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This year the destination we chose was Hamburg and because the trip was earlier in the year than usual, our first years wouldn’t know each other as much so as the Excursion Committee we decided to focus the trip on getting them all acquainted with each other. We piled into the bus early in the morning on Thursday and set off ahead of schedule with our lively bus driver.

After a breakfast break halfway through the drive, energy was up again which was put to good use in the music bingo with everyone singing along to the tunes. The bingo carried us through almost until our arrival at the hostel which was in the west of the city. After the lunch break we met back at the hostel for our first activity, a murder mystery box that had people listening to audio recordings, inspecting photos and making family trees… Everyone was very invested in solving the case, even the teachers joined in as a team!

After a short break we had our guests arrive, two recent graduates from the MFS programme, that now work as a forensic advisor and crime scene investigator at the Hamburg Police. They talked to us about their experience in the Master’s and their jobs in the forensic field. They had also prepared a workshop for us to get an idea of how it works when the police get a case and the process and order of forensic testing. The day ended with a pizza night at the hostel and then students ventured out to the city to have some drinks and get to know each other.

The next day we had an early start to visit the Hamburg Police Museum which had opened especially for us! We arrived and were welcomed in for our private opening by the staff who also explained many of the exhibits and shared some anecdotes with us as most of them were ex-police. The museum was much bigger than we expected and everyone had a blast! We got to know about the history, the forensic techniques used, 8 criminal cases in Hamburg and our favourite, composite drawing software which made us cry with laughter trying to recreate people’s faces.

We headed back to the hostel for some free time to get lunch and reconvened in the lobby for our final game. Fabio had organised a city game with tasks to do at different locations with your assigned team, we gave everyone their instructions and the teams set off across the city on their adventure.

Before we knew it, it was dinner time and we headed to the restaurant for a fantastic Mexican dinner. After dinner was free time which most students used to go out in the city while others headed back to the hostel’s rooftop bar. 

The next day was a day of free time to explore the city, different groups branched off to do various activities. That afternoon our bus driver picked us up outside the hostel to make our way back to Amsterdam. 

Though it was sometimes challenging to organise this trip with the changing restrictions it culminated in a really fun trip that got first and second years to mix and mingle while learning about where the master’s could take them. The students really bonded with each other which was one of our main goals for the trip and which was confirmed by the constant chatter on the bus back to Science Park! We are very thankful to the guest speakers and the Police Museum in Hamburg for accommodating us. None of this would’ve been possible without the help and support of the MFS staff and the Verum board. We look forward to seeing where they decide to go next year!

On behalf of the Excursion committee 2022, Ana Crispini, Boukje Meester, Fabio Tango and Sienna Arnold.