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Trip to Belgium (story#13)

Student stories 23 May 2008, 00:00

Student of MA in International Leisure and Tourism Studies Elena Starkova tells: Every year for students from Master program Stenden University organises a tour to another European country. 

Master students and their teachers of Stenden (CHN) University Student of MA in International Leisure and Tourism Studies Elena Starkova tells: Every year for students from Master program Stenden University organizes a tour to another European country. The program should include not only entertainment, but also visit to the universities or conferences. This year the trip was organized to Belgium.

We went to Belgium by bus. There, our office manager, Marlies, organised a game in which everybody was willing to participate. The game was called Murder. The rules of the game are the following.

Every student receives a paper with the name of the victim and the weapon. You can kill the victim by touching him with the weapon only when you are alone with him and nobody is watching you. When you kill him you get a new mission from him. During the whole trip we were playing this game and the students were following each other even to the toilet not to be killed or to kill.

On the way to Belgium we visited the village called Kinderdijk. This is the historical place for the Netherlands. There you will find 19 still working windmills dating back to the 18 century.  We walked there around, took a lot of pictures and visited a windmill called Blokkerse Wip. Inside the mill we were allowed to take pictures even with the locals working in there and we used this opportunity!

Our first destination in Belgium was European Parliament in Brussels. When we were there it was 50th anniversary of European Parliament and everything was nicely decorated. There we had a presentation by a civil servant called Anna Maria from Portugal about European Parliament, its functions and structure. Moreover we asked a lot of questions about the possibility for traineeships for students in the Parliament and the requirements to enter the Union for a country and others.

We also saw the online transmission from Strasbourg where the President of the Union was congratulating all the country-members with the anniversary. Furthermore, we visited the room, where the EU mission was taking place at the moment. We could listen to what they are saying with headphones as real representatives and choose the translation into one of the 23 European languages.

Our next destination was the hostel in Malmedy. The rooms of the hostel were for 4, 6 and 8 persons. So, it seemed that it would be really cosy and nice place with a lot of fellow students around. And it really was! The hostel reminded me a castle. There was no wall paper and the walls were covered with big grey stones. In the first floor there was a big furnace that was still working on a wood. Furthermore, it was creating the romantic and friendly atmosphere and we spent there some nice evenings just chatting.

The next day we went to the city Spa. It became famous for its warm springs and mineral waters. Moreover, the bottles with Spa water are produced there. It is also famous for Formula 1 Rally that is held there. Furthermore, all the spa resorts received their name form this city.

There we visited conference devoted to the future of traditional Spa resorts. We also had an excursion in the city center. Moreover, we visited the oldest casino in the world that was built in 1736. Even the old machines are still standing there.

The last evening in Belgium we went to a restaurant with our teachers, all together. It was a nice cosy restaurant and the dinner was served specially for us. Besides waiters, we were the only guests there. In Belgium people speak 4 languages: German, French, English and Dutch. In Malmedy, where we were, people mostly speak French. So, if you know French you can practice it there. Being in Belgium restaurant I felt myself as if i were in France. The cuisine is very delicious, the service is perfect and the servers speak French with you.

The last day we made a stop in the most beautiful and Roman city in the Netherlands - Maastricht. We had free time there to walk around, enjoy the sity, go shopping or relax in the bar. We arranged to do all these things at the same time. Moreover, we visited the city center of Maastricht with market, we went to the bookshop that is situated in the church and we stayed in the outside cafe to have a lunch. Also, we made a lot of pictures in Maastricht thus it was our last stop.

I really enjoyed our trip to Belgium! I am grateful for my school for such an unforgettable experience!

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