Week van de Internationale Student | Katharina: "You learn to be more open to different cultures"


De Marnix Academie is een hogeschool met aandacht voor wereldburgerschap. We leiden studenten op die oog hebben voor de wereld om ons heen. Daarom bieden we verschillende mogelijkheden om tijdens de opleiding een internationale ervaring op te doen. Wist je dat er het hele jaar door internationale studenten aan de Marnix Academie studeren? Zij volgen een Engelstalig programma, vaak samen met onze Marnix-studenten. Maak kennis met de Duitse student Katharina die op dit moment bij ons studeert.’

Especially for the Week of the International Student, we asked German student Katharina Luckscheiter about her experiences in the Netherlands and her minor at the Marnix Academie.

What kind of international experience have you had?

In Germany at secondary school, I had an exchange program of a week to Tenerife. At my secondary school, we also had an exchange student from Chili for a year. Both experiences were very interesting for me. 

I always wanted to go abroad. First, my dream was to go to an American high school, but at that age, I was a little hesitant to go that far. So I started at my university in Ludwigsburg and I saw the opportunity to go study abroad. I had to list my 5 preferred destinations. I put in the Marnix Academie in Utrecht and that was the destination I got! I am really happy with this. I like that I can also do the internship here. That has given me a good insight into the Dutch educational system. 

What is an important outcome for you of your study abroad?

I experienced how it is to stay in a country and not know the language. Dutch and German are similar and I can sometimes understand what they are saying, but especially in the internship school, I experience difficulties. I don’t precisely understand what the teachers are talking about. With younger children, it can be hard to communicate with them. I can feel a little helpless. Because of this experience, I can relate to children in my future classroom who are also having difficulty with the German language. I am better able to understand their situation and help them.  

Another important outcome for me is living alone by myself. Back home I live with my mom. Now I have to clean and do grocery shopping. That’s very important for me to learn. I always wanted to move out when I started university, but Covid-19 happened and I stayed at home. It’s important to grow up and therefore you have to do these things alone and take care of yourself. You have the responsibility. I have also gotten a new perspective on how much my mom does at home. 

Why do you feel it is important for teachers to have an international experience?

I think by having an international experience, you learn to be more open to different cultures and their differences. It does something for your personality. As a teacher, it is important to be open. You can not judge others. As a teacher, you also have to work with the parents and not just the children. You have to be open to different nationalities and cultures. When you spend time in another country you experience a little of what it is like to be not of the same culture. So an open mind and understanding is very important. 

Would you recommend studying abroad?

It is a really nice experience! You learn so many different things. You are out of your comfort zone. It is interesting to see the differences between how the universities work. In Germany, I have to be at the university for 4 days a week. Here I have time to explore The Netherlands and see a museum. A museum visit is also sometimes an assignment of course. 

It is interesting to be in an international class while studying abroad. Because of all the different nationalities in the class, we also got an insight into their school systems and cultures. We also sometimes have classes with Dutch students. Both classes are very nice. I also do things with ESN (Erasmus Student Network) and get to know more people. I did an excursion to Volendam, for example.