family until now, i realize how important it is to eat well in the Netherlands (like in France-) : all i ate was balanced, there are big quantities but « grignotage » isnt in their culture because in the morning they are carefull to take a big breakfast « energy stock for the day » and not a lot at lunchtime, and at dinner wich is taken at 6 pm for the majority !!! The vegetables are mixed together, all the meals the grand mother composed tasted very nice and she always made sure that i ate enough.

Salomé : SCHOOL

At school students call their professors by their name and are closer to them, Yvet for exemple has got their phone numbers and texts them when she’ s got questions about everything -lessons,hours, orientation
I talked with her about the differences between relationships at school in France and in the Netherlands : we think they are beneficial for them because its adapted with their education, and focused on responsability of each one for his self.which gives a big place for autonomy
They have to succeed, whatever way they choose to take. In the physics lesson i went to with Thibaut and Meline, some of them don’t put their finger up to talk during the class : it is natural to exchange (but i dont really think that they were all speaking about the lessons..) As a conclusion, at school, Dutch students are free to make their own choices and create their own success strategies, and those possibilities are maybe made thanks to their maturity, linked to their education. I find it really interresting ...

Méline -school-  : I was shocked at the school because all the students have their teacher’s phone number and call them to know for example at what time a lesson will start or if they are sick and think they will be missing the day after... They also call them by their first name... For example the French teacher is Nora..

Amsterdam by Orlane and Marie  : Amsterdam est une ville très charmante où nous avons pu visiter quelques endroits mondialement célèbres. Nous avons été très surprises de cette petite ville à la fois historique, surprenante et très romantique de part ses canaux, ses grands bâtiments culturels et ses marchands de fleurs à tous les coins de rues. Amsterdam est donc une ville à très grande diversité que ce soit culturelle ou de divertissement. Ce qui nous a beaucoup marqué ce sont les moyens de transports utilisés dans cette ville, les vélos passent en priorité sur les piétons, il faut donc être très prudent ! Toutes les maisons ont de grandes baies vitrées ouvertes pour le plus grand plaisir des curieux. Là-bas, il n’existe aucun volet, on ne cache rien : ce qui est très différent de notre France ! Ce qui donne un charme extraordinaire à cette ville ce sont aussi ces balcons fleuris de toutes sortes, à croire que les habitants cherchent à avoir la plus belle maison du quartier. Ensuite, l’eau est très présente, elle est partout. À Amsterdam, il faut contourner l’eau pour aller chercher un pont plus loin. C’est une ville magique où on retournera bientôt, on l’espère !

Léa (1èreL) : Anne Frank house is like the other houses in Amsterdam but it’s also different because this house has an incredible story. Everybody has seen a photo or spoken about her diary which was hidden in the house of Frank and other Jews. And today we have the sad pleasure to see it. The house was situated above a company who made jam. We began the visit but all the rooms are empty. The only things you can see are sentences taken from the diary of Anne Frank. Maybe it doesn’t sound impressive but in truth it’s really hard in feelings. One of the most impressive rooms is the bedroom of Anne Frank because we can still see the pictures on the wall. We know that Anne Frank and her family died in concentration camps but the father survived and thanks to him and the motivation of Anne to write a diary we can know their story. The last room is also impressive because in a craddle we can see the diary of Anne Frank. We can see her writing an we can say :"this story is a true story and it’s a horrible story". Now we can say that we have killed all heros to make them legends.

Angèle : Anne Frank’s house was very impressive. We can feel the atmosphere, and know that she did that thing in that place... The testimony of Otto Frank touched me a lot because he discovered the diary and he didn’t think that she felt all these feelings. When I went outside I felt bad because it reminded me of the horror of the Nazi.

Méline : Streets in Holland : they are very dangerous because of bicycles everywhere and we are not used to cycling for every little move in our everyday life so we don’t pay attention. ... I saw a woman on a bicycle with a baby in front of her and one behind..

Tuesday December 16th : Den Haag and Rotterdam

Meline : On tuesday, i had breakfast with Bente only and it was super because we spoke a lot about our lives . It was beautiful to see ‘Girl with a pearl ear ring’ for the first time.. In the evening we went to Eva’s party. It was a very big party and it was funny to dance with the Dutch girls . I laughed a lot with her and during dinner her family asked me lots of questions and so did I..

Youna : . . On Tuesday, we went to Den Haaeg, we visited a museum where I saw the paiting by Veemer (girl with the pearl ear ring) . After , we went on a boat to discover the port of Rotterdam it was very nice.
After I met Mikki’s friends (they are very cool ). At night, Mikki invited Friends and we had a very good party, I discovered Dutch music.

Margaux : Tuesday : At 8:30 am, we went to Rotterdam, where we visited a museum with paintings of portraits, landscape.... After, we went to the port of Rotterdam, it was very long and large !! It was very impressive. We took a boat for the visit, it was a huge boat. When we had finished the visit, we went to see the protection dams near Rotterdam. It was very hard to build the dam, it’s my impression. At 7:00 pm, we went back to Utrecht and we went to a party with our pen-friends, it was very cool, we could dance, sing...

But At 11:00 pm, we both wnet back to her house and when we are arrived, we went to sleep because we were very very tired.

Wednesday December 17th : Amsterdam again

Lucie : The National Maritime Museum was awarded by tripadvisor in 2013. This kind of museum is interactive with videos, and games, they use technologies very well. There are three parts, west, north and east. I saw slavery, learnt about whales and went into a container. This museum is different from art museums, it a kind of « new generation ». Kids can discover a lot of things and won’t be bored. Personnaly I don’t feel attracted to this kind of museums, i think it’s good for kids, families, but I will never go to this kind of museum by myself.

Mathilde : On the Wednesday, we visited the Portuguese Synagogue in Amsterdam. It is the only one which wasn’t destroyed during World War 2. All the boys had to wear a “Kippa” a typical Jewish hat. Usually men and women are separated but not when we visited. On the floor there was sand to absorb the humidity. It’s a very old synagogue so there was no electricity and heating We visited a little museum too, we saw different clothes and a few gold and silver objects. We didn’t stay long so we didn’t learn lots of things about this Synagogue but it was interesting to make the link between the Jews and the War.

Amsterdam by Night

Julie : The Van Gogh museum was really interesting, with headphones which explained Van Gogh’s life, like the ‘’ear story’’ !

Méline : In the evening ,we ate pancakes in a restaurant with the Dutch students. There was « gizzelen’ ( bonne ambiance) I think we are winning the singing contest but we will know in March in Quimper..

Thursday December 18th : Utrecht : in class and in town

Meline : on Thursday in class : all teachers speak English so I listened and tried to understand but it was difficult . They speak very fast. It was a very good trip, a little bit short. I did fantastic meetings and the Dutch girls are very nice

Then we had to clear the way !!... Au Christelllijk Gymnasium le dernier jour avant Noël est un rituel : la veille au soir repas et soirée de gala pour les élèves de Terminale, en tenue de soirée of course [ nous avons à peine reconnu certains de nos anciens pen-friends ..d’il y a deux ans ..!!]

... puis le dernier jour petit déjeuner dans chaque classe avec le professeur principal .. Les élèves s’en vont en vacances et les profs prennent leur repas de Noël avant de partir à leur tour .. On sait vivre à Utrecht ...

Julie : I can’t wait for them to come to France !

Publié le : dimanche 4 janvier 2015

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