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Comparative Educational Studies

This programme is offered to inbound exchange students of teacher education background coming to University of Stavanger in the spring semester. It offers a comparative view of educational systems and practical work in fields as diverse as inclusive education, migration, music or drama.

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Facts
Faculty of Arts and Education

Department of Early Childhood Education

Department contact

Inger-Marie Øglænd

General admission inquiries

inboundexchange@uis.no

Max participants

40 students

Application deadline

1st of November

Children in a classroom

Admission for the spring term 2023:

Subject details:

EIS110 / Inclusive Education - 8 ECTS (core course, required)

EIS120 / Music Crossing Borders - 6 ECTS (core course, required)

EIS150 / Migration and Intercultural Relations - 6 ECTS (optional, choose one)*

EIS155 / Drama in Early Childhood Education - 6 ECTS (optional, choose one)*

EIS170 / Extension Module: School Experience - 10 ECTS (optional)

*It is only possible to take either EIS150 or EIS155.

Due to contact with children, all admitted students are required to submit an official police declaration (criminal background clearance) from the country/ies they have lived in the past years in order to participate in the School Experience course.

Admission for the spring term 2023

The 20 ECTS courses (EIS110, EIS120 and EIS150 or EIS155) will be offered from 23rd of January until April 21st. in the spring term of 2023 (Exam date will be after Easter. More information to come). The 10 ECTS optional extension module School Experience, EIS170, will start April 24th and continue until May 26th. Last exam is set to June 2nd and is an online submission.

This programme has two holiday periods during the spring semester (2023): Week 8, Winter holiday and Week 14, Easter holiday.

A characteristic of today’s society is increased mobility across borders, which poses a challenge for teacher education in many countries. Future teachers need to reflect upon the changed conditions for learning and education.

Moreover, teachers have to facilitate a multicultural classroom in all types of schools (nursery, primary, and secondary schools) in order to meet the needs of children from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

These new challenges require the development of an international perspective in teacher education, which is the main task of this course for international student teachers.

Living and studying in an unfamiliar environment offers students the opportunity to rediscover the familiar, unconscious everyday life and culture at home. Such an experience can provide new perspectives on the previous school experiences and on the future task as role models for children.

The outcome of studying abroad is, therefore, more than academic outcomes. Developing friendships and mutual understanding between people of different nations is important for the teaching profession and is of value in itself.

The Comparative Educational Studies course is divided into different modules, which are described below.   The first two courses are required, and students will choose one of the two optional modules.  All instruction is in English. Target group: Student teachers for pre-primary and primary school until the age of approximately 8 years.

«Like a scene from the universe of Harry Potter»

«We heard a lot of great things about the university and Scandinavia in general, but we didn’t expect the semester to be this amazing», Mathilde Kneit, student in Comparative Educational Studies says.

Mange internasjonale studenter som står i et klasserom og synger_bildet
Students in Comparative Education Studies during music class.

Mathilde Kneit from Belgium and David Losada from Spain are both exchange students, and have just finished their semester at the Comparative Educational Studies at the University of Stavanger. From January to June they have been studying in Stavanger together with international students from all over Europe. 

Comparative Educational Studies is an exchange programme taught at the Faculty of Arts and Education at the University of Stavanger. 

The programme includes the two courses «Inclusive Education» and «Music Crossing Borders», which are compulsory, and the students can choose one of the two optional modules «Migration and Intercultural Relations» or «Drama in Early Childhood Education».

The students can also choose to take the course «Extension Module: School Experience» which includes a period of four weeks of practice in a local school where the students will learn a lot about Norwegian culture and the Norwegian school system. 

Mathilde Kneit and David Losada are teacher students in their home countries, but this last semester they have been studying Comparative Educational Studies in Stavanger, Norway. They both chose the subjects «Music Crossing Borders» and the «Extension Module: School Experience». They had heard a lot of great things about Stavanger and especially about the pedagogy taught in the Scandinavian countries. David Losada spent his practice period in a local school and says he learned a lot from it. 

