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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 4) 2015/16

Sandra Schüttbacher, Katholieke Pabo Zwolle, The Netherlands, Mobility for Study, PHST


Interactum University of Applied Sciences, Teacher Training College Primary Education
Hogeschool Katholieke PABO Zwolle

Ten Oeverstraat 68, 
8012 EW Zwolle, 
The Netherlands

KPZ is an independent university of applied science, teacher training college, which focusses on students becoming excellent primary school teachers,, practice-based study providing valuable educational development. The University has more than 650 students and about 70 employees. Students appreciate the KPZ for several years as one of the best teacher training colleges and best small university in the Netherlands.

KPZ is personal, exceptional, developing and connecting. It is exceptional because of its willingness to think out of the box which sometimes means we deviate from mainstream ideas. KPZ has a unique educational concept which aims to develop the professional teacher with outstanding outcomes. KPZ provides a fertile learning environment and creates a strong community spirit. We offer sincere personal attention, personal development and cooperation, an open and inquisitive attitude and are striving after quality. KPZ is a Catholic college with an open identity where everyone is welcome. The European Commission has awarded the charter 2014-2020 to Katholieke Pabo Zwolle.

Erasmus office

Mr. Harrie Poulssen, 
International Officer
Email: h.poulssen@kpz.nl

Ms. Ria Posthumus, 
Assistant International Office
Email: r.posthumus@kpz.nl

International office
Email: internationaloffice@kpz.nl

Study programme

Dutch Culture and Society
World Citizen Project. This module focuses on our common (European) future and the role of education in it. Moreover you are confronted with the question in which way history, culture (including art) and society shape our cultural identity, our way of being.

You learn to use a lesson preparation that meets the criteria and how to use various didactical teaching methods which contribute to a proper pedagogical climate. Dutch and international concepts such as Jenaplan, Dalton and Development Education (Reform Pedagogics) are discussed.

Dutch language
Several aspects of learning and teaching Dutch language are part of this course. Non-native speakers will improve their understanding as well as their pronunciation of Dutch. You gain insight in functions and components in languages, theories on language development and differences and similarities in languages.
You will design teaching material based on aspects in linguistics.

Research in combination with English language
Nowadays teachers need research as a means of providing theoretical foundation for improved professional development and practice. You will deepen your understanding of teaching and will share your ideas publicly with colleagues by reporting on your research. Writing and presenting a paper in proper English.

Music and drama
You learn songs and games for children from several countries and teach your fellow students a song from your home country. You learn about the didactical approach of teaching a song and you make a video production out of a picture book for children using methods of drama.

Teaching Practice
You gather a broad picture of Dutch education and reflect knowledge by doing goal-oriented observations. You prepare and carry out lessons in your teaching practice class.

Teacher in Europe student conference (TIE)
You learn in an international environment how to design a project under Erasmus and to complete a final proposal.

Project Week Amsterdam – The Hague – Excursions and museums
Cultural trip (3 days) with your fellow students to the west of the Netherlands. This includes 2 overnight stays in a Stay-Okay hostel in The Hague. You reflect on two experiences during this week in a paper.

Coaching hours
You reflect on yourself, your role and the roles of others in a team of colleagues. You prepare yourself for the teaching practice and make a design of an imaginary ideal school using the knowledge and experiences acquired during the courses and practical training and research.

Registration Prozess

First we had to apply with a letter of motivation and a recomodation of one choosen teacher from our home institute. This was followed by a mail from Bert with an invitation for a skype conversation. I had the conversation with Bert and we talked about my studies and private facts. It was very relaxed and he informed me about all the necessites according to the studyprogramm in Zwolle.

The first day we arrived Ria asked us if she should picked us up at the trainstation but Sigrid and I were coming with the car so we imediatelly went to our house we rented in Heino. We found our housing via Air bnb because the students home was too expensive for us. There was a possibility to stay at a camping place but it is 5 km away from university and rather expensive. Another housing possibility was a students home in Leliestraat but we have not been informed about this possibility.

We got a Mail from Ria about the first courses in the introduction week. So we just went to the Univeristy on monday and started with the introduction day.

We got the students card with which we could print in back and white for free. For the colour printing we had to pay. We put 25 Euros deposit on the card which we got back on our last day. On the first day we had a free "lunch". We got a sandwich and some soup.


The Neatherlands are more or less as expensive as Austria. There are cheap restaurants in the city centre but also expensive ones. Most shops are open every das till 8 and on Saturdays till 6. Jumbo and Albert Hejin are the more expensive grocery shops but there are also cheaper ones like Lidl or Aldi.

For our housing we had to pay 266Euro per month. We were three girls in the house.   

Housing situation

There are two students homes in Zwolle but I decided to look for a home by myself, because the students homes were too expensive. So I found a nice woman via AIR BNB who rented her home for 5 months. Isabella Sigrid and I lived together in this house and we paid only 266 Euros per month.

The only problem we encountered was the public transport. We lived 16km from Zwolle so we had to take the train which is quite expensive. There is an OV chipcard with wich the trips get less expensive but still 3 euros one way with the train to Zwolle is not cheap.

Teaching practice

First I was really excited about the TPR, but I soon found out that not all schools in the Neatherlands are so innovative. In my case I was sent to the Parkschool Zwolle, which is a very traditional school with no alternative education at all. 

The school system differs a lot in the Neatherlands. Primory education starts with three and ends with 12. Afterwards the children fo to secondary school till 16.In Parkschool I had the children in group 7, they were between 10 and 11. There were 30 children in the class and they were really lively. 

Our tutor told us we could do whatever we wanted as long as it fits in their traditional concept. I was in the TPR with a girl from Spain. Her name was Paula and we did great lessons together.

A really nice thing about the TPR was that the University paid the travel expences. So I got in total 150 Euro back.

This should be done after going abroad

After the Erasmus stay you have to send a request for a subvention by the government (Stipendium/scholarship) which means you have to bring the transcript of records, signed and stamped by your home university to Eva Weixler (OEAD). Otherwise you have to pay back the top-up or the scholarship will be cancelled.

Next up you have to write an E-book about your stay abroad. Moreover you have to perform the language assessment test again (Online Linguistik Support).

There is also an online formular you have to fill in (EU survey). The learning agreement and the transcript of records have to be sent to your home institute to get the abatement of your stay.

Useful links:

  • https://www.oead.at
  • https://www.stipendium.at


The weather is your enemy. The certain way to be wrong is to think you can forcast it. Take rubber boots, raincoat and umbrella with you and do not think that the rain is not present in every season.

Travel as far as you can. There are so many beautiful places in the Neatherlands. The flights from Amsterdam are really cheap, but you have to book them before April.

You never have enought time, but while staying abroad it passes double time.Talk to your classmates, they will soon become your family and together homesickness can be cured quite easily.

Never forget, twenty years from now
you will be more disappointed
by the things you didn't do
than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
(H. Jackson Brown Jr.)

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