In week 42 of this term our class, SP2I of Vasaskolan in Gävle, visited the Czech Republic. The purpose of the trip was to learn about Czech culture, history and politics, as well as to get to know our exchange students better. We stayed in the small town of Chotebor, each of us in the homes of our exchange students.
The daily activities were varied to give us a wide picture of the Czech society. For example, we went on trips to the countryside, observing memorable nature reserves and beautiful landscapes.
We also visited the remains of a village that was burned to ground and its inhabitants killed, during World War II.
Part of the exchange was to visit our Czech student’s school, where we were welcomed by the principal and were taken on a tour around the partly newly built school. The Czech students had prepared presentations for us, about their school and about the history of Chotebor. We had in turn prepared presentations about Swedish politics, history and culture prior to our trip, which we presented to their class. Later we had the opportunity to meet the mayor of Chotebor, who welcomed us heartily and answered questions we had about the Czech Republic.
In the evenings and on our spare time, we spent time together with our Swedish and Czech friends, for example visiting restaurants, pubs and a bowling-alley around Chotebor.
One day we visited a local beer brewery, The Rebel.
There, we had an interesting tour through the factory, and tasted some of the beer produced there. Then we visited the district capital, were we ventured into an old underground tunnel network, a leftover from the Middle Ages. We also visited the district administration and met some district officials who informed us of Czech politics. After that, we were able to shop in the town shopping center.
The day before going home, both the Swedish and Czech classes visited Prague, the capital of Czech Republic. Being a historical and cultural town, Prague is a very beautiful place with many places of interest. We walked through the entire city center, stopping to watch both modern and historical buildings, churches, squares, etc.
After a long days walk, a bit tired, we said farewell to our Czech friends who departed back to Chotebor. We spent our last night in Czech republic in a motel.
All in all a fun and interesting trip, we learned a lot about the Czech society and about cultural differences between Western and Eastern Europe.
Johan Olsson, SP2I