International Connections

Kristin Lehner

Major: Elementary Education

Minor/option/emphasis: English as a Second Language Endorsement; Reading Endorsement

Year: Senior
Hometown, State: Palatine, Illinois

Type of experience: Student Teaching
Experience: International Student Teaching
Experience website:
Destination: Rome, Italy

Overall experience..
It's hard to put into words my experience student teaching in Rome. It was incredible. I taught in a 3rd through 5th grade EAL classroom at the American Overseas School of Rome. The students I had were from all over the world. Some of these included: Israel, China, Switzerland, and Russia. Not only was I able to teach in a different country and learn from different educational perspectives but I was also able to explore the different historical land marks this beautiful city had to offer.

I learned...
My sophomore year I was looking into the different study abroad programs that Iowa State had to offer. After talking with my adviser and looking at my courses, we determined that student teaching abroad would be the easiest to fit into my schedule. I then decided to go to the international student teaching meetings to get more information about it. They were very informative and helped me finalize my decision!

An impact to my life...
My experience student teaching abroad has made an incredible impact on my life in many ways. First and foremost, I've gained a new respect and insight on lifelong learning. Through this experience, I was able to practice all that I've learned in different courses while also gaining new perspectives within the educational field. I have realized that there is so much out there to learn about and people to learn from which has inspired me to continue learning and growing as I move into the next step of my career. Beyond my educational growth, another impact student teaching abroad has made in my life is the development of a more sophisticated way of looking at the world. I feel that I have a deeper appreciation of other cultures and traditions. Additionally, I feel that this experience has pushed myself in developing greater skills as a future leader.

I will never forget...
My most memorable experience was going to a Roma vs Lazio soccer game. These two teams are both from Rome so it was fun being able to experience the intensity of the game and the dedication of the fans. It was unlike any other sports game I've been to!

Advice for others...
My advice for other students who want to or are debating on studying abroad is to simply do it! I was afraid that I would miss out on a lot of things being a senior and going during my last semester of college. Now that I have graduated and am looking back on my college career, student teaching abroad holds some of my fondest memories of college. I will have this experience and many stories to share the rest of my life.

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