Teacher network allows European students to study education abroad


    TCU is hosting European students who will study American teaching techniques as part of an education studies semester abroad program.The European Teacher Education Network allows students studying education to take classes in either America or Europe. There are currently eight students from Europe taking classes at TCU, and they said that so far, it has been a good experience.

    Robbert Gommans, 20, from the Netherlands, said there are a few minor differences between American and European universities, including bigger class sizes at TCU and less access to teachers.

    Mieke Roles, 22, also from the Netherlands, added, “A lot of people here say ‘hello’ or ‘hi,’ but back home in Holland, many people don’t do that.

    Guro Olsen, 22, from Norway, said the assignments and exams differ from her classes back home. Instead of taking just one final exam at the end of the year, she now has various assignments and a few tests. Olsen will be staying at TCU for the entire school year because she will be student-teaching next semester. The other students in ETEN stay here for one semester and then return to their universities in Europe.

    The students in ETEN are being housed at the GrandMarc and said they are looking forward to their stay and activities, which may include some sightseeing.

    “TCU has been a great university to be a part of,” Gommans said. “University life has been special, and we are really lucky to be a part of it.”

    TCU is one of only four universities in the United States involved with ETEN, according to its Web site. Other universities include Georgia State University, Ball State University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

    Dale Young, TCU representative for ETEN, said the school is very fortunate for being selected to take part in the network.

    Last year, 34 students from TCU studied in Europe, and in the past five years, 149 students have studied abroad. More than 47 European students have studied at TCU since it has been a part of the network, Young said.

    Ashley Nichols, a graduate student in the School of Education, traveled to Budapest, Hungary last year to finish her student-teaching. Nichols, who plans to teach English as a second language when she graduates, said the experience gave her a new perspective on teaching.

    “Being an outsider trying to learn a different language helped me to understand what my students will go through when learning English,” Nichols said.