My first week at school

Last Monday I went for the first time to my new school, the Marnix College. On Sunday evening I was ready, my bag was packed, I knew the way to school, my bicycle was ready to go, and my alarm was set. I was a bit nervous.

On Monday morning, after breakfast and a last hug, I left home. By arriving in the school surroundings I was surprised by the number of bikes! There were wheels and bells everywhere!

I entered the building and found quite easily my way to my classroom. I received my schedule and after only half an hour I went back home. A really short day! But I had to cover my books. A really long and annoying task! Fortunately Hester helped me and within “only” two hours it was done… Zoe_covering_books

On Tuesday I was really less anxious. I survived the first day, I was able to not die the next. I discovered the buildings. The school is modern, spacious and well-organised. There is a projector and a laptop in each classroom, lots of things (like the schedule and homework) are posted on a special school website.

The atmosphere and the rules are also really different than in Belgium. Almost every student has a smartphone or an mp3-player and uses it in the halls or sometimes even in the classroom too! During the week the weather was very hot and everybody was wearing shorts and tops… I’ve never seen that at school in Belgium.

But despite all those “no rules” the students are very concentrated and show much respect to the teacher. They all arrive in time for class, nobody speaks during class when the teacher explains things. Yes, it’s really different from the Belgian schools.

By the way, the teachers and the students are open and kind. I already have spoken with several students: all are curious and interested in what I’m doing here. They also help me to understand some courses.

Certain courses are really hard, others are really great. For example, I understand almost nothing in economics class, but music and geography are fun and interesting. I’m not excessively motivated to do my homework, but I enjoy being at school and meeting people. I hope I will have four great months at the Marnix College!



4 Comments on “My first week at school”

  1. NK says:

    Sounds like you’re off to a great start. It seems that different schools in The Netherlands have different takes on rules. Our first exchange student’s school in North Holland had no dress code but forbid cell phone usage (immediate detention). T’s school allowed cell phone usage in the hallway but bans hats.

    Personally, I’m old school and think there’s no place for personal technology in the classroom. Or hats. But what do I know? I can tell you this: American schools are very, very lax.

    Looking forward to hearing more about school!

    • Hi Nancy, we were quite surprised too that cell phones (in silent mode) are allowed in class. Zoé tells us that some teachers don’t actually allow it, but it seems the school is promoting it almost with their own online system for homework assignments, e-mail-like messages from teachers, changes in the schedule and all that. There are alternatives at school for all of that of course for the students that don’t have a smartphone, but all in all it seems the school has embraced the digital world fully. I’m sure there are other schools in the area that have very different rules.

      We’re so busy with everything we hardly have time to sit down for a posting on a regular basis. But it seems to me you and the other bloggers I follow that have just started an exchange or hosting have that going on too Looking forward to your stories too!

  2. Mies Mulder says:

    Zo te lezen was het een eerste enerverende week met een heleboel nieuwe ervaringen 👍. Maar ik heb het idee dat je het wel als positief hebt ervaren. Ik hoop dat je snel vriendschap sluit met wat leerlingen en dat je veel plezier hebt de komende tijd op school!!!
    Groetjes uit Papendrecht😊

  3. Totoro says:

    ‘…I was able to not die the next’ hahaha It was really fun reading about your first week at school. I find it interesting to hear about cultural differences and the status of teachers.
    How are your classmates?

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