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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 3) 2014/15

Bettina Jaindl, Saxion University of Applied Sciences, Netherlands, Mobility for study, PHST


Contact of University in Hengelo:



074 - 851 61 00

M.A. de Ruyterstraat 3

7556 CW Hengelo



Contact of the Eramsus Incomings Coordinator:

Kamphuis, Sander



Exchange Programme: Teacher Training for European Competences (TEC):

Here the programme is described, in the pdf-folder all the classes are described as well:



My Courses:



Description of the University:

About Saxion:

Saxion University of Applied Sciences is one of the largest institutions of higher education in the Netherlands, with over 24,000 students (and still growing!). Saxion University has a rich history – its roots can be traced back to the 1875. A merger of two educational institutions, the Hogeschool Enschede and Hogeschool Ijselland, in 1998 paved the way for Saxion University in its present form. This merger enabled Saxion to build further on its strong position in Dutch higher education and since then Saxion University has come to be recognised as an important centre of expertise at regional, national and international level.


Saxion University of Applied Sciences has four campuses in the East of the Netherlands - one campus in each of the four Dutch cities of Deventer, Enschede, Apeldoorn and Hengelo. Thanks to the important contribution of agriculture to the local economy, this region is renowned for its beautiful countryside and fairly relaxed pace of life. However, all four Saxion locations have good public transport facilities, meaning that the hustle and bustle of the major cities of Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Utrecht and The Hague is no more than 1½ hours away.

Why choose us?

Quality of education: Saxion offers a broad range of courses at various levels, including many international programmes. The quality of education at Saxion is monitored by the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, as well as being accredited by several international bodies, assuring you that the programmes on offer are of a high standard.

International approach: We are very proud of our diverse student body. Our international student population tops 2,500 students with a total of 55 different nationalities. Many of Saxion's full-time educational courses are already conducted in English, with more being added each year. Our ‘international classrooms’ are made up of a mix of students from all over the world. In this way we provide you with a truly multi-cultural experience in which you can compare experiences with and learn from fellow students of different backgrounds and nationalities.

Support to students: Education at Saxion is very student-focused and we offer you support not only from an academic point of view but also in terms of your personal development. While studying at Saxion University you will have the opportunity to gain both the knowledge and the skills you require to continue on your chosen career path.

Coming to the Netherlands from abroad can of course be a big step for many international students. If you are arriving from outside of the Netherlands, we aim to make the transition for you as smooth as possible, and we have therefore established a network of host families (Friends of Saxion International Students) who are on hand to help you settle into life in the Netherlands. We also have a ‘Buddy’ programme, whereby current students can help guide you through your initial period of studying at Saxion.


Description of the application process:


The application for all kinds of studies must be submitted online.

The course is open to 3rd and 4th year Bachelor students in a Teacher Training programme.

The students’ home institution must have an Inter Institutional Agreement (IIA) with Saxion Teacher Training College (APO Hengelo). To apply as an exchange student for this course, please contact the International Office at your home institution. Once your home institution has nominated you for this course, they will contact our International Office (internationaloffice.slh@saxion.nl). If our International Office agrees with your nomination, you may fill out the application form.

