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European Study Tour

This year, saw our first European Study Tour take place. On Friday 22 March, 28 students and 4 staff embarked on the trip of a lifetime. For these students, who have a keen interest in politics, history and geography travelling to Belgium, Amsterdam and France allowed them to fully immerse themselves in a variety of incredible experiences.


Their trip began in chilly Amsterdam, where the amount of bikes blew everyone away! The group explored the streets and canals and began with a highlight, a tour of Anne Frank’s house. There they walked the halls where Anne once hid and it was an incredibly eye opening experience for all. In the days to follow they explored museums, galleries and other historical places including the Rijksmuseum, home to the ‘Dutch Masters’ and the national museum of the Netherlands. They marveled at the impressive collection of paintings and other artworks including Rembrandt’s, ‘The Night Watch’. They also visited the Van Gogh Museum, which contains 1300 paintings, drawings and letters by Vincent Van Gogh. The Mauritshuis Museum was also a highlight with its spectacular coloured rooms. Favorite pieces included Vermeer’s, ‘Girl With a Pearl Earring’ and ‘The Garden of Eden with the Fall of Man’ by Jan Brueghel.

They toured the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the judicial organ of the United Nations, where they admired the interior of bronze and crystal chandeliers, stained glass and marble. They were lucky enough to tour the Court Room and Judges Chambers and student Halani D suggested it ‘had inspired many dreams of careers in International Law or relations.

There were also moments in places that offered amazing spaces for reflection. They watched the Vespers at the Basilica of St Nicholas, where the service was sung beautifully whilst taking in the breathtaking decorative ceilings and stained glass windows.

Enjoying cultural delicacies was a favorite part of the adventure as they tried traditional Dutch Pannenkoeken, savoury or sweet! Some also indulged in Amsterdam’s famous fries with classic frittessaus. Whilst enjoying yummy treats, along the first few days the scenery was captivating with a visit to The Hague and time to wander through the cobblestone lined streets. There was also time for lots of laughter, karaoke and shopping. The perfect few days to begin their adventure!


Belgium offered plenty more spectacular sites and was home for the next few days. With its rich history and sacred places, the students and staff were moved by a number of the sites visited. The scenery was spectacular like Amsterdam with time to explore Ghent and indulge in Belgian waffles, breads and delicious pastries.

They toured Gravensteen Castle, where they learnt about the history of the castle and about the medieval history. They enjoyed a virtual reality tour around St Bavo’s Cathedral and viewed the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb altarpiece. With its rich history and cultural significance, it was truly an art piece to remember. They also visited St Martin’s Cathedral to admire the artwork and had the opportunity to listen to a young school group rehearsing choir songs.

The visit to Tyne Cot National Cemetery was a place for the group to pay their respects. Whilst the scenery was beautiful the many rows of those who fought for freedom in World War 1 was a sight that will be remembered. Flanders Fields museum also offered incredible insights of WW1 with uniforms, weapons and propaganda used to entice young men to enlist in the army. A particularly memorable moment was attending a moving ‘Last Post Ceremony’ at Menin Gate, where Matilda D, Alicia V and Elizabeth J laid a wreath on behalf of the College.


Day 6 onwards saw the group travel to the final stop of the trip, France. On the way they stopped at Fromelles (Pheasant Wood) Military Cemetery and V.C. Corner Australian Cemetery and Memorial. Again, many of these places allowed the students time to reflect and further pay their respects. To help commemorate the soldiers, each student received an Australian flag to plant in one of the graves. They also visited: Villers Bretonneux Adelaide Cemetery which paid tribute to fallen soldiers, Villers Bretonneux Australian National Memorial, which held the names of many soldiers; the John Monash Centre which commemorates Australian and New Zealand soldiers’ experiences, personal diaries, letters, records and stories; the Pozieres Australian Memorial, where they discussed the history of the Battle of Pozieres and Beaumont-Hamel Newfoundland Park, where the group literally stood where soldiers built and fought in trenches during WWI. They also visited Juno Beach and learnt about Canada’s input in WW2 and their efforts as a young nation. On June 6 1944, the Normandy landing occurred, known as D-Day and is the largest seaborne invasion in history.

The days in France included visits to many iconic places including the Cluny Museum, Eiffel Tower, Arc Di Triomphe, Sainte Chapelle and they delved into Paris’s bohemian history on a Montmartre and Sacre Coeur walking tour. The explored the city and church of Arras, the Cathédrale Notre-Dame d’Amiens which was breathtaking, the Bayeux Cathedral with its stunning architecture and marvelled at The Bayeux Tapestry – nearly 70 metres long and 50 centimetres tall, which depicts the events leading up to the Norman Conquest of England in 1066.

Another highlight was the visit to The Louvre, which, whilst exciting, was hectic as everyone made their way to see the Mona Lisa while admiring all the surrounding artwork such as Roman and Greek antiquities, Spanish and Italian paintings and French revolutionary paintings. The Palace of Versailles provided another stunning backdrop amidst preparations for the 2024 Olympic games. Whilst the study tour provided many moments to learn and discover, lots of fun was also had especially at Disneyland Paris. The group split up and each smaller group enjoyed the wide array of themed food, the rides including Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain, the souvenirs and the beautiful castle.

This really is a snapshot of the incredible experience that our 28 students had on the journey. The excited but weary group arrived home on 5 April, tired but with memories that will last a life time. As the term progresses, our students will have the opportunity to share their European experiences and the invaluable lessons they have gleaned with the wider community through presentations. We eagerly anticipate continuing to cultivate and promote a global mindset among our students, fostering a deeper understanding and appreciation of the interconnectedness of our world.