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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 3) 2014/15

Annemiek Withaar, International school of Cape Town, South Africa, mobility for internship, KPZ


Woodland Heights Edinburgh Close Wynberg 7806 Cape Town South Africa


In the second year of my education we had to make a choise if we wanted to go abroad. I choose South Africa immediately. This was a dream for me. After a year of collecting all the European Credits, it was time to give the journey to Cape Town some shape. Together with a student from my school, Kasper van den Hoorn, we went to Hengelo in The Netherlands. At Saxion we got our information about the internships. We heard about the do and dont's and the way of education. After our briefing we heard the name of the school where we would go for our internship. The principal, Mr Hunter, sended us an email after a week to confirm our internships at his school. He already arranged a place for us to stay during our internship.

We will fly to Cape Town on the 23rd of February and be staying till the 24th of May.

We are really looking forward to the journey we are about to make.


UPDATE 02-03-2015


We arrived at Wynberg. When we arrived at the airport Danie was waiting for us. We drove to our house where we will stay for the next three months. I can say that Africa is a really nice country. But you can see the difference between the poor and the rich people, because there are people who lives in villas and there are houses made from corrugated. The people are very nice to us.

The next three month we will stay in a mansion. The house is really big. The host family consists of Danie (the man of the house), Jola (the woman of Danie) and their daughter, Elsa. I’m feeling really at home, because we can do all the things we also do at home.


The first week we did a lot of things. I’ve eaten ostrich for the first time. It taste very well. We went to Victoria Wharf what is next to Clifton beach. The shopping center is really big and luxurious. On the way back we drove along the coast. The view was really nice. In the evening we met some other students from The Netherlands. We now know more about their stay and internship. They are teaching at different schools. We decided to see that schools in the future. So we have different looks of the schools in South-Africa.


We went to a wine tasting on Thursday at Klein Constantia. The views of the vineyards is breathtaking. We took a bottle of wine for the host family and they tried Dutch cheese. They liked it, off course!

In the evening we went to the carnival. It’s a different carnival then at our place at home. There were several food stalls and there was also a fair.


On Friday we went on the mountain bike to our internship school for a first look. The roads are really high, so it was a really tough route. We still need to get used to it. The traffic is really busy and there are no cycle paths. The roads are really small so we have to watch out. It’s really funny because you see very few bicycles and in the Netherlands you can’t watch nowhere and you see a bike.


We do our internship at the International school of Cape Town. It is a private school and the classes are small. At the school they’re working with projects. And they’re having a substitute teacher for nearly every subject. This means that the education is of a high standard. The International school is working with the schools in the townships to help each other to give the best education that is possible.  

UPDATE 22-03-2015

We are getting used to living in Cape Town. We cycle to school, give our lessons, observe the teachers and go home. We do this for 4 day's. The fifht is for research. 

I gave all mathematics lessons this week. In this lessons I gave the children some cooperative methods. They like my way of teaching. 

A couple of weeks ago we had Dutch visitors at the ISCT. Sander from Saxion came by to see how we were doing. He observed a lesson I gave and gave feedback afterwards. He said my English was very good and I will be okay at ISCT. I was happy to hear this. 

From 27-03-2015 till 13-04-2015 it's term break. My boyfriend comes and we are going to travel. I'm looking forward to it.

 UPDATE 22-04-2015

The weeks are going really fast! The time with my boyfriend was really amazing! 

We went to the Krugerpark, Newlands forest, serval beaches and we drive the Grand River Canyon and we went up to Lions head. The few was amazing! When you drive through South-Africa you see a lot of diverent cultures. You see poor people bagging for money and rich people with security in front of the house. There are a lot of people walking on the streets hope to get some food or they try to sell something. Besides that, they have a lot of hitchhikers. We did not take them with us. Everybody in South Africa takes everything easy. So if you’re in a hurry you’ll have a problem! Haha. At a hotel I saw a really big spider! I never saw a spider like that! Really amazing to see that they are really exist!

The holiday is over and I went back to my internship. I like my class and all the kids. After school the kids have some after school activities (extra murals). They are doing sports, homework club, music, drama, media or gardening. Every week I’m doing swimming. There is another teacher who is they swimming teacher. I’m watching and if something is going on than I can help the other teacher.

Every week I’m doing break time. The children take their own food with them and first they going to eat that at the playing ground. Than they can play on the field. The children have to stand in a line with their own group at they and from the break time. We (the teachers) tell them if they can go to their classroom.

Once a week I’m taking care of after duty. If the schools out the children come to a place. They have to stand in groups. They can go to their extra murals if the group is complete. Parents can come to us in that time to ask us what they want. This is going pretty good.

For school I’m doing serval researches. I wanted to learn more about inquiry-based learning and learning by design. With the other teachers we started a science expo week. We teach the children all the steps how to design your own project. They made their own groups and make their own research. At they and they will present their work on a table and have to explain how they did their research. It’s really great to see how this is working and how enthusiastic the children are! And for these lessons I did serval interviews to know how people think about inquiry-based learning and learning by design.