Application deadline is December 1st 2014 for the Spring 2015 course

Arrival & Housing
We took the plane from Graz to Duesseldorf and stayed there for one night. The next morning we travelled to Hengelo by train.
Sander picked us up at the trainstation together with Irina, another Erasmus student from Spain. We drove to our house, which Julia Gamperl, Michaela Schwarz and I share. The house is wonderful! Except for some problems with the leaking wasching machine (which will be solved the next days) we really feel comfortable in our own house :)
The other Erasmus students from Spain, Germany and the United Kingdom live in the same building. There are two flats for 2 students upstairs and two flats, each for 4 students downstairs. Each flat has at least 2 floors. Kitchen and living room on one level, rooms on the other, the toilet is sometimes on a seperate level as well (in the bigger flats there are two levels only for rooms, bathroom and toilet).
Hengelo & Public Transport
Hengelo is a really nice city. When we first came here we wondered what to do here all day. But it is actually bigger than we thought! There are some shops reachable by 5 minutes walking and to the city centre you walk about 20-25 minutes. University can be reached within 10-15 minutes walking (depending on your speed :) ).
In the centre there are a lot of shops, clubs and pubs to go to. It has very nice buildings (typical Dutch brick-houses), a cinema and a theatre.
The trainstation is in the centre as well. The next big city is called "Enschede" and trains are going there pretty much every 10 minutes (late in the evening maybe 15-20 minutes). The Netherlands have a good system for public transport.
There are a lot of trains going from Hengelo to a lot of places in the Netherlands, Germany and partly Belgium (might have to change trains for Belgium though). It takes you about 2 hours to Amsterdam by train. Trains are less expensive than in Austria! Still, there are some offers by different shops for very cheap train tickets you can use for 1 full day in the entire country. If you go to Amsterdam and back or to Groningen, Den Haag, Rotterdam it is really worth it! But these offers run out at some point, so they are only available for a couple of weeks. But no need to worry! There are several offers of different tickets (all between 14 and 20 Euros) which are valid for week days or the weekend and when the offer runs out in one shop, another shop starts offering tickets.
The university took us on several excursions to different schools like a Dalton plan school, a community school and a special nees primary school with it's own farm. In our introduction week we made an excursion to Enschede where we got a city tour and went to the museum 'Twentse Welle' where we learnt more about the region 'Twente' we lived in. In April we went to Den Haag together where we had a city tour and went to the museum of Mesdag. Afterwards, we went to the beach of Scheveningen.
Beach of Scheveningen - International & Dutch students - 10th of April 2015
Brussels - 31st of May until 5th of June 2015:
As a part of one of our courses and as a addition to our studies ("Teacher Training for European Competences") we spent a week in Brussels. We had a great programme which contained a visit of the European Parliament, the European Commission, an In Field Museum and a British War Cementry as well as a trench in Ieper, a Botanical Garden in Meisse, a Flemish primary school in Brussels and a guided city tour through the capital city of Belgium and of course the Atomium. The week was awesome and we really got to know each other better and ahd lots of fun together. We had the greates time of our life with karaoke singing, dancing and sitting in the sun and enjoying the beautiful weather :)
International Class 2015 at the European Parliament
School practical in the Netherlands - Openbare Basisonderwijs Stedeke
Kuimgaarden 15
7478 Diepenheim


The Obs Stedeke is located in the center of Diepenheim, a nice little town surrounded by a lot of woods and green areas. In front of the school there is nice and colorful parking lot and a little green park which is created like a forest. This little green space was designed by the students and financed by “Jantje Beton” and some other sponsors. The children also created parts of the interior like the very colorful mosaic wall in the arts class.


The school can focus differentiation because they work with ‘the method’ not with the curriculum like England and Austria does. The method is a system which was developed by the government and which tells you how to reach your learning goals. ‘The method’ provides just a few different course books and the school’s principal has to decide which course books to use for every subject. The teachers have to stick to the course books and let the children work with them from one unit to the next. This is how they should reach their learning goals. Of course the units are differentiated into three ability levels, but the children can improve and do some activities from the higher ability level when they are able to. As a result it gives the teacher the opportunity to focus on supporting the weaker students but it doesn’t offer you a wide range of choosing your own way of teaching. Whereas in Austria the teachers are free to choose their own way of teaching as long as they reach the learning goals which are fixed in the national curriculum. This is also true for Britain, where teachers are free to teach however they choose, as long as they teach the subjects within the national curriculum.

The obs Stedeke also takes part in various international projets like the VoiceS programme for example. Some groups are even in contact with the schools from the University of Teacher Education in Graz, Hasnerplatz


Thursday, 16th of April 2015:

Luckily we have the chance to go to school with Maaike, a teacher from the “obs Stedeke”. She teaches the 8th group here and is also in charge of the testing department and gives advice to parents with children with special needs. “Obs Stedeke” means “Openbare Basisschool Stedeke” and means that it is a public primary school.

