We're halfway there - see everything we've experienced so far

Dear reader.

The world is a book, and he who does not travel reads only one page!

The quote comes from the priest Saint Augustine, who lived about 600 years ago. Back then, the world was flat and it was dangerous to sail to the edge.
Pupils and teachers have been turning over the pages of the big book this past week, turning many exciting pages in their travels around the world!

The theme of the cultural trips is to meet, experience and understand how other young people live their lives, go to school, work and what they are interested in.

For the past 3 months, students have been preparing for the cultural trips, but in reality it is in the encounter with the different,
that students use everything they have learned through their schooling to understand the different culture.

The world is like a book, and it's great that students now find they can read it and be richer in their own lives.

The journeys have gone without any major problems or mishaps, and we are all keeping our fingers crossed that the next week will also go well, and that the return journeys will go well.
On 11.2 there will be a Cultural Studies and Travel presentation for students and families, and registration is open on the School Plan.

The cultural tours are in full swing and you can get the first week's overview below. A selection of the best. For the next and last week, follow along at exploreworld.com which gathers all the journeys in one page.

Costa Rica - Coral Restoration

Follow Costa Rica's facebook page.

A great day with lots of good dives where all students have been in the water ? The students have seen Manta Rays, Moray eels, seahorses and Archor shrimps ? It is clear to see that there is an imbalance in some food chain systems. For example, the porcupine fish are vastly over-represented in this area.

We have made a lot of observations on the corals and their environment, and can clearly see what challenges there are in the world's oceans, among other things due to climate change and the release of various nutrients, perhaps also chemistry...

Cuba - Music, dance and culture

Follow the Cuba team Facebook page.

Hey, homey! We have been to Vinales with beautiful nature, free-range pigs and a visit to a tobacco plantation - lots of idyll and Cuban atmosphere. Unfortunately, some have had some stomach problems during the day - we cross our fingers for a quick recovery. Good night from here, we'll be back with more news!

Today, most of the stomach wounds were improving. We visited a kindergarten and the students gave LEGO and played with the children. We also went to the Revolutionary Museum where we could see, among other things, the Grandma, the boat in which Fidel Castro and Che sailed from Mexico to Cuba when they landed with the rebel army in the years before the liberation in 1959. Tonight we're going to a concert of Cuban traditional music

Europe Tour - 3 major cities in Eastern Europe.

Follow Europa Tours Facebook page.

In Theresienstad they said that before the liberation the Germans shot the young because they were the future. Tonight we chose to celebrate the future. Hurray for the lovely young people <3.

Hawaii - Operation: save the oceans!

Follow the Hawaii team Facebook page.

We leave a lot of waste and chemicals behind when we are on the water. Therefore we will explore the possibilities of sustainable materials e.g. for surfboards, surfwax, neoprene wetsuits, paints etc. On the trips we go on, we see that there is a lot of litter along the coasts, and we need to raise awareness of this among the students. We will try to get the attention of students who want to use the sea for different sports, but also want to make a difference.

Cultural meeting in India

Follow the India team Facebook page.

We've had a fantastic day today. We visited a home for orphaned girls who have HIV. We are touched, happy and impressed. It has been a great experience in every way.
Plus, we get praise from all the places we go. Our students are wonderful and a pleasure to have around.
Everyone has now gone in high spirits to the neighbour's - a small mall - to have dinner. Tomorrow we have more rest and digest the day today and move on to the next NGO project in Gingee. A drive of about 4 hours.

Japan - culture, nature and youth

Follow the Japan team facebook page.

Danish version:
Now the wonderful and step-filled days in Kyoto are over and we are excitedly entering the last week in TOKYO! We've learned how the chaotic train transportation system works, tried new exciting food, how far you can walk in a day and found good food for less than 500 yen (about 30 dkk). We had a culture shock in Kyoto, with trash-free streets, few trash cans and lots of Japanese who couldn't speak English. We started by staying in a narrow but full hostel, where breakfast consisted of something as exotic as Japanese cornflakes. Then we went to templewalk, food markets and monkey mountain. The weather was great almost every day.
It wasn't just the tourist attractions that were exciting, the Japanese people were an experience in themselves. They were very welcoming and fun to try to understand, even though most of us didn't know Japanese. They were polite and always showed respect to their fellow humans.
The trip in Kyoto ended with a stressful struggle to find a night bus to one of Mt. Fuji. This is where the next exciting part of our trip begins!
We look forward to Tokyo

Frederik, Niclas, Benjamin, Linus and Zander

English version:

We woke up early in the morning, Sunday, and took the bus to Billund airport. We flew for an hour to Amsterdam, where we switched planes, with a new destination: Osaka airport. The flight lasted for 10 hours, and everybody was really tired. Even though everybody was exhausted from the flight, we visited Osaka castle when we arrived. It was really pretty and here we tried Japanese food for the first time. In the evening we checked in to the hostel.