Every day I’m teaching more lessons. During these lessons I’m the only teacher in the classroom. First I’m doing the register when the children come into the class. The children swap over for math’s and I’m teaching that also. The rest of the day I’m teaching other lessons like science. I really like the school and the British education. I’m looking forward to the rest of these weeks!  

 UPDATE 08-05-2015

I did a lot of researches the last weeks of my internship. In my update from 22-04-2015 I told that I did some research about inquiry-based learning and learning by design. During this weeks I learnt more about how to teach especially inquiry-based learning to design these lessons on my own. Inquiry-based learning is divided into several stages. From the different designs of models, such as Suchman, Llewellyn, EDC, De Vaan & Marell and Van Graft & Kemmers I made my own design. This consisted of Question > Prediction > Equipment > Method > Variables > Results > Conclusion. Before they started their own research I gave them some examples on paper. We have reviewed all the steps the children have to make in their own research. The children worked in pairs. They could write down who they would like to collaborate. I said clearly that they should keep in mind that the experiment had to be done at home, so that the children live close to each other. I made at they and the groups. There was a parent who came into our class to tell about her job. She helps to organize events. The children could ask her serval questions about thinking before you start something. It was really useful. Every science lesson I helped the children to think about their question. This was a long process, because it is really hard to have a question that they can actually perform on their own at home. I told them to send me the questions. I controlled them and after that we started the rest of the project. The children could prepare their expo during the lessons on paper. The actually science project do they at home. I was there as a coach to help them during these research. It was really good to see how the children had fun during the lessons and also learned a lot. For me as a teacher I learned a lot to. I could observe and adapt my teaching.

At the last week of my internship there was the science expo week. All those serval weeks to prepare this special day. We could use signs from the higher school. I prepared questions that the children could practice first. After break time the parents could see their projects.

This project of all those serval weeks was really worth it! I learned a lot and it was great to work together with the children, my colleagues and the parents as well. The results were amazing!

Besides this project I investigate literature about self-responsible learning. I came to serval literature such as Carol Dweck “Brainology”. There are different currents that make together self-regulated learning. I learned a lot about the role from the teacher and from the children. About their self-motivation, learning skills and learning attitudes. I certainly take this information along in my career.  

It was already or last week of or internship at the International School of Cape Town. I had a really great time on this school and from the beginning a felt really welcome. All the teachers were really friendly and If I had a question I could always ask them to help me out. During my internship I observed serval teacher from different years. It was great to see all those different visions about teaching. I could think about what my way of teaching is and what I should do in serval situations.

During the assembly on Monday I had to come on stage for the whole key stage 2 and all the teachers. They wanted to thank me for everything I did and after that I had a little speech for all of them. Then was the time to say goodbye. The children had lots of presents for me and during break time all the teachers came to the staffroom to say goodbye. They had also some presents for us. It was really great to have to opportunity to go abroad and to meet all those people.

Next week we (Kasper, his two sisters and I) are going to travel. We are going to drive route 62 and the Gardenroute. I’m looking forward to it, but I’m also sad that it’s almost time to leave the beautiful South-Africa.

UPDATE 23-05-2015 

It was an amazing trip! We went to Barrydale, Plettenbergbay, Cango Caves, Wildlife ranch, Cape of good hope, Bloukrans river bridge, Montagu, Swellendam and a lot more towns. The nature in South-Africa is amazing. You see a lot of different landscapes when you travel around. I thought a lot during the trip. I thought about my home, the people here and my own live. It makes you think, because you’re in a totally different environment. The three months passed quickly. I told Kasper that I still remember the moment that we walked through the customs in the Netherlands and we said to each other: Bye Netherlands, see you in three months. That feeling seems like it was yesterday. In these three month I experienced a lot. I’ll take all these things with me the rest of my life.

A small overview of my expenses:

Every month I paid €300,00 to stay with a family. This included unlimited internet, wash and groceries. Besides that I had to pay my own school in the Netherlands. This was €381,20 for two months. At the end of my trip I had to pay the same amount for my school.

I paid €103,52 for my health insurance and €11,66 for my continuous travel insurance. I had to pay for my own phone bill (€23,27 per month). Besides that you can make your own expenses. Every week we went out for dinner. To go out for dinner is much cheaper in South-Africa. Besides that I have been traveling for two weeks in total. In these two weeks I rent a car.

And we could use the car when I was with the family. We paid per km.

The experience with the family was really good. It was very exciting because you have simply now idea with who you’re going to life the next three months. It was also completely new for the people themselves and that made you first calm to look at the whole situation. But if you talk with each other, you know what to expect from each other. We’ve also done a lot of things together and polite. It’s nice to actually live in another culture. This naturally also requires adjustments. It is up to you how you act in another situation. I can say that I learned a lot from this ‘other world’. I never wished for another family because they were really nice to us and that is something that I’m going to miss. The open people who always make a conversation before you start to talk about what is really going on. And the relaxing people, because everybody in the Netherlands is always in a hurry. I learned to relax and join every moment in your live, because it’s beautiful.  

Tomorrow we are going back to the Netherlands. I will never forget this journey. 

This was my last update. If you have any questions about my journey, prices or want some tips, don’t hesitate to send me a message on this website. 

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