Sports & Europe in our town

On the second day of our Erasmus exchange meeting, students from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Spain and Türkiye immersed themselves in a day filled with exploration, learning, and cultural exchange. Here is a short insight:

1. Welcome Activities at the Library

The morning commenced with a warm welcome at the school library. Students gathered amidst shelves of books, representing the vast knowledge and diversity of our continent.

2. School Visit

Next, we embarked on a journey through the school hosting this exchange. The corridors echoed with chatter as students mingled with their peers from different countries. Classroom doors swung open, revealing glimpses of varied teaching methods and educational systems.

3. Workshop: “Sports in My City”

Students collaborated on creating a booklet titled “Sports in My City.” Each participating school / country contributed insights about their hometown’s and their country’s sporting culture. From football stadiums to swimming pools, the pages were filled with anecdotes and facts. The booklet became a mosaic of European athleticism.


4. Workshop: “Sports Heroes” Presentation

Here, students researched and shared stories of legendary athletes who had left indelible marks on their respective nations. From sprinters to soccer players, the room resonated with admiration and inspiration. It also became clear, that some sport heroes are well-known and famous beyond borders—while others are practically unknown outside their home countries.

Sport Heroes

5. European Day

In the school auditorium, presentations and talks centred around the topic of Europe. This activity was not restricted to the exchange group. Instead, it was a school wide activity to which the guests were also invited.

Europe Day
Erasmus project

Connecting Sports and Our Activities:

Throughout the day, the theme of sports wove through our experiences:

  1. Team Spirit: Just like in sports, we collaborated, cheered for each other, and celebrated victories—whether in the library, classrooms, or on stage.
  2. Endurance: Our exploration mirrored an athletic endeavour. We climbed intellectual peaks, jogged through cultural nuances, and sprinted toward understanding.
  3. Diversity: Sports unite people across borders. Similarly, our exchange meeting showcased the richness of European cultures, emphasizing unity in diversity.

In summary, the second day of our Erasmus exchange meeting was a tapestry of shared knowledge, spirited conversations, and a celebration of our interconnectedness.

Water Sports Activity

On the last day of the meeting, students discovered several sports in the water at Torre de la Mora Beach. Some of the students came from various “colder” countries. For these, this was their first experience with such activities, making it an exciting and novel adventure.

The students were introduced to several water sports, each offering a different set of challenges and experiences:

  1. Kayaking: This activity provided the students with an opportunity to navigate the waters using their strength and coordination. It was a test of endurance and a chance to experience the thrill of gliding on water.
  2. Paddle Surfing: Also known as stand-up paddleboarding, this activity required balance and core strength. The students learned to stand on a board and use a paddle to move across the water, offering a unique perspective of the sea.
  3. Big SUP: Big Stand Up Paddleboarding is a team activity where multiple people paddle together on a large board. This activity fostered teamwork and coordination among the students.

The water sports activity at Torre de la Mora Beach was a resounding success. It provided the students with an introduction to various water sports, promoting physical fitness and teamwork. For many, it was a first-time experience that broadened their horizons and provided a memorable adventure. The students’ enthusiasm and willingness to learn new skills were commendable, making the activity a valuable part of their overall educational experience.

The Importance of Physical Education

Morning Session: Workshops and Debate

The day began with workshops in multicultural groups. Students from different backgrounds and cultures came together to share their perspectives and learn from each other. These workshops fostered a sense of unity and understanding among the students, breaking down cultural barriers and promoting mutual respect.

Following the workshops, a debate on the “Importance of Physical Education Class” was held. Participants passionately argued their points, highlighting the role of physical education in promoting health, teamwork, and discipline. The debate was a testament to the importance of physical education in the holistic development of students.

The example of the hosting Spanish school was well appreciated also by visiting teachers. They also discussed if, and if yes, how this approach of daily sports lessons might be adapted at their respective schools as well.

Sports classes / Physical Education (PE) classes play a crucial role in schools for a variety of reasons:

Health and Well-being: Sports lessons are designed to improve students’ physical health and well-being. They help students stay healthy and can also assist in maintaining a healthy weight, thereby reducing the risk of obesity.

Teamwork and Social Skills: These classes often involve team sports which can teach students how to cooperate with others and resolve conflicts. This can help students develop important social skills and make friends.

Lifelong Physical Activity Habits: When students are engaged in physical activity, they are more likely to continue being physically active throughout their lives.

Academic Performance: Physical activity has been shown to positively affect academic performance. Physically active students might have better grades than students who are not physically active.

Motor Skills and Knowledge: Sports provides cognitive content and instruction designed to develop motor skills, knowledge, and behaviours for physical activity and physical fitness.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity per day for children. In conclusion, PE classes offer students many benefits, including health improvement, development of teamwork skills, and enhancement of academic performance. Therefore, it’s essential for schools to provide PE classes for all students.

