Our Amsterdam Science Inspection Visit is a huge Success!
23 Feb 2018 11:15
How did you spend your half term? To celebrate our new partnership with Amsterdam ;University College (AUC), six science teachers from across the country spent their half term with us – in Amsterdam!
Voyager wanted to invite science teachers on ;an inspection visit to get first-hand feedback from the experts to ensure we run a top class Amsterdam Science tour. As well as visiting AUC, our teachers jumped at the chance to explore the beautiful and vibrant city of Amsterdam, well known for its history and culture.
Our science inspection visit itinerary
After a short relaxing flight, we checked in at the NH Hotel Schiphol Airport, a modern high standard 3-star hotel chain with high standard hotels throughout Europe. Providing mostly twin rooms (plus a few triples), we found ourselves very comfortable in the stylish and clean rooms. After settling in, as promised, we treated our teachers to a lovely welcome dinner with a few drinks for good measure.
Our first stop was visiting our partners at Amsterdam University College (AUC), and it is safe to say everyone's first impressions were extremely positive. The college is situated within the Science Park east of the city centre, where businesses recognised the world over such as Netflix and Uber have their offices!
We learnt that AUC only has 900 students in total (300 x 3 years) who all live on site and as a result are a very close-knit and nurturing community. Lectures are brilliantly personal, with no more than 24 students in attendance at a time. And unlike its University counterpart, all AUC’s Science courses are taught entirely in English. Two charming students took us for a guided tour around the college, including their accommodation, both said their experience at AUC was academically and socially fulfilling. They regularly enjoy the city and they loved that it is multicultural and full of art & history.
We learnt that all AUC students have to choose a social element to their course, where they participate in things like Jeuglab (youth lab), which is all about taking Science out into the wider community. As a part of our Amsterdam school science tour, we can book Jeuglab to give your visiting groups a taster session. Our teachers noted that it would be great to have a former graduate or employee of a neighbouring science business to talk about job opportunities for AUC graduates in Holland and beyond, so that's what we will do for our groups!
We then took a 10 minute minibus stop to ;Stayokay Zeeburg, a large 600 bed hostel, where all rooms have private facilities and plenty of workroom space. The hostel is in a prime location with a 2 minute walk to the tram and cinema and a 10 minute walk to Flevopark. If you want to check a few other things off your list, it's only 20 mins to Oosterpark, Zoo and Planetarium. We gave our teachers the rest of the afternoon at leisure in the city centre. One teacher checked out BodyWorlds on Damrak and expressed that science students would love the mildly gruesome element s(real bodies!) that makes Biology interactive and fun.
We took public transport into central Station Amsterdam and had a short walk to the NEMO Science centre. Everyone agreed that the centre is absolutely brilliant. There is a plethora of interesting and engaging science related activities to explore. You can book lab time (18 visitors maximum per session), view an educational film on space and also a whole teen section about the biology of adolescence. NEMO is a beautifully crafted building, resembling the hull of a massive ship. There is a huge sloping roof terrace which would be a wonderful spot for groups to enjoy their packed lunches and take in amazing views of the city centre. We recommend a good two (if not three) hours for a school group to enjoy everything.
We then had the afternoon free to roam the city. I had my own agenda with Rembrandt’s house museum, flower market, Museum van Hool and my favourite attraction, X Bank, an old bank that now showcases all sorts of Dutch design.
The perfect Science-focused School Trip
Our partnership with Amsterdam University College has meant we now provide a superb ;Science School Trip where the emphasis is firmly on collaborative scientific learning. And with 5 days from only £325pp (based on 35 + 4 free pax) this trip is truly a cut above the rest. Find out more, get a no-obligation quote.
AUC entry requirements
Students thinking about their futures will benefit from this trip and get a real taste of life on campus. Science students are required to get good grades to be accepted to AUC, but if they're serious about a career in Science, this is a great community to join. Current alumni are roughly 50% Dutch and 50% International students. Fees, even without EU funding, are the same or a bit cheaper than UK (€9000 per annum fees, €4500 if EU member vs £10k approx. at most UK unis) and live-in fees for a really large room with kitchenette and private facilities is €500 per month = comparative to the UK but you get a lot more for your money.
Our curriculum tailored educational visits have been chosen by us to help deepen students' understanding of key ideas and put theory into practice. With diverse subjects such as Agriculture, Astrophysics, Biochemistry, Botany, Ecology, Engineering, Genetics, Marine Biology, Palaeontology, Microbiology and Zoology all falling under the umbrella of the subject, we promise the team at Voyager will prepare a bespoke itinerary for your specific learning needs.