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A tale of three cities


Monday
At 9pm on 8th May T3u and T3t gathered outside Marnix College for their excursion to the UK. On the programme for this year were three cities: London, Cambridge and Epsom.
The pupils were excited: the chance to stay awake all night chatting with friends, listening to music and only sleeping of you wanted to, a boat trip in the early hours of the morning followed by a whole day in UK's capital city. What a great start to the excursion!
London was excellent although for those who had had very little sleep, the concentration was hard to keep up. The first museum we went to was the Imperial War Museum which offers an insight into the First and Second world wars including a separate exhibition on the Holocaust. Using visual material, objects from the time and the written word, the visitor can almost touch the traumas of war. Here the students had an assignment.
The London Eye provided a bird's eye view of the meanderings of the river Thames and all of the well-known sights in a 360 degree extravaganza. Covent Garden was fun with opera buskers plying their trade while some of us listened enjoying a good English cup of tea! Shopping time for the students and a chance to take in the British shop culture
Our guest families were waiting for us in Cambridge. Excellent families this year and all students felt comfortable (after the usual 24 hour settling-in period).

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Tuesday
On the programme were two universities: Cambridge for the more academic minded and Epsom University for the Creative Arts. Both universities provided an insight into student life in Britain and gave our pupils food for thought for future plans.
Cambridge harks back to a time steeped in tradition: ancient buildings once sponsored by royalty for excellent students. Now upheld by a mix of government subsidy and private sponsorship to provide a chance for all bright students to take part in the Cambridge experience. We also went punting on the Cam an age-old way of enjoying the river: time for reflection and for relaxation.
The university in Epsom provided a chance for our creative pupils to get stuck into painting and collage. In between our different workshops there was time for lunch provided by the university cantine. We learned how to make abstract collages, make our own stamps and how to let music inspire our painting.

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Wednesday
Back in London we enjoyed a workshop at the Globe Theatre and a tour of the theatre. Brilliant! Our walk to the British Museum meant that we could fully take in the Thames and all the new office buildings with nicknames such as: the gurkin, the walkie-talkie, the cheese grater and the shard. In the British Museum, which also houses the British Library, the students had another task. Afterwards, Oxford Street was on the cards and the Primark. Another chance to buy souveniers for loved ones back home and to jostle with the multicultural Londoners.

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Thursday

On Thursday we stayed in Cambridge. After a guided tour and an assigment we went punting on the river Cam. Later on we had some time to do some shopping.

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Friday
We stopped briefly in Canterbury before heading to Folkstone and the Channel Tunnel. Our journey back to Ede was smooth and we arrived on schedule. Our bus driver was very capable and steered us away from big hold ups in Gent and Antwerpen. Ronald (bus driver) also seemed to know the English roads like the back of his hand and we felt safe throughout our trip.

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Our pupils behaved well (just a small correction here and there!) and were enthusiatic about their tasks and activities. We were proud to represent Marnix College abroad!