Later, the students engaged in a reflection about the project. They discussed the meeting’s activities, shared their experiences, and contemplated the lessons learned. This reflection allowed them to internalize the different things they had learnt and understand the impact of these activities on their personal and academic growth. The discussion underscored the importance of physical education and a healthy lifestyle, leaving a lasting impact on the students.

The day concluded with a visit to the Monestir Sant Cugat. This excursion provided the students with an opportunity to appreciate history and architecture, further enriching their Erasmus+ experience.

Let’s Dance!

Workshop: Spanish Traditional Dances

In a spacious hall and theatre, the rhythmic beat of castanets and the swish of colorful clothing filled the air. Led by a passionate dance instructor, students and teachers learned the art of Spanish traditional dances. Flamenco came alive as feet tapped and hands clapped. The workshop transcended language barriers, and created joyful moments when the results of the learning experiences were presented on stage.

Afternoon Adventures

Visit to Sagrada Familia

Close to lunchtime we boarded a bus bound for the iconic Sagrada Familia. Antoni Gaudí’s masterpiece stood before us—a symphony of stone and light. Students discovered the basilica’s intricate façade, revealing stories etched in stained glass. The Sagrada Familia became a metaphor for our exchange: a work in progress, a fusion of cultures, and a testament to human creativity.

Exploring the Gothic Quarter with Host Students

In the heart of Barcelona, the Gothic Quarter welcomed us with narrow alleys, hidden courtyards, and centuries-old architecture. Paired with local host students, we wandered through history. Cobblestone streets told tales of Roman walls, medieval guilds, and Catalan resilience. The hosts shared their favourite cafés, secret viewpoints, and legends of the past.

Boat Trip on “Las Golondrinas”

Towards the evening, the group boarded the white-and-blue boat known as “Las Golondrinas” and sailed along Barcelona’s coastline. From the deck, we glimpsed the city’s skyline—the modern and the ancient coexisting harmoniously. As the boat glided under bridges, we raised our cameras, capturing reflections of our journey.

Cultural Threads and New Friendships

Throughout the day, the theme of both sports and unity wove through our experiences:

  • Dance: Just like the intricate steps of Spanish dances, our paths intertwined.
  • Architectural Marvels: Sagrada Familia and the Gothic Quarter reminded us that creativity transcends time and place.
  • Water: Whether on land or sea, we navigated together, leaving ripples of friendship in our wake.

Hike to Tibidabo Mountain

On the 8th of May, students from five different countries gathered for an exciting exchange meeting. The day’s highlight was a hike up Tibidabo Mountain 🌄⛰️, a picturesque peak near Sant Cugat. Let’s delve into the details of this memorable activity.


  • Early morning: The adventure began as students assembled at the school.
  • Hiking Route: The group embarked on a scenic trail leading to the summit of Tibidabo.
  • Midday: A well-deserved lunch break awaited the hikers. Everyone enjoyed a delightful picnic lunch, sharing stories and laughter – and catching their breath again.
  • 5:00 PM: The students returned to school, their phones filled with new scenic views of the environment.

Getting to Know Each Other

The Tibidabo hike served as an excellent icebreaker. As students trekked together, they chatted about their cultures, hobbies, and aspirations. The breathtaking views (and the breathtaking activity) acted as conversation starters, bridging gaps and fostering connections. The first day of the meeting allowed everyone to form bonds beyond borders.

Sports and the Mountain Connection

The overarching theme of the entire exchange meeting was sports / physical well-being. Tibidabo Mountain seamlessly fit into this theme. Here’s how:

  1. Physical Fitness: Hiking is a sport in itself. The steep trails challenged students’ and teachers’ endurance and stamina. They conquered the mountain as a team, pushing their limits.
  2. Teamwork: Just like in sports, teamwork was crucial during the hike. Students encouraged each other, shared water bottles, and lent helping hands on rocky sections.
  3. Nature’s Playground: Tibidabo provided a natural arena for physical activity. The fresh air, lush greenery, and panoramic vistas invigorated both body and mind.

In summary, the Tibidabo Mountain hike exemplified the spirit of sportsmanship, unity, and adventure. It was a day when international friendships blossomed, and the mountain became a symbol of shared experiences.

Offline games

In preparation for the meeting, students reflected on games they know which could be played together in a (small or large) group. As the meeting was taking place in February, one prerequisite was that the games should be suitable for indoor playing (within the school).

It was possible to make several interesting observations:

Students from several different countries chose similar games to present and introduce to the group (e.g. dodgeball and musical chairs). Also, many games did not need explanations, as they are internationally well-known.

Many games may be labelled “children’s’ games”. The teenage students, however, participated voluntarily, joining in of their own accord and had a lot of fun.

Some of the games that were played during a social get-together are explained here.

Musical chairs (Stoelendans, Reise nach Jerusalem, Chaises musicales, …)

For each player, one chair is placed into the centre of the room, in a circle, the seating facing outward. One chair is removed (in the case of large groups, also two chairs may be taken away). Music starts playing, players start walking around the circle. When the music stops, everyone tries to sit down as quickly as possible. Those players left without a chair have to leave the game. Everyone stands up again. One chair (or two or three chairs) is taken away. The music starts again… This continues, until only one chair, one sitting person is left (the winner).

