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Ana gets new perspectives on teaching

Ana Duarte from Portugal studies to become a preschool teacher. During a study exchange semester at the University of Borås she gets new perspectives on teaching and a love for the Swedish recycling system.

Ana Duarte.What are you studying?

– I do my internship here to become a preschool teacher and it has been really magical to see a new vision about education. It has made me question things more and the way that I communicate with the children shows me that we are more than speaking humans.

What do you learn while being here?

– To live in a Swedish house and talk and enjoy moments with my classmates has been great because we share different subjects in our cultures, and it is funny because even if we have different costumes, we are still the same kind of humans. So, day after day, I find my place here. Most important, I am learning things every day, which makes me even stronger.

How come you chose to study at the University of Borås?

– I have a friend who studied here already. She told me that it is really good to learn different perspectives about education in preschools, which one does in all the workshops. And my teachers in Portugal told me that the teachers here are really good.

Ana Duarte
Age: 25
From: the University E.S.E.I Maria Ulrich, Portugal
Study programme: Erasmus study exchange programme in the field of Education and Behavioural Science

What was it like moving to another country?

– It was a little bit hard to adapt to a completely different routine, the weather and the people in the beginning, but time fixed everything. I started to get to know people that now have a really important place in my life and the moments that we have had are the recipe to make days even more special. The most important thing is to live one day at a time, to enjoy every moment, even with bad things happening sometimes, because those moments make us strong, too.

What is it like being an exchange student at the University of Borås?

– It is very different for me, in a good way. It is really nice to get to know the other students, and to hear about different visions about the course.  The thing that has been most important for me is that they are so open-minded. They want to get to know me and they are very curious about the educational system in Portugal. And they are always checking that I understand the subjects in the workshops. We do things together when we have time off from the university, which has been really nice. And about the teachers: they are amazing! They care for me and check that I follow the lectures and if I need anything. I feel that I can always count on them.

What is good about the University?

– The teachers are always caring for the students. It is not only me they care for. The other staff members at the university are always available to help when the students need something and they are always friendly. Also, when you need to study at the university after class or at night, you have access to the university facility.

What is good about the studies?

– I learn new things, with different perspectives. This is important for my future as a preschool teacher, as I will have more “teaching tools” to use with the children.

What is good about Borås?

– Borås is a small town, which I like because I live in a big city, so it is different for me. I can walk to most of the places I want to reach as I live in the city centre. Borås has a lot of green areas to stroll in and enjoy. Borås also offers a lot of cultural activities like museums, there are a lot of nice cafés and restaurants to enjoy and also special events for the students. The location of Borås is really good. If I want to go to bigger cities like Gothenburg or Stockholm, or even cities in the neighbouring countries like Oslo in Norway or Copenhagen in Denmark, it feels quite close. And I am really impressed and love the recycling system for waste in Borås, something we do not have in Portugal.

What is good about Sweden?

– Sweden has a lot of good things to offer. People here are very friendly and helpful, more than I expected. I love the food, especially the cakes. The landscape is beautiful. Swedish people take of their shoes before entering someone’s homes, something that I find very hygienic and comfortable. The spot lights in the windows in all the Swedish homes are really different and magical, it changes the environment inside and outside the houses and it gets cozier.

Do you have any tips for newly admitted students at the University of Borås?

– The principal thing is to have an open mind.

2015-04-27