Overall, I had an AMAZING experience in Norway for International Student Teaching. I was a bit nervous to travel across the world to live in a new country for two months. However, the little bit of nervousness could not compare to the experiences and relationships that I would then build during my time in Norway. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything else. I made new friends, developed connections with students, and was welcomed by the school I taught at as well as by the community.
The most valuable learning experience for me was seeing the trust that my cooperating teacher had established with her students. I learned that establishing trust in students takes time and effort. If you want to trust your students and have them trust you, it is important to build a relationship with them and work to build that trust. One thing I have noticed during my time in Norwegian schools is that teachers put a lot of trust in the students. Whether this be to walk to another classroom by themselves or work in the hallway on an assignment, the trust is given more generously than what I have seen in American classrooms. This is something that I hope to value in my future classroom. Therefore, I think that it will be essential for me to build strong relationships with each and every student in my classroom to work towards having so much trust.
The most memorable thing about going to Norway was the relationships I built with teachers, students, and ISU student teachers and supervisors. The people that I miss the most are the students and teachers of the school I taught at. They welcomed me into their school and made me feel like I was a part of their team. My cooperating teacher was so welcoming and showed me so many great things that I will be able to use in my classroom. The most notable thing about the people in the school I taught in was their kindness and compassion for people. In addition, they had a heart for the students, just as I saw in my last placement in the U. S. I will always cherish the time I spent in Norway. I have had so many positive interactions with the staff and the students, and the students were also so welcoming and helpful to me. They were all so friendly and kind. I really enjoyed getting to know each and every one of them so much.
What did you not expect?
Something that surprised me was the amount of trust my cooperating teacher had in her students. I saw how she had built relationships with all the students to establish this trust. I hope to prioritize trust and building relationships in my future classroom.
What advice would you give?
If you are thinking about going abroad, my suggestion is that it is totally worth it, and you should do it, because adventure awaits wherever you decide to go. There is so much to be gained from studying abroad.
How has this experience impacted your life?
This experience has impacted me as a person in so many ways. Not only have my teaching skills been refined and diversified, but I have gained a greater appreciation and understanding of the world and cultures around me. I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the people of Norway. I have had so many positive interactions with them. Personally, I was able to make connections and develop relationships with others. I gained lifelong friends in Norway. In terms of my long term goals, I have more passion to see the world around me and teach abroad in the future.
How did you learn about this experience?
I learned about this international opportunity on one of my college visits during high school. I was interested in Elementary Education and explored the program more through a seminar. I found out that I could go abroad for my student teaching. I knew I had a passion to learn about other cultures and travel and see the world, and so I was instantly interested in ISU's international student teaching program.International Connections