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Erasmus: Speak up through art

We started November with our ERASMUS+ trip to Bergen op Zoom.

You may have never heard of it, but it’s located in the Netherlands not far away from the North Sea. So we started our trip to the Netherlands on Sunday morning very early; we switched trains a few times but surprisingly only missed like one train and arrived one hour later than planned in Bergen op Zoom. At the train station we were welcomed by our hosts and split up right away.

Some of us were meeting at some cafe in the evening and we got to know each other already a little bit.
Monday started with each school’s presentations of their school and the creative personal ones. Since the topic of the meeting was “Young Europeans Speak Up Art”, every country was supposed to introduce themselves in a creative way.

After that, the local students showed us around their school.
We took a little break where we ate local snacks. Afterwards we went to the Municipal’s Council Chamber and participated in a debate about art-related statements. The Programme for Monday ended with the debate.

On Tuesday we had to get up quite early since we were going to Amsterdam. After a bus ride of approximately two hours, we arrived in Amsterdam and started our stay with a boat trip through the canals of Amsterdam. Following this we visited the “Rijksmuseum” where we were able to explore the museum on our own.
When we were all finished we split up into small groups and had some free time to grab some coffee or explore Amsterdam’s shopping streets. When we arrived in Bergen op Zoom again most of us were having dinner together in some Burger Restaurant, it was a great way to get to know each other better.

The next day started with a trip to a very small town called “Willemstad”. I’m not exaggerating by calling it very small! We walked around the town in probably not even 30 minutes. We had lunch together in a small cafe, fitting the small look of the town. After this we went to the city of “Tholen”, which didn’t seem much bigger than Willemstad. We visited the Council Chamber of Tholen and listened to a private talk by the major of Tholen. We used the atmosphere of the conference hall, where the major gave their little speech, to present the first artworks. Each school had some kind of competition where the students were supposed to speak up about any social or political topic through art. The first three schools started on Wednesday, but it wasn’t our schools turn yet.

After the presentations were done, we all went to a cheese making factory. They explained to u the way they make their cheese and we got to taste some of it.
We arrived in Bergen op Zoom again in the evening.
All of us went bowling later on, it was much fun. Most of us weren’t very good at it but this made the whole thing even funnier.

Thursday was already the last day of the week with the whole group. The day started with presenting the last presentations that were left. We presented the art works that were made by students from our school. Benedikt, Mathea, Mika and girls from 9th grade from our school did very creative artwork for the project.
Thereafter we did some art workshops about freedom. In one workshop we had to paint some abstract painting about anything art related. In the other one we wrote a poem by colouring every word on an article black that didn’t fit our poem. Afterwards we went on a city tour.
On the last evening, we all partied together. It was the perfect end to the week.

On Friday, it was already time to leave. We started around 8 am and arrived late in the evening in Flensburg.
All in all, we had a great time and learned a lot about different cultures, our European identity, and how to speak up through art!

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