From the 15th-19th of October the 18 students of V3a took a trip to Hastings, England. As a kick-start to prepare for their Cambridge Exam at the end of the year the students stayed with host-families, prepared tours for their fellow students of the various cities we visited and generally had an excellent time. Highlights were the walk from Burling Gap to Beachy Head along the famous white cliffs of England and we can't forget our day in London, in which students not only visited the National Gallery and completed a Scavenger Hunt in London, but also capped the day with the musical "The Lion King". We had excellent weather and enjoyed our week immensely!
I really enjoyed the excursion to Hastings! I think Hasting, Brighton and London were very cool to see. Especially London is a really beautiful city which has a lot of things to see and do. The skyscrapers were way higher than we have here in the Netherlands. There were a lot of new but also older buildings so there was a good mix between history and new great buildings. I think everyone liked the excursion wouldn’t mind to go again, at least I wouldn’t!
The programme was really nice and we did things which you wouldn’t do with your family like the musical and the walk from Beachy Head to Birling Gap. I didn’t expect that I would like it that much in England. We also had a lot of free time to do whatever we wanted, in London we went to the M&M store, in Brighton to the Mac and just walking around the city and in Hastings we sat on the pier for a while which was a nice place to relax.
The nicest thing we did in our week in Hastings was the musical for me. I also understood everything that was said so that means my English has improved a lot since I first came to the Schoonhovens College. The musical I did during primary school was also Lion King so it was nice to see how the professionals played the same musical I played, I was Mufasa. The walk from Beachy Head to Birling Gap was also nice to walk, the cliffs were beautiful to see and the walk was very relaxing. Luckily the cliffs didn’t erode while we were there.
Thinking of something boring is very hard but I think the Wadhurst College was a bit boring. We got a tour there but we didn’t get a lot of information of what every class was used for. Playing netball was nice because no-one knew the rules of it and was just playing around. It was funny to see how the students reacted when we said that we never have to wear uniforms to school, some of them would wish to wear their own clothes. Visiting a foreign college is important because you could learn a lot from their school that you could change in our school, but maybe next year it could be a bit shorter so we have more free time for example.
I stayed with Daniël and Quinten at a host family, the woman we stayed at was called miss Munroe. She was really nice to us and her dog was nice and soft, he was called Buttons which was funny we thought. We all had separate chambers and I was the fastest and claimed the biggest room with a bed for 2 persons. I slept nice there and the wifi was good enough.
The evening we arrived we got pizza with fries, it tasted a bit like plastic but it was fine. I was the only one who didn’t eat everything. For breakfast we could choose between cereals and toast, we had tea and orange juice with it so it was enough. In the mornings I also never ate everything. The lunch was also enough, we got 2 sandwiches, a chocolate bar and crisps. The other 2 evenings we got a pasty and pasta with some vegetables which I ate everything from. So everything was nice and I really enjoyed the whole week
My favourite day of the week in Hastings was wednesday, the day that we were in Hastings itself. We started the day at a school and I think it was really interesting to see the differences between the way school works there and here for example that they wore uniforms, but also that they had a different part for the college students. I thought the tour given by the younger students was very nice, because we asked them a lot of questions. After that we went to the city of Hastings. We had a lot of free time in which we had to complete the excercises. After we completed the tour we had the time to make some nice pictures of the sunset and the pier.
The second best day was Thursday, when we went to London. We began with a boat tour that I didn’t really like, because it was a bit boring. After the boat we went into the city to visit all the popular sights. It was very nice and interesting to see all the old buildings and busy business people running around the city. Also here we had loads of free time so we could do some shopping and we could look around for nice things. For example in the St. James Park we saw a lot of squirrels and they ate from our hands. In the evening we went to the Mac Donalds after we sold some Lion King tickets. After that we went to the Lion King and it was lovely. I had never seen the full film so this was the first time that I really understood the storyline.
Tuesday was my 3th best day. We first did the walk from Beachy Head to Burling Gap which was very beautiful and not too long. After the walk we ate scones at a restaurant and they were delicious. That was actually my favourite part of the day. Then we went to Brighton where my group wanted to do a lot of shopping so we also did that a little too long for me, but it was still nice. After the tour we did a tour through the Royal Pavilion which was very beautiful with a lot of decorations.
Monday was my 4th favourite day, because even though we had a lot of delay, I still enjoyed it. We watched some movies, we did games and we talked a lot. I thought the visit of Dover Castle was a little short but we couldn’t help that. In the evening we were welcomed by the host families and I was quite happy with our family because she was very kind to us.
Friday was my least favourite day, because everyone was a little tired from the rest of the week. I did enjoy the boat trip, because there were some shops on it and it is a funny feeling to feel the boat move up and down.
My favourite moment was the free time in Hastings because we had such a beautiful view on the pier with the sunset and we did a little shopping and we made some nice pictures and it was all very relaxed and nice.
I don’t really have a worst moment, but if I have to choose one I would say the boat trip to London. I didn’t really enjoy that because I was a little cold and I didn’t really like the weird architecture that was along the river. There was someone telling a story about it but I couldn’t hear that because the sound of the boat itself was too hard. That is why I didn’t really enjoy that moment of the trip.
What should stay the same?
I think that the combination of the free time and the tours through the city were very useful, because than you could just go into every store that you passed by. I also really liked the walk from Beachy Head to Burling Gap, because it was a perfect length and a very typical English sight, so it was nice to see these white rocks in real.
What could be done better?
Something that me and my classmates didn’t really like was that we had to wait for the bus so long for everyday. I understand that there might be traffic, but maybe we could gather a little later so that we didn’t have to wait for half an hour under a bridge, but that is the only negative point I have.
What I have learned
During this trip I have seen a lot of things that were new. For example that English people do not always eat typical English breakfast, but they also eat bread and milk with cereal. I also noticed that most people on the streets are very kind to you. Of course I learned a lot about the history of the cities we visited thanks to the tour guides. I also learned that Hastings is actually a pretty well known city, because of the Battle of Hastings, while I had never heard of it before. But something else that I have learned is that the Battle of Hastings didn’t even take place in Hastings, but in Battle.
Advices for the next year’s students
My advice would be that they really have to enjoy everything because it is over before you notice it. They also shouldn’t be scared to ask things to the host family for example, because they will mostly react very kind. Also think a moment about how you divide your time, because if you go shopping too long, you will have to run to complete the tour and you don’t want that!