Skip to main content

International interns surprised by the good relationship between teachers and pupils in Denmark

Evita Karakoulaki from Greece and Rabi Bhatta from Nepal are students at the Internatinal Honours Degree in Teaching at University College Absalon in Vordingborg. Their first internship is currently taking at Sorø Private School from October 2023 to March this year.


After being at the school for several months, Evita says, she is happy with how they as interns have been received and allowed to become part of the daily life at the school.

Rabi agrees: "We certainly don't feel left out, and we have received good support from the teachers. Especially the past four weeks, where we have been teaching at the school, have gone by so quickly. It's lovely to experience the good atmosphere in the classrooms and the interaction between teacher and students," he says.

The two interns are continuously surprised by the cultural differences between their home countries and Denmark 

"In comparison to Greece, I especially notice a big difference in the relationship between teacher and pupils. The pupils call us by our first names, but they still respect us as teachers - even though the teaching takes place in a relaxed atmosphere. Yes, in fact, I experience that there can be a confidential relationship between teacher and pupils," says Evita.

Rabi chimes in and explains that in Nepal “…there is a big distance between teacher and students. Yes, one could say that there is a kind of fear towards the teacher from the students”. He also explains that the students in Denmark get to take part in their own learning: “In Nepal, I experience that 80 percent of the time it is the teacher who speaks while the students listen and receive”.

Mastering the Danish language

When asked when the two interns expect to teach in fluent Danish, they shift uncomfortably in their chairs. They estimate that they probably won't achieve the ability to teach in Danish until they are fully qualified teachers in 2027, and it's also not a goal in their education. Every week they have Danish lessons at University College Absalon and understand more and more of what is being spoken around them, but they agree that it takes a long time to speak and understand Danish.

All four interns will be at Sorø Privatskole one day a week in the coming months, continuing to observe teaching in different classes. Next school year, the internship will continue at international schools in Copenhagen.