Katherine Roberts

Major: Elementary education
Class: Senior
Timeframe: October 15th, 2018 - December 7th, 2018
Type of Experience: Student Teaching
Program: Germany
Destination: Germany

Overall Experience

Teaching internationally was one of the best decisions I made during my educational career. Germany was everything and more than I could have asked for as my final teaching placement at ISU. From learning about an entirely new culture to working with teachers from around the world at the international school in Fellbach, I learned something new everyday. The connections and relationships I built while abroad are ones that will last a lifetime. I cannot wait to go back and visit!

Learning experience

The most valuable learning experience I encountered was being able to travel all around Germany and see a country that was a huge part of world history. I learned the most about Germany while visiting Berlin. We were able to walk the remains of the Berlin Wall, visit multiple historical museums, see Checkpoint Charlie, Topography of Terror, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, and more. Each part of Berlin was humbling and an experience I will never forget.

Memorable experience

The most memorable experiences I had was traveling to to meet with family while in Europe. Half way through student teaching, I traveled to Madrid, Spain to see my cousin who has been stationed abroad with the marines for three years. Then, at the end of student teaching, I traveled to Norway to connect with extended family. Being able to travel was amazing all on its own, but being able to see family while traveling made it even more memorable. I will never forget the amazing memories I created with relatives while abroad and feel so fortunate to have the chance. Here's to many more travels with them in the future!

What did you not expect?

Something that surprised me was how relaxed standards and expectations were at the international school compared to the United States. At SIS, all of the lessons were structured to be student centered. Students created and worked on what they needed while moving at their own pace. I think teachers in the US easily forget that students needs to be engaged in their won learning and want to learn. With the standards and expectations that are set, it is hard to remember. In my own classroom, I want students to feel motivated while reaching their academic goals which is achieved by focusing on the student first.

What advice would you give?

For students who are debating whether or not to study abroad: Do it. Take a leap of faith, jump into a program, be 100% all in. The experiences and memories abroad changed who I am as a person while pursuing my degree and working towards my dream of becoming a teacher. When abroad: Embrace the culture, embrace the people, embrace the environment around you. Never be afraid of trying something new, explore small and unexpected cities, and enjoy being in the moment!

How has this experience impacted your life?

The greatest impact this experience had on my life was realizing how important it is to recognize differences in culture. Working at the international school, I was able to interact with students and teachers that have moved to Germany from all around the world- India, UK, France, Italy, Spain, Brazil, Untied States, Canada, New Zealand, and many more. Each student or teacher brought a new perspective from a new culture in and out of the classroom. I will take what they have taught me and carry it with me for the rest of my life-personally and professionally.

How did you learn about this experience?

I learned about this international opportunity from classmates who taught abroad in semesters before me. I also attended the student teaching fair to learn about my different options for student teaching.

International Connections