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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 3) 2014/15

Nicole Skoberne und Viktoria Mosbacher, Katholieke Pabo Zwolle, The Netherlands, Mobility for Study, PHST

Author: Nicole Skoberne und Viktoria Mosbacher

Contacts University

University of Applied Science, Teacher Training Institute Primary Education
Hogeschool Katholieke PABO Zwolle 
Ten Oeverstraat 68, 
8012 EW Zwolle, 
The Netherlands 
Tel.: +31 (0)384217425 
Fax: +31(0)384210914 
Erasmus code: NL ZWOLLE06


Harrie Poulssen (international Officer)
Email: h.poulssen@kpz.nl

Bert Thole (Coordinator IM)
Email: b.thole@kpz.nl


 About the University: 

 The Katholieke Pabo Zwolle, also known as KPZ, is an independent Interactum University of Applied Sciences (Dutch "hogeschool"). There are over 650 students and a staff of about 70. This means that the KPZ is one of the many small- to medium-sized institutes for higher professional education in the Netherlands. 

The International Minor Program(IM) is a five month course in English for 30 ECTS (European Credit Transfer System). The website contains all the necessary information about our teacher training course in which we combine theory and practice and offer a varied study programme with a clear structure using the module system and ECTS. For the IM you need a required level of English like TOEFL or IELTS.

How can I apply?

Each year we have an international minor in spring semester from 1st of February until 1st of July.

Deadline for application is: 1 November (previous calendar year)

For application you need to fill in this student application form and mail it to us. 
[application form on the website] 

Please note: When we have received your complete application form an overview on admission will be held by means of Skype.

Before we got here:

Before we got to the Netherlands, we got a lot of information about our next semster. We have written a lot of emails and had to do a few things before we got here, for example we had to make a language test in Dutch, which was not really a success (we have to do it also afterwards, to see our progress). 

To attend the Pabo we have had a conversation via Skype, where the English teacher asked me a few things (in English - so they can see our level), for example what I am expecting, why I want to go to the Netherlands, and so on. 

Furthermore we had to get some information about how fractions are tought in Austria, we had to copy the schoolbooks, made a short clip about a mathlesson, made a foto of the classroom, ect.

The Pabo organised a very good accomodation, so we didn´t have to look for something - which was really a pleasentness! 

Then Ria Posthumus asked us when and how we will get to Zwolle and if we wanted to have a welcome guide, who wouls pick us up from the railway station and bring us to our houses. 


Info about the general things and the first weeks:

We are in a "seperate class" - The international Minor/class. All in all we are 15 people (6 Spanish girls, 1 girl from Turkey, 1 boy from Nepal, 2 Czech girls and 5 people from Austria). All our xouses we have together - we do not have any courses with the students from the PABO. 

The first week was a welcome week to get aquaint with each other: 

The first day most of our teachers and the headmaster were here to welcome us and to introduce themselves.
We also had to introduce ouselves to the other ones and to speak about our expectations.

The welcome week was really a good experiences, we were ice skating and played traditional Dutch games.


My courses: 

 1) English language (1 ECTS) 

The objective of this course revolves around writing and presenting an academic paper in English in which your own written work will play a pivotal role. This very short course of 4 lessons focuses both on development of academic writing skills and strenghtening presentation skills. 

 2) Culture and Society ( 4 ECTS) 

The students ude their ecperience and the kknowledge theyhave mastered of Dutch history, culture, art and society as a tool to understand and explore their own and other societies. Moreover students are confronted witht the questoins in which way history, culture and society shape our cultural identity, our wy of being. 

3) Pedagogics (5 ECTS) 

We will examine reform pedagogy in all its aspects. We will see which concepts are still used today. 
We wonder what a present day and future child need. We explore the new didactics and explore existing concepts which have caught on in the Netherlands.

 4) Dutch language (3 ECTS)

This is a Dutch course for our class. We learn the basics of the language, for example to introduce ourselves, talk about our hobbies, colors, show someone the way, ect.

5) Coaching/Counselling and tutorship (CCT / 3 ECTS) 

The CCT is different from other modules, since most of the content is not definite yet. 
There will be time for teambuilding activities and for personal coaching. Moreover students will be prepared for the practical training.

6) DRAMU (Drama and Music) (2 ECTS)

Starting with rhythm activities, movement and finishing with songd for children we learn to understand the meaning of rhythm, melody and harmony. All native songs will be produces on seet music and recorded ona CD.

7) Project week "Randstad" (2 ECTS)

During the semester we will take part in a prject week and a number of cultural activities. In this week (in Amsterdam and Den Haag) we will visit a number of cultural and social institutions. 

8) Research (5 ECTS)

The research modules offer a good method to examime educational reform. During practical training we will be at school where we will do our research. 

9) Teaching practise (4 ECTS) 

This is the main and for me the most important part of the whole semester. I am in Heerde (small village next to Zwolle) in a Jenaplan school. I have to teach at least 26 lessons. I will see the idea of Jenaplan in a practical way. 

10) Teacher in Europe student conference (1 ECTS) 

Students learn in an international environment how to design a project under Erasmus + and to complete a final proposal. 



As I sais before the University organised a good accomodation for us. It is a little bit outside from the city center on a camping place. We have a sort of "bungalows". They are small houses with everything we need. The sleeping rooms are quite small but it is enough! Here on the camping place are 10 other people from Erasmus, and so we meet us often and doing something together. We pay about 375,- Euros per month for the rent.


In the Netherlands is is an obligation to have a bike! Without a bike you are totally lost. In the Netherlans are more bikes than cars, it is incredible. There are special ways for bikes everywhere, even in the roundabouts and cars have to stop for you. We have to drive about 30 minutes to University with our bikes. 
But also the train in the Netherlands is really cool! Every 30 minutes there is a direct connection to the bigger cities (Amsterdam, Den Haag, Rotterdam, Groningen, ...) and it is quite cheap. But one thing is really good: the more people you are, the less is costs. So if you are a group of 10, you can go to any city you want for just 7 Euros - and this ticket is valid for the whole day (so back and forth). 

Life in the Netherlands 

Here in Zwolle are a lot of opportunities to do something, especially at night. Here are a lot of bars, discos and pubs. A bar called "The flying horse" is the most popular for students, it is always full! But it is not just good for drinking, you can get a meal for 2,50 Euros, which is really cheap. 

When you compare Austria and the Netherland from the prices, it is actually the same. Food and clothes are the same, but I think products for "beauty" are quite expensive, but you can always get a special offer at "Kruidvat". 
In the city center are a lot of shops where you can buy clothes, something to eat and a lot of other stuff!

When you are here, you have to visit the bigger cities like Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Den Haag! They are absolutely wonderful and every city has its own charme!


About the teaching practice:

In the first 2 weeks on Monday I was just observing the school. As I said before I am in a Jenaplan school so it is very different to our common schools in Austria. Here the primary school is from age 4 to 12. 
I am in a mixed aged class - the pupils are 9-10 years old. 
When you enter the school you feel comfortable and it is relaxed! The whole school is one family, the older ones help the younger ones. 
Here in this school the parents are involved a lot - they stay quite a long time in the morning and talking to other parents and teacher (and not just from the class in which their child belongs).

Also the pupils are very independent. They are working on their own and there is almost no introduction needed. When they have a problem, they do not go to the teacher. First they trying on their own, then they go to the classmates (maybe the older ones) and then , the last instance, they go to the teacher. 

A lot of children have headphones around their chair so that when they want to work alone and in silence, they do not get disturbed. 


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