From April 24 to 26 we – a group of six students of 2bS (Tarek Bouguerzi, Muratcan Parlak, Mustafa Qyra, Patrick Reischl, Mona Soliman and Arzu Türkmen) - went together with Ms Brandl and Ms Lenzeder to Pardubice in the Czech Republic to take part in an EU-funded exchange programme called “EUlympics”.
After an almost four-hour train ride from Vienna to Pardubice, we arrived in the Czech city in the early afternoon. At the train station, Ms Brandl bought some tickets for the bus to get to our accommodation in the student home of the University of Pardubice.
In the late afternoon, we walked to our Czech partner school Střední průmyslová škola chemická and met the other competing students from Bratislava (Stredná odborná škola chemická) and Pardubice. As a kick-off activity for the Environmental Olympic Games, we played some icebreakers, so that we could get to know each other. Then we were split into three international groups for the following competitive activities. Afterwards one of the Czech teachers showed us the most important sights of Pardubice (its castle were we could see peacocks, the Green Gate and the statue of the first Czechoslovakian pilot Jan Kaspar) and we had to fulfil different challenges like building of paper planes, ships and towers and competing against each other in our teams. In the evening we walked to the city-centre of Pardubice and went for dinner. After dinner we had free-time and enjoyed our first night in Pardubice.
Once everyone met at school, we started our second competition: Geocaching through the unspoiled nature of the outskirts of Pardubice. Every group had a different route to follow, but we all had to complete the same challenges, namely: the analysis of water in terms of pH value, temperature, nitrites, smell and colour. It was a very exhausting challenge, but we all enjoyed hiking through the nature of Pardubice.
In the evening we had a barbecue together at the park. We grilled sausages on sticks, as well as vegetables and bread on an open fire and played table tennis, basketball and football with the other students. It was a really fun and joyful day for all of us.
After the evaluation of the geocaching, our last competition was about recycling. We not only had to recycle different kinds of rubbish, we also had to answer some questions about the separation of waste.
In the end, we received a certificate of attendance and some gifts from our partner school. Moreover, they guided us through their school. It was surprising that students of chemistry have their own shooting range and a hair salon in the same building.
All in all, the trip to Pardubice and the participation at the EUlympic games was a great experience for all of us. We really enjoyed the time outside school and the international exchange with other students. We are looking forward to welcoming them in Vienna this autumn.
Tarek Bouguerzi & Muratcan Parlak, 2bS