Comenius Trip to Amsterdam – By Nadia Azmat

After arriving at school at 5:30 am on Monday in order to take a minibus to the airport everyone was already excited to arrive in Amsterdam.  After getting our boarding passes and going through security we were given a bit of time to grab something to eat and drink before boarding the plane.  Once we were on the plane it was a very short flight and soon enough we had landed in Amsterdam.  This is where we met Rupert who would be showing us around Amsterdam for the next few days.  We were given an hour to go around the airport to shop and buy some food before the group from Italy and then soon after the group from Francs arrived and we were able to make our way on the train to the school.

When we arrived at the school we were greeted by the Dutch students and most of us were successful in finding our hosts.

Later we were treated to a performance by the school’s orchestra who played very modern songs like rolling in the deep and get lucky. Then each country have their opening presentation and later we got to go home with our hosts. As my host lived very close to Melissa’s I got to see her that night as my host invited them to the house.

The next day we all arrived at the school at about half past 8 where we took part in a workshop which informed us about the different parts of Amsterdam and what canals there were. At about 11 am we walked to the metro station where we all got the metro to the Grand Centraal Station. Then we were split into the groups with two people from each countries and two teachers. We then started on our walking tour which took us all over the streets of this area and even into the red light district which was a surreal experience for some of us. Later we visited a museum where we learnt all about ships and then we had a 4d experience in one of the museums cinema’s.  When we arrived back at the school we were treated to a pancake party which ended in lots of us having tours around the school and getting to know the other Dutch and Itallian students better.

When I got home that night I was told that the family I was staying with and myself had been invited to a surprise party at the house that Melissa was staying at. When I got there, Taran and Jess were there with their hosts which made the surprise even better.  We were treated to lots of nice food and then all of the children decided to go and explore the area a bit despite the fact that it was pitch black and freezing cold.

The next day we had another workshop at the school which was presented to us by the Dutch students and then we played a game all about spices and trade.  Then we got the metro to the same place but took part in a different walking tour. Next we visited the Rijks museum, which is an art museum, after having a long look around and choosing our favourite paintings it was time to leave. For many of us our exchanges met us at the museum and took us shopping in the city centre, it was an amazing atmosphere as there were lots of football fans shopping at the same time due to the champions league game that was taking place at Biljimer stadium later that evening. It was Ajax vs Barcelona and as Ajax are the team of Amsterdam everyone was getting into the spirit, when I got home I sat and watched the match with my host and her family and they proved to be very big football supporters.

The next day was very emotional for some girls as no one wanted to leave, in the morning we had another workshop where we made a jigsaw of Amsterdam  and everyone got to keep their little piece. Then we got on a coach which took us to a windmill which we got to go up and then a windmill museum and then back to school.  By the time we were back at the school we had to grab our suitcases and say our goodbyes, we did have time for lots of photos to be taken and phone numbers to be exchanged. Then we walked to the train station and caught a train to the airport after a fairly emotional goodbye.  We were then given 45 minutes to get food before our flight, and then we had to get our boarding passes which proved much more difficult than it seemed. After about 3 hours of leaving the school we had safely landed in Birmingham after an amazing trip.

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