Karlie Measel

Studying in Copenhagen

Karlie Measel - Copenhagen, Denmark

I went to Copenhagen, Denmark to take a three-week course about children with special needs. I learned so much from my Danish teacher about not only the development of children but also how different cultures deal with certain situations compared to America. Each person in my class was assigned to a practicum site where we went and volunteered, observed and learned about the different programs that Denmark offers for their children. This was where the culture shock set in for me.

I had to go all alone to a different place to find myself with very nice and friendly people that did not speak a word of English. It was quite the adjustment for me to try to interact with these people. Luckily, on the second day, they had a teacher come in who could speak English, so I was able to actually learn more about the program and the children and was finally able to ask the hundreds of questions I had. I was so intrigued by them all and noticed that they too were curious about my country and me. 

Karlie Measel - Denmark.jpgWhile looking back and reflecting on the knowledge I have acquired about the Danish society through the field experiences and practicum time, it amazes me that so much can be learned in such little time. The expectations and hopes I had for this experience have all been fulfilled mainly because I came here with an open mind, hoping to be challenged and taught new information. The best way I learn new things is to be challenged with the idea first, and to then take the time to understand the new focus. I was challenged everyday during my experience, either being from class discussions or a scenario at my practicum, but the outcome was always a positive learning experience.

After learning so much in only three short weeks, I'm now beginning to reflect and ponder all the theories and concepts to gain a better understanding. I have realized that although all the topics I've learned relate to the field of study I will be practicing, it also can be related to almost any aspect of my everyday life.  I am eager to return home and begin back into my practice of working with children and adapting these new theories and concepts that I have developed. Learning is a very wonderful thing, and this experience also taught me that you don't necessarily learn from people that know more than you, instead you learn from people that know different things and are willing to share and explain their ways of thinking.