It’s the time of the year again! The journalism students of AP Hogeschool with their international Erasmus friends visited Strasbourg, France for one week in November.

We had four very interesting days with various activities. Find out what we experienced during our trip: how was the accommodation? What happened in the European Parliament? What does it look like in the only concentration camp in France?

The Erasmus students share this all with you!

 

TUESDAY 14/11

On our arrival day we got to see a glimpse of Strasbourg and the city’s art and history in the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art. After the long day we arrived in our hotel and were ready for party… or were we?

Check out how it was in MTV Cribs style:

 

Video: Saara-Miira, Irene
Edit: Saara-Miira
Photos: Diana

 

WEDNESDAY 15/11

Today was such an interesting day for us because we went to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe. It was freezing cold outside so we were really looking forward going inside all day long and thank God we did. We really wanted to take a picture with all the flags of the European member states that are in front of the building but due to the heavy fog they were lost in the fog and not visible.

After passing the security check at the European Parliament and showing our identity cards, we were in the heart of this stunning modern building.

Then we interviewed some MEP’s from Belgium during an hour and a half. They were really involved and interested in our questions. We were able to debate deeply on different subjects like the immigration, the European defence, the civil society and so on.

After these interviews, we went to the Plenary Hall of the European Parliament and were really impressed. In this huge arena, a bit more than 600 Parliament Members were discussing our future.

After hearing the speech of the Slovakian President who was visiting the European Parliament this day, we heard the MEP’s discussing and arguing on different subjects. We felt the tensions in the air. They reminded us of high school because they were screaming, shouting and interrupting each other.

An interesting thing that we noticed was that there were as many women than men in the Plenary. We also saw two parliamentarians who were deaf and spoke sign language. However we also noticed that the assembly was only field with white people.

After having lunch at the European Parliament, we went to the Council of Europe where we first watched a movie introducing what the Council is and how it works. Actually most of us didn’t know what it was for and learned it today.
We learnt that the Council is meeting only four weeks per year.
The Council of Europe looked really older than the European Parliament building which is much more modern.

In this afternoon, we had a meeting with the Spokesperson’s Service of the Council of Europe who is Giuseppe Zaffuto, a really nice Italian guy.

So that’s it for these institutions visits. We really enjoyed our day and are looking forward to rest tonight after this long but interesting day.

See you!

Text: Jana, Irene, Laura
Photos: Diana

 

THURSDAY 16/11

A visit to concentration camp Natweiler-Struthof.

(Audio: The guide said 2 000 people by mistake – he meant 22 000 people.)

 


Crosses of the people who died during the last days of the Second World War in the concentration camp Natzweiler-Struthof. They had no family anymore due to the war, so their bodies were buried in the camp.


This is not the original but a rebuilt gate of the Natzweiler-Struthof entrance. As our guide said “there was only one way to get in (this gate) and one way to get out, which is the crematorium”.


No one has ever escaped this concentration camp. One step in this grass close to the fence and you were shot from these blue barracks.


A prison within a prison. How ironic?

 


Once a month, and at their arrival, the deportees had to take a hot shower, to shave and to go in alcohol to disinfect all the germs and to prevent eventual epidemics. The water was warm because of the crematory oven next to this room.


In this laboratory, experiments have been made on dead deportees. Three doctors were working on antidotes.


The only way out of the camp.


The memorial in memory of the people who died in Natzweiler-Struthof camp during the Second World War.

Text: Jana, Irene, Laura
Photos: Diana
Audio: Saara-Miira

 

FRIDAY 17/11

All good things come to an end.

Thursday night we all went out and celebrated our final day at Le Korrigan. As a consequence out of that, waking up on Friday was very hard for some people.

Nevertheless some of our Strasbourg travelers took their last energy to tell us how they liked the trip. Listen to their experiences!


Students having breakfast on Friday morning.

Valeria:

 


The whole group in front of the European Parliament.

Carole:

 


The group inside the European Parliament.

Dieter:

 


The lecturers who traveled with the students: Wilfried Vanderhaeghen, Nadia Vissers, Wouter Frateur, Hilde Leemans and Jo Van Doninck.

Journalism lecturer Nadia Vissers:

 

Audio: Simon
Photos: Diana, Simon