Exchange week Uden 2014
On the 12h march our students had their first face to face with their Dutch partners and a first-sight of the school environment and facilities. As usual we had a friendly welcome with a nice flavour of the Dutch bakery before going to the new home. Amsterdam’s programme started with a walking tour through this amazing city criss-crossed by bridges and 165 canals in order to immerse ourselves in its social and cultural atmosphere and learn how to handle the cycling traffic in a city full of clear cycle lanes where bicycles are ridden by free spirited citizens.
Thanks to the re-openings of the famous Rijksmuseum, after a decade-long closure, we couldn’t miss the opportunity to see the country’s largest collection of art and artifacts, including 40 Rembrandts and four Vermeers. The collection includes Dutch paintings from the 15th century until 1900, as well as decorative and Asian art, which has its own newly-build pavilion. But the biggest draw is the collection of Golden Age jewels such as Rembrandt’s Night Watch and Vermeer’s Kitchen Maid and Woman Reading a Letter, plus a selection from the likes of Frans Hals, Jacob de Wit and Ferdinand Bol. The programme was free until dinner time at the World Bazar restaurant, so students could decide according to their own priorities, whether going straight sightseeing or paying a visit to the historical Anne Frank’s house.
The visit to the Water flood Museum in Zierikzee, under the IF Europe project, was an important testimony of the flood disaster caused by a heavy storm in 1953. The four caissons, used for closing the last hole in the dyke, display the magnitude of the disaster. Footage gives an impression of the rescue, relief and reconstruction with the resources of that time. Dozens of newspapers give an impression of the disaster, how the dikes burst, the rescue operations, the evacuees’ shelters, military assistance, help from abroad, the cleaning up, the drastic effects and the revolutionary Delta Plan. Relief supplies, but also the machinery for the restore works are shown. On a large model are the numerous dyke breaches stated. A disaster like this should never be allowed to happen. For those who live by the sea or under the sea level, there is a constant need to protect the land from the threat of rising water. To give students a better awareness of the hydraulic engineering projects, they were given a challenge: to build their own dike!
The rest of the programme ranged from attending classes, sports activities, ice-skating in Nijmenge, a cycle tour, a visit to the horse clinic in Veghel, and parents’ farewell night. Wishing to stay longer and already ‘missing’ this enriching and unforgettable experience, time to say goodbye arrived. Hopefully we’ll be back next year!
Lurdes de Jesus e Fernanda Serra
I think this exchange project between Portugal and Holland has been a great experience, because besides getting to know a different country and a different culture, we do it with a group of friends.
We had an amazing group of portuguese and dutch students and I feel really lucky to be a part of this experience, and Holland truly is a beautiful country.
The best day was probably when we went to Amsterdam, it is a great city, and so different from Portugal. We visited an art museum and also the Anne Frank House, followed by a boat trip in the canal. I think it’s safe to say that this was a great week for all of us. It was also really nice to stay at another student’s house, because it makes you more independent and willing to accept different habits.
Rodrigo Figueiredo, 17 from Portugal