Major: Family and Consumer Sciences Education and Studies
Hometown, State: Guttenberg, Iowa
Type of experience: Student Teaching
Experience: International Student Teaching
Experience website: http://www.education.iastate.edu/undergraduate-studies/undergraduate-applicants/student-teaching/
This was a once in a lifetime experience for me and I couldn’t have hoped for it to go any other way. I participated in the International Student Teaching program and was able to teach grades 8-10 at a small village in Norway. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would end up in this Scandinavian country, but I am so glad that I did. I was able to learn about the culture and community from the teachers and students that I worked with every day. I was also fortunate enough to be able to travel this beautiful country and see a lot of what it has to offer. Not many people would think of going to Norway for an international study abroad trip. If I was presented over again with this opportunity, I would hands down make the same choice.
I first learned about this opportunity at the student teaching seminar at the beginning of the fall semester before I student taught. I then attended the open house for international student teaching and discovered that Norway was the only option for my major. I did some research on the country and decided to commit to the idea of going on this adventure.
An impact to my life...
This experience has had a tremendous impact on my life. I was able to grow in my education and career as well as personally through this international experience. Student teaching in Norway opened me up to the endless possibilities that education and this beautiful world that we live in has to offer. It also made me appreciate the beauty of the world in a whole new way. This experience has also made me want to achieve so much more within my career in education.
My most valuable learning experience...
Working with students and teachers in another country taught me how important communication and flexibility are; especially in the education field. Another very valuable lesson and experience that I encountered was to take every opportunity you can to experience and enjoy the country that you are in. Expose yourself to all that the country has to offer, because if you don’t, you will regret not doing more when you leave.
I will never forget...
The most memorable part of this experience was being able to work with students in another country. I love to travel. I also love to work with kids. Combine both of these, and I was having the time of my life. We can learn so much from children and adolescents, and being able to do so while on this trip was my absolute favorite part.
A surprising discovery...
One thing that I absolutely loved about this experience, but was also surprised at, was how open and helpful everyone was. The teachers and staff were always willing to help in any way they could to make our experience more enjoyable, not only while at school, but outside of school as well. I was also surprised with how open the students were with me in sharing information about their personal lives. This is definitely something that I will take with me in my professional life because I think that having this open approach leads to stronger relationships, which in turn help to better educate.
Advice for others...
In the words of Nike, “Just Do It.” It will be the experience of a lifetime; one that you will probably never get the chance to repeat. You can learn so much from other cultures that will not only help you in your professional career, but will make you grow as a person as well.