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Erasmus+ Journal (Issue 4) 2015/16

Sigrid Weinzettl, 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

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

The University

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.

Description of chosen courses

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.


I spent my semester abroad in Zwolle, it is a wonderful town in the Netherlands, together with Sandra Schüttbacher and Isabella Aldrian both students from the Phst in Graz. We attended the Katholike Pabo Zwolle, this is a rather small university and it is specialised on primary education.

I did my teaching practice at the International School in Eerde. This school is well known for its diversity and all the subject are taught in English. I was responsible for 6 children from 4 to 6.


(International class in Eerde by Sigrid Weinzettl)

As I heard that I have to work with that age group I was rather unhappy because I wasn’t used to that and I really wanted to teach in secondary school but it was not possible. During my stay in the International School my mood changed completely. I had so much fun in that class and my mentor was amazing. She gave me feedback which was enormously useful for me and she challenged me immense. I also learned a lot about the importance of diversity and how it could be used in class. Moreover, the school’s values were somewhere between Montessori and Dalton education, and both styles of teaching were totally new to me. The focus of our education at the KPZ was on the different alternative learning styles. At university itself we had many music and drama lesson which I for my part totally enjoyed.  We had research, culture and we also learned a little bit Dutch. Now to the cultural terms:

As I wrote before we had many culture and society lessons at university were we learned some basic historical facts about the Dutch citizens. Further, we had to compare all the things they have told us with values and believes from our home country. During our whole stay abroad we worked on our cultural awareness and self-awareness.

In our free time we travelled a lot. We found many cheap flights from Amsterdam to England, Ireland, Norway and so on.


(Terschelling Island in the Netherland by Sigrid Weinzettl)

Aside from that we drove from Austria to the Netherlands with the car so during our whole stay we had the ability to use the car whenever we wanted. This fact gave us a lot of freedom and I would do it again. Going from A to B was so much easier.

Furthermore, I have to mention that Sandra, Isabella and I stayed in a house 16 kilometres away from Zwolle. The house was furnished and on the countryside. We had a lot of space for ourselves and our guests. But for my next study abroad I would choose a student’s flat. As far as I know there are two of those student houses in Zwolle. One is called Talentenplein and the other one Lelistraat. Both are actually only able to rent for Windesheim students. Windesheim is another university in Zwolle. If they do not have enough students to fill the flats on their own then it is possible for other students to rent a flat there. The reason why we chose the house was that we had no information about that flats beforehand. KPZ has only connections with a camping site which is 5 kilometres away. To sum up, going abroad was the best decision I have ever made. I learned so much about myself and useful real life skills. This stay abroad was extremely useful for me as a future teacher. Further, I extended my horizon towards other cultures, different countries and other people and their way of living. I had an amazing time in the Netherlands and I met new friends from all over the world which enriched my whole life so much. I am really thankful for that wonderful opportunity.



(Camping site Agnietenberg by Sigrid Weinzettl)

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