On Tuesday we took a train to the another part of Kyoto. We went to visit the monkeys mountain. It was really amazing. After that we went to the bamboo forest. Then we walked to the lake nearby, it took a couple minutes to get there. We ate there and relaxed together before we took the train to the golden temple. It was so beautiful beyond our expectations. When we got back to the hostel we had free time where we could do whatever we wanted.

This Was A calm Day, we left the hostel in the morning, to visit two Japanese women who taught us about Japanese food and Japanese eating customs. One of the women was Nina's friend, and she taught us about sustainable living as well. After visiting the women and eating at their home, a very typical Japanese house, we got the rest of the day off. A lot of people went shopping, while others went to see an old samurais ancient house.

We ate breakfast together in the morning. After we went on temple run, where we saw a lot of different temples. It was very busy and crowded because of the many tourists. After the temple run we went to a very famous food market in Kyoto with many small boutiques. We ate dinner together at a ninja restaurant in Kyoto.

In this culture subject, an encounter with the "Empire of the Sun" awaits you - a fascinating country that lives in the contrast between high technology and tradition-bound customs and virtues.

China - culture and friendship school

Follow the China team Facebook page.

Malaysia - Schooling - A human right for all

Follow the Malaysia team Facebook page.

We have again today taught at the Hilla Community Center. The children at the school are delighted with our visit and we enjoy spending time with them. After the lesson we took the bus to Chinatown where everything can be bought. While we were in Chinatown, we were surprised by a violent thunderstorm and within minutes everyone was soaked. Luckily it's about 30 degrees here, so even though we were wet, spirits were high. Tomorrow we will teach again.

Join us for morning singing at Hilla Community Centre.

Animal welfare and rehabilitation in Namibia

Follow the Namibia team Facebook page.

Nepal Trekking Himalaya

Follow Nepal Trekking Himalayas facebook page.

Day 2 of the trek was tough, beautiful and lovely:) We stayed at sunny hotel in Ghorepani which has a world class view of Dhaulaghiri and Annapurna south. Everyone is tired but spirits are high.Tomorrow morning we will go to Poon Hill for even better views and then to Swanta. The adventure has begun in earnest:)

The first day of trekking has gone well and we are now in Thikedhunga in a nice little hotel. Tomorrow the trip goes to Ghorepani and then up to Khopra Ridge. There will be more small videos and photos when conditions allow:)

Nepal Cultural Trek

Follow Nepal Cultural Trek Facebook page.

We were woken up at 5:20 to walk for an hour up to a mountain peak at 1,945 m to see the sun rise and give a beautiful light on the Manaslu and Annapurna massifs with peaks up to 8,167 m. Afterwards breakfast, distribution of gifts and a good time, where we learned to count in Nepali.

Nepal Friendship School

Follow the Nepal Friendship School facebook page.

At the Friendship School, the smile has really been put to the test. Both the Danish and Nepalese children and adults have been laughing their heads off throughout our stay.

Staying with local families has been a huge success and experience for all! Even if you don't speak the same language you can still communicate and have fun together!

The last time at school was spent handing out all the clothes we had brought.

"It was great to see that they appreciated so much that we gave them clothes and made the football pitch. They all looked very happy." - Kristine kjeldsen

"It was a huge eye-opener to see how well we're doing at home. Often we get driven to school or take the bus, they have to walk on hillsides to get to school." - Emilie Jensen

"To be able to come to the home of a family you don't know and learn about their daily lives and what they do is a huge experience. It was very difficult to talk to the families because they were not very good at speaking English but you found a way, so at the end of the day you could sit by the fire and have a conversation or help the children collect Lego" - Anne-Catrine Pedersen

"Ranum efterskole, the school that moves mountains" - Oscar Viborg Jensen

In just two days, with hard work, we have managed to move half a mountain (almost) to make room for a football pitch, then we have put up nets and goals. The school now has a football pitch! The pitch was inaugurated with a small tournament. It is clear that the Nepalese children and adults are very happy with our work!

New Zealand Culture and school visits

Follow New Zealand's facebook page.

Hot Water Beach, one of New Zealand's most famous geothermal wonders - Dig a hole on the beach and get a hot bath.

