On the 3rd November, 14 very excited girls from the U4th and L5th made their way to Birmingham International Airport, to meet up at 7:30am. We were all buzzing and couldn’t wait to arrive at Schipol Airport in Holland! Once we did, we took a train to central Amsterdam and walked to the school, Open Schoolgemeenschap Bijlmer. We enjoyed ourselves meeting our hosts face to face for the first time and watching the presentations from the students from schools in Lyon and Rome, as well as introducing ourselves. We then went home and were introduced to our host families, before falling asleep very quickly! On Tuesday, our first full day, we met up at the school for our first workshop on the history of Amsterdam. To say we gained a lot of knowledge in these would be an understatement! We then proceeded to go on a walk around a section of the city, which we did everyday in a different part of Amsterdam, and answered questions along the way. After this we went to the National Maritime Museum, in which we learnt about the naval history of the Dutch, as well as their part in the Atlantic slave trade. By the end of the day, we were brimming with new and interesting information and ready to go home to have a good night’s rest.
On the remaining days, we went to places such as the Rijksmuseum (an art museum) and a very old windmill, as well as going shopping with our hosts on Wednesday evening. It was definitely hard to say goodbye to everyone on Thursday afternoon. After many, many hugs (and even a few tears shed throughout the different schools!), we made our way back to the airport and arrived back in Birmingham, ready to tell our friends all about Amsterdam the next day at school.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this trip as I learnt so much about a completely different city to my own in just four days and met so many new, lovely people! It was an amazing experience and I hope many other people will be able to go through it too!