When we arrived at school we met the headmaster Jasper. At first we had coffee and tea and talked about the project we’re going to do. Afterwards, we got a tour through the school. The school environment is very nice and creates a great learning atmosphere. Every classroom has a smartboard, two to three white boards, a projector and a computer. The children sit in little groups of approximately four children.

The big hall offers a large number of computers, where every group has their own user account which the teachers create. Moreover, there are a lot of (language) course books and many other learning materials.

The school works with a supportive system and focuses on the interests of the children. If necessary, every child gets their own task sheet which fits his/her needs. Furthermore, they get an individual task sheet which is designed to catch their current interests.

After lunch we had a look around in the school and visited all classes. We also went to the library to see if the children are using the English section while working on individual tasks. The school offers a big variety of children’s books and games in English which they brought from an excursion to England.

Moreover, we tried to figure out which lessons we can observe and when we can take part in activities and do some English lessons with the children.

After the students went home we got the possibility to take part in an English class for the teachers of the Stedeke. The lesson was given by Machteld, who also teaches us in English language skills and Young Language Learners. She was teaching them about young language learner activities, but she introduced them in Dutch. I’ve learned some really nice activities to use in classroom.


Friday, 17th of April 2015:

Today we sat together to plan the exercises for next week. We made picture cards and word cards for our English lesson in group 5 next Thursday.

After that we checked on some literature online which we want to use in our paper.



Monday, 20th of April 2015:

In the morning we finished our activity about body parts for Thursday. Afterwards, we tried to observe the children working, whether on their own or in groups or see how the lessons are being hold. We were able to observe how the children work on their language skills, whether it is English, German, French or Spanish. Our school is currently trying out a new language programme where they children can learn independently on a computer. The school offers a large language equipment where the children have free access to. There are workbooks on different levels, dictionaries (whether word-to-word-translation or phrases), listenings, computer programmes, books or comics and also a “happy family” game.

Before lunch break we had to watch the children from group 1 because the regular teacher had to go to the doctor. We had a great time and I am very proud of my conversations with the children in Dutch. One girl was very nice and tried to explain everything to me and talked slowly so I could understand what she was saying.

In the afternoon we observed a Geography lesson in group 6. They were talking about the importance of the port of Rotterdam and the airport in Amsterdam Schiphol. During the lesson I took the chance to look through one of the Geography course books. There are some topics in the book which deal with the topics of Multiculturalism and Integration.



Tuesday, 21st of April 2015:

On Tuesday morning we transcribed the interviews we held the day before and I had to translate one interview I had with Laura, the teacher of group 7, because we talked in German. Afterwards, we observed some lessons and talked to children.

After lunch break we taught group 6 about the book “Giraffes can’t dance” which is part of a project they are currently doing in exchange with Turkey and Spain. Therefore, Paris read the book to the children and they were looking at the animated story on the smartboard in the meantime. In order to make the children understand the words we acted the story out while Paris was reading the story for the second time. All the students had to stand up and perform the moves which Lisa Broekman and I showed to them. Thereafter, we asked the children if they understood the story and if they got the message of the story. They understood almost everything because we “acted out” the words of the story. They also did a great job in describing the story, but they were allowed to do it in Dutch when they were not able to do it in English. We repeated the meaning of the story and asked them if they also feel like Gerald the giraffe sometimes. At first they said yes but they couldn’t explain it in English so I gave an example of my own life to make it easier for them. Afterwards, we handed out a worksheet where they had to name three things they’re good at and three things they are not good at but will be soon. Then we asked a few students to read out their examples. The last step was a worksheet which said “I am not good at ______________ but I will be soon!” and had to draw a picture to it. All those worksheets were hanged up at the board in the back of the class. It was a wonderful lesson and I could see that the children had a lot of fun and were proud of themselves for understanding that much English. Whenever they had a question they liked to consult us (the foreign students) and work together with us.



