International Connections

Kayla Dyer

Major: Kinesiology and Health

Year: Senior
Hometown, State: Ruthven, Iowa

Type of experience: Student Teaching Abroad
Experience: International Student Teaching
Experience website:
Destination: Rome, Italy

Overall experience..
My overall experience was very positive! I loved being able to explore one of the most historic cities in the world. Seeing all of the architecture and learning more about this history was fascinating. I continued to learn even at the school from the great teachers and faculty around me, as well as from the students. Throughout my experience I was student teaching in Physical Education and Health for 8th and 9th grade students.

I learned...
I first learned about this opportunity at my first pre-student teaching meeting. They explained that international student teaching was an option and they also told us how we could apply to the program.

An impact to my life...
I really wanted this placement because I have always wanted to travel to Europe and come to Rome my entire life. I also thought that coming here I would be able to gain more cultural awareness and make myself more marketable as a future teacher. I have been able to broaden my horizons in a way that would never have been possible if I chose to do both of my placements within the United States. I am so happy I chose to come here and have this experience that I will remember for the rest of my life.

My most valuable learning experience...
There are students at this school from over 40 different countries. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know the students and learning about the different cultures around the world. The students have taught me so much about how to be accepting of all cultures. These students have seen more of the world than I ever will and it was great to be able to learn things from them, as well as teach them about a variety of health topics.

Advice for others...
My biggest advice is to be open and accepting of others. With a diverse group of students you will be exposed to so many things you would have never even thought of. Not only are the students culturally diverse, you will also be living in a foreign country for 8 weeks. You have to be open to the differences that there will be. There have been many times where things have not gone as planned and you can't dwell on it. If you do, the experience will not be as enjoyable as it could be. Living in a new country, where you don't speak the language is a bit of an adjustment, but if you are open and accepting of the world around you, it will be a great experience. I would also suggest that you learn a few words in the language of the country you are in, to help you get by. They appreciate the effort, even if you don't pronounce it correctly.

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