Career Connections

Kayla Dyer

Major: Kinesiology and Health

Year: Senior
Hometown/State: Ruthven, Iowa

Type of experience: Student Teaching
Company/Organization: American Overseas School of Rome
Company/Organization website:
Title: Student Teacher
Destination: Rome, Italy

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
During my time at this school, I was in charge of assisting my cooperating teacher supervise the students. I also was the primary teacher of 2 separate units within the secondary health setting. For the eighth grade students, I taught them about noncommunicable diseases and safety during the health class. With the ninth grade students, I taught them about drugs, alcohol, and tobacco. At the end of my time at the school, I began working on softball skills and playing the game with both age groups of students.

I will never forget...
There are students at this school from over 40 different countries around the world. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the students and learning about the different cultures around the world. The students have taught me so much about how to be accepting of cultural differences. These students have seen more of the world than I ever will and it was great to be able to learn things from them, as well as teach them about a variety of health topics.

Advice for others...
My biggest advice is to be open and accepting to others. With the diverse group of students, you will be exposed to so many things you would have never even thought of. Not only are the students culturally diverse, you will also be living in a foreign country for 8 weeks. You have to be open to the differences that there will be. There have been many times where things have not gone as planned and you can't dwell on it. If you do, the experience will not be as enjoyable as it could be. Living in a new country, where you don't speak the language is a bit of an adjustment, but if you are open and accepting of the world around you, it will be a great experience. I would also suggest that you learn a few Italian words to help you get by. They appreciate the effort, even if you don't pronounce it correctly.

I landed this assignment by...
When looking at the different placement options for student teaching, I saw that there were six different options to student teach overseas. I thought the choices looked really great. I found out more about it and learned that you have to apply for it. I decided to apply and give it a shot. If I didn't get a spot then I would have been able to do both of my placements near home. When applying, you put your top 3 options and then everyone has an interview. About a week after the interview process, I was called and told I had been chosen for a spot in Italy. I had a few days to talk it over with my family and then tell them whether or not I wanted to do it.

I wanted this experience because...
I really wanted this placement because I have always wanted to travel to Europe and come to Rome my entire life. I also thought that coming here I would be able to gain more cultural awareness and make myself more marketable as a future teacher. I have been able to broaden my horizons in a way that would never have been possible if I chose to do both of my placements within the United States. I am so happy I chose to come here and have this experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.

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