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Cross-cultural internships: Students from the International Honours Degree in Teaching at Sorø Privatskole (Sorø private school)

Anette Møller Hansen, a lecturer and internship supervisor at the International Honours degree in Teaching at University College Absalon in Vordingborg, came to visit four students to assess the progress of their internship.

International students

"The progress of our students is good. They are happy to be at the school because they feel that the teachers want them and are open to discussing the challenges they face as interns. ..”

She adds, "We receive many students from abroad who want to study to become teachers at University College Absalon because they have heard about the cooperative idea, and the folk high school movement in Denmark. It motivates them to come to Denmark and be educated in a non-hierarchical school system with room for self-determination and dialogue. The students are generally eager to learn Danish and increase their knowledge about Denmark."

Expectations and Realities

This school year, Absalon’s international teacher program has 50 students divided into two classes. The number of students has been increasing from 35 to 50 annually over the past three years.

"When our students come here, many have the impression that Danish schools are perfect. However, gradually, they come to face reality. For instance, when they experience that not all pupils necessarily enjoy going to school, and increased use of IT in teaching compared to their home country doesn't always mean optimal teaching," says Anette.

Therefore, she encourages the students to hold onto their own values and to use the so-called 21st Century Skills in their daily lives. These skills include communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity.

All students in the program have English as their primary subject of instruction, and they receive education in Danish over the four years of the program. Additionally, they take a range of elective subjects as part of their education.

International Schools

"A large number of our students stay in Denmark after completing their teacher education. They can especially utilize their skills in international schools and schools with many students from diverse language backgrounds. What characterizes them is that they have become so resilient that they excel in new situations," says Anette.

"For us at Absalon, it is crucial that the schools where our students intern contribute to educating our young people. We emphasize that practical and theoretical knowledge go hand in hand…" says Anette Møller Hansen.

After the New Year, the interns will themselves handle a part of the teaching in classes for five days a week for four weeks. Following this, they will be at the school one day a week until spring."