Ridwan Abdi

Major: K-12 and Secondary Education
Class: Senior
Program: International Student Teaching
Destination: Norway

Overall Experience

My overall experience in Norway at Rosendal ungdomsskule was nothing short of fantastic. Teaching 8th through 10th graders, English gave me a unique opportunity to immerse myself in a warm and welcoming community. The locals went above and beyond, ensuring that we experienced Norway fully through activities such as museum visits, hikes, snow skating, snow sliding, skiing, Christmas parties, and gatherings. The bond formed with the school, teachers, students, and the community was so strong that leaving at the end of our student teaching was a hesitant decision. The laid-back nature of the teachers, coupled with their dedication to navigating the challenges of teaching and student behaviors, contributed to a positive and enriching environment. Exploring Bergen and Rosendal added to the overall experience, and the desire to return during the summer and witness the village in full bloom was a lingering sentiment.

Learning experience

The most valuable learning experience was dealing with unexpected student behaviors and learning the cultural differences with consequences. This challenged me to be mentally prepared, adapt my teaching strategies, and find innovative ways to manage diverse student needs. I learned the importance of flexibility, patience, and the ability to connect with students on a personal level to foster a positive learning environment.

Memorable experience

The most memorable experience was exploring Bergen, Husnes, Odda, and Rosendal, engaging in winter activities, and participating in Christmas parties and teacher gatherings. Witnessing the beauty of the landscapes and being part of the vibrant community created lasting memories.

What did you not expect?

I was surprised by the difference in consequences and this experience has prompted me to reconsider my approach to discipline and contemplate more nuanced strategies for managing student conduct. It underscores the importance of understanding cultural differences and adapting teaching methods to suit the context.

What advice would you give?

For students considering studying abroad or undertaking a similar teaching experience, I recommend being mentally prepared for cultural differences, unexpected challenges, and diverse student behaviors. Embrace the opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture, connect with the community, and be open to new teaching approaches. Flexibility, patience, and a positive attitude will be instrumental in making the most of this enriching experience. Additionally, cherish the moments, build meaningful connections, and be open to the unexpected, as these aspects often contribute to the most valuable and memorable experiences.

How has this experience impacted your life?

This experience has profoundly impacted my life, enhancing my adaptability and cultural awareness. It broadened my horizons and allowed me to form connections with people from different cultural backgrounds. Educationally, I gained valuable insights into diverse teaching styles and approaches. In terms of long-term career goals, this experience may shape my commitment to incorporating global perspectives in education and considering international opportunities in my future career.

How did you learn about this experience?

I learned about this international opportunity through my friends planning to be student teachers abroad.

International Connections