Rope jumping

Two people are holding a long rope on each end. They swing it around while those standing in the middle try to jump over it. The group tries to continue for as long as possible.

Dodge ball

Two teams are playing against each other in the gym. They are each in their “own” half of the gym and are not allowed to leave the playing area. They throw (soft) balls at each other, trying to hit someone without the opposite being able to catch the balls. If someone gets hit by a direct ball (without having first touched the floor or walls), that person is “out”. This person now is outside the playing field – and changes to the outside of the opposing team. Also from here, s/he can catch balls and throw them at the members of the opposing team. If this outside person hits someone from the opposing team (who then is “out”), the successful thrower gets to re-enter the field of his/her own team. The game is over when there are no more players on the inside field of one team. The team with remaining players on their inside field wins.

Koekhappen (Bite the cake)

Slices of cake (or other “soft” food) are hung onto a thread. Two people hold this up – about as high as the players’ mouths.

The player is blindfolded and now has to approach the line of cakes/cookies/… without using any hands. If s/he manages to bite off a piece of the cake, this is hers/his. Now it’s the next players turn.


A number of empty bottles are opened and placed on the floor. A string is attached around the players’ waist – at the end / the back the string is left dangling at about the height of the knees. At this end, a nail or screw is attached.

The goal of the game is to insert the nail into the bottle without the use of hands. To achieve this, players squat above the bottles, trying to insert the nail attached to their string into the bottles.

and more…

Social contact

Mobile phones and the content on these phones seem to be the focal point of students’ lives. They chat and share pictures with friends when they are not around. They look at pictures together, take selfies or create TikTok videos together when with friends. Activities during the meeting were chosen to bring students together, to have them have fun without mobile phones.

Ice skating

One hour of skating. Some students almost looked like professionals, gliding across the ice. Some were “amateurs”, more or less getting along, and for quite a number of participants this was a first time challenge. No matter what the skill: They got together in groups fitting with their level of competence, helped each other, and taught each other.

Capoeira workshop

To most participants, Capoeira still was unknown. So they first learned about its history, starting in Brazil, and how it now is a sport practices all around the world. Even though Capoeira is a martial art, it also combines music, dance and almost artistic elements. In addition, it encourages working together and the appreciation of each other’s skills.

Finding and using information

The internet provides us with a wealth of information. But what if we could not use it, if we did not have our mobile phones?

Several activities included the (offline) acquisition of information and knowledge.  This included for example the visit to various museums such as the Van Gogh Museum or the Anne Frank House; the walking tour of the Jordaan neighbourhood and the canal boat tour and (last but surely not least) a visit to the central branch of the Amsterdam library.

Reflecting especially on the museum visits, students observed that on their phones and on the internet, they usually do not have the patience to spend more than a few moments looking at information. Spending two hours (like they did for example in the Van Gogh museum) on just one topic – and not feeling bored, actually being entertained – usually does not happen on the internet. Instead, their first (and last) stop on the internet is the respective Wikipedia article, of which they read the introduction (but not the entirety). Even though the internet provides colourful, interactive presentations of topics, the variety of a museum visit, the movement within the space and the interaction with peers during the visit help with keeping the attention for a much longer time and thus discovering a lot more. => Internet off, information on

Creativity: What’s your motto? Wear your motto!

Too often people on the internet copy pictures and slogans to express their “individuality” – only to actually do the opposite and to become one among millions with the same profile picture, motto, …

In a workshop, students got creative. They reflected on what is important to them, what is an important part of their life and personality. They then set to work to show this to the world – not with the help of a profile picture, but by making it part of their outward appearance (e.g. as a label on their clothes or as their bag).

They created logos and emblems first on paper and then transferred them with the help of a computer and a laser cutting machine into wood, onto transfer foil (to iron onto clothes) or stitched patterns/symbols onto their clothes. In the end, they shared their results and the stories behind it with their partners.

Creativity: Selfie without phone

The internet presents us with a lot of content. Apps on our mobile phones help us with many everyday tasks. Also, there are creative apps which help us to enhance our photos, which give us pictures to colour in, which help us to choose matching colours etc.

A journey back in time is the question of how people would have taken “selfies” before the availability of cameras in mobile phones, before the invention of the camera.

In a first step, we visited the Van Gogh museum, particularly the collection of self-portraits. Each of these self-portraits is different, in a different style, with different accessories etc. The only thing that combines them, is the subject within the pictures (Vincent van Gogh) and his typical features (colour of his eyes, his hair, his beard).

With this inspiration, we returned to school and into the arts classroom. After some theoretical input on the typical proportions of the face, everyone set to work. With the help of mirrors (so not the phone camera) and with an individual choice of colours, we got creative.

Some of the results can be seen here.