Strangers are only friends we haven’t met yet…our last meeting in Assen

After a year and a half we were able to see our exchange partners again this February and get to know our host families. Shortly before 8 a.m. our journey began with the train in Burgdorf, which we could finally end in Assen at 1 p.m. On the Friday of our arrival, the school organized an “open house” so that we could see the school from all sides and with many presentations.

We all spent the weekend together with our guest students bowling, breaking or raclette. However, we also felt the storm “Sabine” in the Netherlands. At this point, we had no idea what weather would accompany us for the rest of the day. Our exchange week started on Monday morning with a clichéd bike tour to school. For some it only took 10 minutes, for others up to an hour. When we got to school, we attended the lessons of our exchange partners and then we were introduced to the Dutch school system.

After a visit to the “Drents Museum”, the third day came to an end. We spent Tuesday in the community center in Beilen, where we presented our legal system to the other exchange countries. We then visited a museum village called “Orvelte”, in which we were shown the houses, the green areas and life here. On Wednesday we went back to Germany for a visit to the Meyer Werft shipyard, to be more precise to Papenburg. During this tour of the shipyard, we were told facts about the history and the development to the current state. In addition, we could see the construction of a cruise ship up close and learn many things about the shipyard.

On the way back to the Netherlands, we stopped at the RWE Power Station in Emshaven, where we received a presentation on energy generation and a tour of the plant, of course also in appropriate clothing. For Thursday we drove to the “University of Groningen” and explored the city with the “Groninger Forum”. This forum is a center with all the services that can be used as a student or as a normal resident. That evening there was a farewell party with music and karaoke. This signaled to us that the exchange week was coming to an end very soon. We spent our last day in the capital city of Amsterdam. After unloading our luggage we went to the “Rijksmuseum” where we were able to admire old art by well-known artists such as Vincent Van Gogh. The last meal in the Netherlands was traditional at McDonald, which signaled to us that it was time to say goodbye. This week showed us many different sides of the Netherlands with a lot of rain but a lot of joy together. We spent most of our free time together. Our exchange partners have not only been partners of this project, but have developed into friends.