A visit to the Red Star Line Museum through the eyes of Wendy Marcela Arnez Ferrufino

Published on
Thu, 22/05/2014 - 17:37

The Spanish Social Orientation group visited the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp. A Social Orientation excursion through the eyes of student Wendy Marcela Arnez Ferrufino. By Wendy Marcela Arnez Ferrufino en Marie Van Wayenbergh

Who? Wendy Marcela Arnez Ferrufino
From? Bolivia
Age? 27
In Belgium since? December 2013
Education? Communication Studies
Social Orientation course? February 2014

“On March 20, our Spanish Social Orientation group took the train to Antwerp. For me, it was a fantastic experience to spend the day with the other participants. We form a close-knit group.

On arrival, we first went for a nice cup of coffee to plan our day. Here, I got the opportunity to get better acquainted with those classmates that I didn’t have a long talk with yet. Where do they live, what is there background, and most of all: what brought them to Belgium? I was especially interested in that last question! Even though we are all very different at first sight, I noticed a lot of similarities in our migration stories.

The highlight of our trip to Antwerp was a visit to the Red Star Line museum. We got to know more about the migration history of Belgium and Europe. Between 1873 and 1934, almost two million Europeans ventured to cross the Atlantic to the United States. In those days, Antwerp was a global port and therefore a linchpin in that part of history. The museum itself is located in the warehouses that were then used for the medical inspection of the passengers before they embarked on their long trip.

Listening to the testimonies of these migrants heading for an unknown future was very interesting. It was a relief to realise that I am not the only person who is confused and worried about what the future will hold for me in Belgium…

During lunch, we could enjoy the sunshine. After that, we explored the city centre. Unfortunately, not long after that, it was already time to head home. However, we will not likely forget this day. Not just because we learned more about the history of the country which receives us, but also because we had the opportunity to get to know each other a little better, both students, counsellors and teachers.


The Spanish Social Orientation group, posing in front of the Red Star Line Museum. With special thanks to Bertha Ofelia Cardoso..