Bridal Veil Falls, a fantastic walk through New Zealand's nature that ended in a stunning waterfall.

Oman - Middle Eastern culture and UNESCO World Heritage

Follow Oman's Facebook page.

Oman is one of those countries in the Middle East we seldom hear about - but this does absolutely not make it any less interesting. Through our membership in the UNESCO ASP network we have received a unique opportunity to get close to a culture and nature that is completely outstanding and different from what we are used to.

Peru - Community Development

Follow Peru Facebook page.

A very nice trip, even if we have changed the programme: on Sunday 14th we were well on our way to Patapallpa Alta, even if the bus broke down on the way! At 2pm we arrived for both breakfast and lunch and a welcome with music and dancing. A hospitable people who welcomed us in the best way. On the 15th the students went out to pick mushrooms and herbs, they helped prepare lunch, fed guinea pigs, harvested grass etc... everyone coped well with being up in the heights, although it was a hard slog for some, and one had to go back to Cusco to be checked. All well, and everyone is now, on 16 January, gathered in Urubamba, having eaten guinea pigs and been to hot springs in Pacchanta earlier in the day. We are all in Urubamba until the 19th, when the tour heads to Machu Pichu. Tomorrow we will visit the Salineras salt mines!

Ever since the early Incas, salt has been extracted from an underground source that is very salty. Quite a spectacular sight.

Today we visited a museum with many different kinds of llamas and alpacas. Then it was on to the market in Pisac. The trip ended with grilled guinea pig for everyone. Tomorrow we will go on an Inca trek and mountain bike ride.

South Africa - Cape Town

Follow South Africa's Facebook page.

Another great day in Cape Town where we got to know this beautiful city better. We started with a walking tour of the city, seeing some of the major sites in its history and the things that make it the city it is today. We had a great lunch at the Thursday food market - lots of different foods to try and a great busy market to experience. Matt also got his favorite brownie - so all was good!

After lunch we went to visit Langa Township. We were guided by locals who live in the township, who took us into their homes and showed us their community. We visited different projects and businesses such as the pottery and craft centre and the local brewery. One of the projects we visited was Happy Feet, a music and Dance program for children and teenagers. They showed us there dance skills and then tried to teach us one of their dances.... let's just say we did "ok".

After we had the opportunity to spend time with local children and give them the gifts we had brought with us. We all loved spending time with these bright young children and found it difficult to say goodbye. It's safe to say we all left Langa with a smile on our faces!

South Korea - Culture and politics

Follow South Korea's facebook page.

Seoul, here we come!

The first part of day consisted of a guided visit to KAIST (Korean Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) - the most prestigious university in Korea and one of the best in the world. It was a fascinating visit where we learned about the innovative drive that characterises the school, and we got a sneak peak of the many impressive technologies that it has helped develop. We also enjoyed a luxurious lunch fit for a whole family - or an efterskole student. The KAIST visit was rounded off with a tour of the massive campus - some of it in a battery-driven bus, which is charged wirelessly ?

After that the students were treated to some spare time in e-mart - a Korean department store, similar to wal-mart.

Eventually it was time to bid our fantastic hosts goodbye and make our way to Seoul via the super-fast KTX train. We made our way safely to the hotel, and later we wandered the local area in search of food. The hunters found their prey at an underground Korean barbeque - albeit not as fancy as our previous meal (however, we did have metal chopsticks and three different kinds of rice...so no complaints).

Finally, a tired group of students and teachers made their back to the hotel in order to get their well-needed zen-sleep before tomorrow's templestay.

"time you enjoy wasting, is not time wasted"

Buddhists for a day!


Follow Thailand's facebook page.

Dear Diary
Today we have been on the water for the first time. We saw lobsters, were fried like lobsters and ate lobster... No we had chicken for dinner.
We had some good dives, but unfortunately the visibility was a challenge for the snorkellers.

  • Three things we've learned:
  • We've found that aloe vera is good for removing redness.
  • Thai massage is an excellent way to recover after diving.
  • You should always rinse grapes in bottled water.

Tomorrow we will be back on and in the water.

We'll write again tomorrow dear diary

US Roadtrip - Exploring the Southwest

Follow US Roadtrips Facebook page.

Thanks for reading and have a great weekend!

This was the first part of the cultural trip in January. The next and last week will bring even more great stories, photos and videos. You can follow them individually on Facebook as written above or get an overview at exploreworld.com Here are all the travellers' Facebook pages in one clear and minimalist site.


Ranum Efterskole College