«It was a great experience to be able to witness how the pupils interact with their teacher. They seem to have a strong connection that I am not familiar with from Spain. The pupils here are also more respectful and they know not to overstep the boundaries», says David Losada.

He thinks it is a really good idea to have cooking courses in school from an early age so the pupils can learn more about healthy food and get familiar with making their own meals. 

«And who knows? Maybe some of the pupils want to become a chef and not a mathematician», he says.

The exchange students were also impressed by the university, the campus and the nature in Stavanger. 

«The campus and the university are great. The buildings and the cafeterias are bright and classy, and the atmosphere and the environment are really good. And I just have to say that the university's library was amazing. I felt like I was stepping into a scene from Harry Potter when I first entered the library, and they have an entire space just for relaxation with couches where you can lay down and relax for a moment», Mathilde Kneit says. 

She also enjoyed the student bar and that there are a lot of activities in the region that you can do like surfing, hiking and so on. 

« I really want to come back, and my long time goal is to make a career as a teacher in the Stavanger area", Mathilde Kneit says. 


Text and photo: Maria Gilje Torheim

«The children are learning by playing»

In Comparative Educational Studies the students get a comparative view of educational systems. «In Romania, children don't know how to play. In Norway the children learn a lot from playing», Stefania Opria says.

4 studenter som smiler til kameraet_illustrasjon
Queralt Planellas Alegre, Bas Oude Alink, Ingrid Carreras Mèlich and Stefania Opria.

Stefania Opria (22) is a pre-school teacher student at Alexandru Ioan Cuza University of Iaşi in Romania. Last semester she attended Comparative Educational Studies at the University of Stavanger with international students from all over Europe.

Comparative Educational Studies is an exchange programme taught at the Faculty of Arts and Education at the University of Stavanger. This is a one semester exchange package that offers students of teacher education programmes a comparative view of educational systems and practical work in fields as diverse as inclusive education, migration, music or drama. The programme admits mainly exchange students from European Erasmus+ partners, but accepts also other students on exchange.

In Comparative Educational Studies the two courses «Inclusive Education» and «Music Crossing Borders» are compulsory, and students can choose one of the two optional modules «Migration and Intercultural Relations» or «Drama in Early Childhood Education». The students can also choose the course «Extension Module: School Experience» which includes a period of four weeks of practice in a local school where the students will learn a lot about Norwegian culture and the Norwegian school system. 

Stefania Opria and her fellow students Bas Oude Alink (22) from the Netherlands and Ingrid Carreras Mèlich (21) and Queralt Planellas Alegre (23) from Spain, all chose «Drama in Early Childhood Education» and the «Extension Module: School Experience», and they say they learned a lot from it.

«In the drama course, we learned a lot about how we could use drama in the classroom or in a day care setting, and how we could use story telling as a method for the children to learn about different themes. We had to perform and read stories in front of a school class. That was really interesting», Bas Oude Alink says. 

The students all conclude that they felt welcome as students at the University of Stavanger.

«We all have gotten a lot of friends, with both international and Norwegian students among them. The environment at the university is really good, and the classes were truly inspirational», Ingrid Carreras Mèlich says.

Stefania says she learned a lot from the semester at the University of Stavanger. She thinks the opportunity to be placed in a local school or day setting in a period of four weeks of practice, is really unique. 

«I got the chance to play an important role in a Norwegian kindergarten for four whole weeks, which was really educational for me. In Romania we only learn things in theory, and we don`t get the opportunity to try out how the things we in real life situations. The teachers here also seem to love their work. I hope to implement some of the methods and some of the attitude, when I start working as a pre-school teacher in my home country», Stefania says.

Queralt Planellas Alegre from Spain are impressed by how the Norwegians use the outdoor as a platform for learning, and says she wants to take her class out in the nature when she starts working as a teacher.

«Here in Norway the focus is more on outdoor activities and how to use the nature in school settings. The children are more outside and learn from the nature and the things they see around them. In general, children here seem more free to explore and play and they are therefore also more independent, I would say», Queralt says. 

Together with her fellow students, Queralt left for home in the end of May, but say she never will forget her time at the University of Stavanger.

