Jan. 18, 2023

‘A world of opportunity’

NDSU education students learn the best teaching strategies in the classroom and across the globe.

English education student Dylan Heggedal is completing his student teaching in Como, Italy, as part of the Educators Abroad program. The senior from Greenbush, Minnesota, said he always had a desire to study abroad, but wasn’t sure how to fit it into his schedule.

“A few of my friends have been able to study abroad and hearing how much they loved it while they were overseas was the catalyst for the thought of doing it myself,” he said.

Heggedal learned of Educators Abroad from a friend who completed his student teaching in India. He quickly became interested in the opportunity

“The program had schools in a variety of countries on every continent and as I continued to look into it, I became more interested,” he said. “It became a win/win situation, I was able to graduate on time and do my student teaching while still going abroad.”

All students in the NDSU School of Education are required to complete student teaching in their final semester. The Fargo-Moorhead area offers many opportunities for students to complete their student teaching in elementary, middle and high schools. The Educators Abroad program expands these opportunities around the globe.

“We have been working with Educators Abroad for over ten years,” said Kim Overton, associate professor of practice and director of field experiences in the NDSU School of Education. “It has been a great way to ensure our candidates are being placed in safe, reputable schools with the proper guidance and supervision needed to have a successful experience.”

Overton said previous candidates have taught abroad in places like France, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.

“Student teaching abroad is an amazing opportunity and experience for our candidates,” said Overton. “The actual student teaching is quite similar to here, but they are immersed in a whole new culture. It really provides our candidates with a world of opportunity. They return to the U.S. with a broader vision of what the world has to offer and a new appreciation for other cultures and traveling in general.”

Heggedal has already begun immersing himself in Italian culture, including taking in sites like the Duomo Di Milano. He’s looking forward to learning more about Italy and building new skills he can use in his teaching career.

“I’m really excited to see a whole different approach to the education system,” said Heggedal. “I am hoping to learn Italian over the next few months, to travel on the weekends and to eat as much food as I can. But the aspect that I am looking forward to the most is creating as many excuses as possible to treat myself to gelato.”

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