The exchange to Finland.

 by: Jurjan den Hollander, Silas van Gelder and Mauro van Strater.

 In September 2019 it was the Jamali Primary school in Finland’s turn

to be the host for the other countries:

England, Spain, Croatia, Poland and the Netherlands.

We (Jurjan, Mauro and Silas) from the Zijlwijkschool, were allowed to join this wonderful project!

This is our report:

25 Sept: at 9:00 pm. we had to be at Schiphol airport, so that we could board our 11:55 plane.

The flight went well and in two hours we were in Helsinki.

We had to wait one hour there, then we flew with a propellor plane to “Joensuu” 

a little city in Finland.


We then drove with a minibus in one hour to Lieksa to the hostel where we arrived at 9:00 PM. There was a dinner with pumpkin soup and bread.

We mainly had contact with the children from Spain and Croatia, because they were our age. The Poles were “too old” and the English were “too young”. They were nice, but it is just a bit difficult to make contact with children who are not your own age and do not speak your own language.


On the second day at 6:30 am we got out of bed because we needed to be at breakfast at 7:00 am and at 7:30 am the bus that went to the school arrived. The school started at 8:00, Finland first gave a few welcome plays,

then we ate a piece of cake and drank lemonade, coffee and tea. At 11:00 we went to lunch. In Finland lunch consist of egg and meat. After lunch the Finns explained more about their school: how old it was, and who the founder was. The school teaches in such a way that you can keep physically busy and still learn a lot. 

The school was finished at 14:00, we then traveled by bus to an area where we started rafting! (that is to sail with a rubber boat over a river with rapids), the guides of the boats counted (in Finnish) to three and then shouted: VETTVetto! Vetto! that meant “paddle” in Finnish.At 6:00 pm we arrived back at the hostel.

On the third day we again needed to be out of bed at 6:30 am so that we can get on the minibus at 7:30 am.

That day we gave a presentation about our school and about the hortus and the observatory in Leiden.

Them we left them with Dutch songs to sing such as: “Hoofd schouders knie en teen”, “Zo gaat de molen” and “Twee emmertjes water halen”. Also we taught them Dutch words and we had them signed a windmill.

We also went to a open air museum about the history from Finland. It was very beautiful and interesting.


On the fourth day we were allowed to sleep in (still until 7:30 am) lovely!

First we went hiking to a cave with a beautiful view.

Then we went to lunch at an old farm, there is only an outside toilet. where they told a ghost story about a ghost walking around there, like you

That evening when you went to the outside toilet you heard footsteps behind you, they said.

After that we went to Koli (Kollie) which is the highest mountain in the area.

The special thing about that mountain was that you had a view of the largest lake in Finland. The mountain was full of quartz (we also brought some quartz.)

then we went to the bomba spa, it was very nice and beautiful there, with 3 different sauna’s: a caribbean, steam and a finnish course but also a few hot tubs 2 outside and 1 inside afterwards we went to eat not far from the spa when we arrived back at 10 p.m.


On the last day we were allowed to get up at 7:30, then we could still have a quiet breakfast because the minibus arrived at 8:30.

Our first plane went back at 11:00 where we had to wait 3 hours and the last plane to Schiphol left at 14:00 and we arrived at 16:00.


We hope you enjoyed reading our report, for us it was a nice experience.

Thank you for reading!


1 thought on “The exchange to Finland.

  • You remembered so much about the trip. I’m glad you enjoyed it. You made me very nervous with your rock climbing, but you are right, the view was incredible!

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