«We will never forget the things we learned, and I hope to keep in touch with all the friends I've made here. And who knows? Maybe we will meet again someday?», she says.

Do you want to study Comparative Educational Studies? Contact exchange@uis.no The University of Stavanger also has an union for international students. Read more about the International Students Union in Stavanger, ISU and he Erasmus Student Network Stavanger chapter.

Text and photo: Maria Gilje Torheim

Developing a new perspective in teacher education

In Comparative Educational Studies at the University of Stavanger there are students from all over Europe. «We learn about how different educational systems in different countries works», Maria Rubio from Spain says.

3 jenter som smiler til kameraet_illustrasjon
Maria Rubio from Spain, Caroline Walsh from Ireland and Sophia Bosch from Germany.

A characteristic of today’s society is increased mobility across borders, which poses a challenge for teacher education in many countries. Future teachers need to reflect upon the changed conditions for learning and education.

Moreover, teachers have to facilitate a multicultural classroom in all types of schools in order to meet the needs of children from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds. These new challenges require the development of an international perspective in teacher education, which is the main task of this course for international student teachers.

Comparative Educational Studies is an exchange programme taught at the Faculty of Arts and Education at the University of Stavanger. This is a one semester exchange package that offers students of teacher education programmes a comparative view of educational systems and practical work in fields as diverse as inclusive education, migration, music or drama. The programme admits mainly exchange students from European Erasmus+ partners, but accepts also other students on exchange.

In Comparative Educational Studies the two courses «Inclusive Education» and «Music Crossing Borders» are compulsory, and students can choose one of the two optional modules «Migration and Intercultural Relations» or «Drama in Early Childhood Education». The students can also choose the course «Extension Module: School Experience». Caroline Walsh from Ireland chose this course and learned a lot from it.

«The course included a period of four weeks of practice in a local school where we learned a lot about Norwegian culture and the Norwegian school system. I think this course was one of the best things about the study programme. It was really interesting», Caroline says.

Caroline Walsh is a primary school teacher student at St. Patricks College Drumcondra in Dublin. This semester she attended the Comparative Educational Studies at the University of Stavanger with other international students from all over Europe. All instruction is in English and the course is offered in the spring term. Two of Caroline’s class mates are Maria Rubio from Spain, a kindergarten and primary school teacher student at the Universidad Católica de Valencia San Vicente Mártir and Sophia Bosch, a pre-school teacher student at Pädagogische Hochschule Schwäbisch Gmünd in Germany.

«I have learned so much this semester. Not only about the school system here in Norway and Norwegian culture, but also from my class mates. I also discovered new things about my self when I decided to embrace the opportunity and just pack my bags and leave for the unknown. The course environment is really good because everyone are in the same position which forced us all to be open minded, and it ended with all of us getting friends for life», Caroline says.

Living and studying in an unfamiliar environment offers students the opportunity to rediscover the familiar, everyday life and culture at home and become aware of differences. Such an experience can provide new perspectives on the previous school experiences and on the future task as role models for children. The outcome of studying abroad is, therefore, more than academic outcomes.

«Developing friendships and mutual understanding between people of different nations is important for the teaching profession and is of value in itself», Sophia Bosch says.

She and her class mates are also impressed with the support from the International Students Union in Stavanger, ISU. They all felt included and were really happy about the events that ISU arranged at campus. They conclude that the University of Stavanger has a good environment for international students.

Sophia chose Comparative Educational Studies because she had learned that Norway has one of the best educational systems in the world. She wanted to learn how the Norwegian school system works and maybe implement some of the methods when she starts working as a pre-school teacher in Germany. Maria chose Comparative Education Studies because she thought it looked interesting.

«This has been a really great experience and I have learned a lot about how different educational systems in different countries works. All the students in my class have been open-minded and we have helped each other out. It has been great and I don’t regret taking this semester abroad as an exchange student».

The students will return home this summer, but they say they never will forget the exchange experience at the University of Stavanger.

«This semester will always be a main part of our lives», Caroline says.
 

Text and photo: Maria Gilje Torheim

Music crossing borders - 2021
Drama in early childhood educaton - 2021