Wednesday, 22nd of April 2015:

In the morning we negotiated about how to start our project and figured out a project which we want to do with group 8. We are planning to teach them how to read recipes and let them bake some scones.

At quarter past ten we were invited to observe an English lesson in group 3. The children greeted us with the “Take it Easy” opening song. Then the teacher asked us to introduce ourselves to the children. Afterwards, the children introduced themselves and told us their name and their age. After that, the teacher taught the children new words about gardening with some items she brought with her. They did some games with it after the children got familiar with the words. The teacher also integrated us in the games. As the next step the teacher showed some more words to them via the “Take it Easy” programme. Afterwards, they played some games on the programme so that the children could practice the words. In the end the children sang the Goodbye-song from “Take it Easy” for us.

After the lesson we talked to the teacher about how she likes the English programme “Take it Easy”. She said that she thinks it is quite useful especially the vocabulary learning parts and that the children like the games a lot. But the stories the programme offers are far too difficult for young language learners. She said that they really like to listen to the story and like watching the pictures on the screen but it is really hard to understand it.



Thursday, 23rd of April 2015:

Today we started working on our project. While Lisa Partington and Paris were doing some research, Lisa Broekman and I were translating the school vision and literature out of Dutch didactic books into English.

At eleven o’clock we taught the children from group 5 about body parts. Therefore, we created a puzzle out of a human body. Because of the reason that we didn’t have a blackboard we spread the puzzle pieces over the floor in the main hall. We arranged a circle of benches and chairs around it. Then we asked the children one after the other to set the puzzle together in the right order. Afterwards, they had to pick one word card each, read the word out loud and put it at the correct spot. If one of them didn’t know where the word belongs we asked the other learners to help him or her. When they were finished I pointed at one of the words and let them repeat it. To make it more interesting for the children they had to repeat the words in different voices (loud, silent, whispering, high tone, low tone, etc.). Furthermore, I let the children make suggestions about how to say the next word. As a next step, we sang “head-shoulders-knees-and-toes” with them. Before we started singing we practised the song. In the end, the children taught us the Dutch version of this song.



Friday, 24th of April 2015:

Today the school took part in the “Koningsspelen”. Therefore, we helped the teachers decorate and prepare the classroom for the breakfast. Then the teacher of group 4 and 5 invited me to stay with them for breakfast. I helped the teacher giving out drinks and had some conversations with the children.

Afterwards, we cycled to Goor for the “Scouting” activity. The children were so excited that we were joining them and they always asked if I can cycle next to them. They had a great time with the scouts trying to make some fire, baking bread and building huts. They were always looking for help and were happy when they could work together with us. In the afternoon we played “Honkball” with group 8. I had a great day and enjoyed being together with the children. Altogether, I had a lovely week and I would like to teach in this school if I would be a teacher in the Netherlands.

Obs Stedeke in Diepenheim decorated for the Kings Games





Thursday, 28th of May 2015:

Today we went to Diepenheim to prepare the children from group 8 for our cooking session on the 11th of June. Lisa Partington and Paris started the lesson with some English jokes about cooking which can be understood in two ways.

Afterwards they explained why scones are so popular in their country and how they should be eaten. Then we talked about which ingredients to use and how much. The children were really excited about going to bake scones with us (and of course with English people!) that they wanted to start straight away. Unfortunately we had to tell them that we can only do this on the 11th of June. I’m really looking forward to our baking session. The children from group 8 are lovely.


Thursday, 11th of June 2015:

Today we went back to Diepenheim to finish our cooking project. We already prepared the children for the cooking session and talked about the ingredients. So today we prepared the kitchen and brought all the necessary ingredients. The children were really excited about the cooking and did a really great job. Everybody had the chance to create his own scone with cranberries or raisins if liked. Some of them were so into it that they also created scones for us and for their teachers. We ate it together with clotted cream and strawberry jam.


Every single student asked about the recipe because they all want to make scones at home. It was a very successful and funny day. I’d love to see the children again and might come for their musical which they are going to do at the end of the school year. They were really disappointed that the time with us was over and so were we.



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