The excitement for the Prague 2019 trip was evident when the Excursion Committee members walked through the doors of Polder at 22.00 on October 31st. Everyone (students and teachers) had gathered early to enjoy a drink or two before getting on the bus. And though the bus ride was long and uncomfortable, and many of us did not sleep much, the excitement rose once more as we walked through the cobble-stone roads of Prague to get to our hostel right near the centre. Anticipating the lack of sleep we would be getting, after checking in and putting away our luggage, we had the rest of the morning off to grab some much-needed coffee and breakfast before we started the day.
The first forensic experience on our trip was the Prague Police Museum. It was said to have an entire section on forensic science, including mock crime scenes. Upon our arrival, it was told to us that they only had one copy of their museum guide in English. Grateful for WhatsApp groups, we managed to get everyone a digital copy and we were sent off to explore their various exhibits. The most interesting (for us) was the overview of Prague's most interesting forensic cases and the development of forensics in their country. After a lovely dinner, organised by the Excursion Committee, it was time to get a good night's sleep in a comfortable bed.
The highlight of the trip was the visit to the Forensic department of Deloitte. They graciously organised a program for us on the morning of the 1st of November. Everyone dressed up in their smart clothes and we began the walk to the Deloitte building across town. There, we had the pleasure of speaking to the entire Deloitte Forensic Team, as they explained to us how they use forensics in their casework and showing us some of their tricks. They had also prepared an example case for us to work. It was a great way to start our second day in Prague. It was an absolute honour for them to take time out of their busy schedules and to organise this morning for so many of us.
Following our Deloitte visit, it was time for some team building activities around the city. And in order to make it a bit more fun, it was turned into a competition and the winners would get a surprise. The surprise was picked out by the Excursion Committee members who had snuck away to one of the chocolate shops and hand-picked a selection of chocolate bars made in Prague. To end such a great day in Prague, another dinner was organised for everyone by the Excursion Committee, after which we would go out and enjoy the Prague nightlife.
On our last day in Prague, November 2nd, we finally had the day off to explore the city, enjoy the culture, cuisine and views that Prague has to offer us. From the bridges and castles to the magnificent clock and chocolate shops. It felt as though this last day went by in seconds, and before we knew it we were back on the bus for another (uncomfortable) night, heading home to Amsterdam.
Thank you to the Excursion Committee and Verum for working extra hard to allow not only the first-year students but also some of the eager second-year students to come along on this trip. Despite the long bus rides, I think it is safe to say that everyone had a good time.
Text and images by Sofie Huisman