Katholieke Pabo Zwolle – The Story of Andreas

International class (Photo by Andreas Reder)
International class (Photo by Andreas Reder)

The registration process starts with a letter of motivation and a recommendation from a teacher of your home university. Afterward, I got an Email from Ria Posthumus with an invitation for a Skype meeting with one of the lectures. The conversation is compulsory for the registration process. During the conversation they ask different questions such as: Pre-knowledge about teaching, What`s your motivation for studying abroad, Private questions…

After the successful registration process, we got different information about our stay and what we need in the Netherlands. I and a friend of mine decided not to stay in the Camping Agnietenberg as it is too far away from the university. We found an apartment via Airbnb and rented it for the five months in Zwolle. I personally, really enjoyed my stay in this apartment as I could reach the university and the city center within ten minutes by bike.

The Katholieke Pabo Zwolle is a small and independent university of applied science, teacher training college. The college is for primary school teachers and has about 650 students and 70 employees.


Harrie Poulssen

Bert Thole

Ria Posthumus

Katholieke Pabo Zwolle

Ten Oeverstraat 68

8012 EW Zwolle

+31 (0)38 4217425


Courses at the Katholieke Pabo Zwolle:

In the list below are the courses and a short description about each course which I had to attend at the university.

IMeng01        English Language

The objective of this course revolves around writing and presenting an academic paper in English in which your own written work will play a pivotal role. This very short course of 4 lessons focuses both on the development of academic writing skills and strengthening presentation skills. By the end of this introductory course, you should be more confident about the way you write and express your opinions and you should be more suitably expressive with your voice and your body while presenting an argument.

IMcul01         Culture and Society 1

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.

IMped01        Pedagogy 1

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.

IMdut01         Dutch language

Several aspects of learning and teaching the 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.

IMipc01         International Primary Curriculum (IPC)

IPC is: Great Learning, Great Teaching, Great Fun. The International Primary Curriculum (IPC) is a comprehensive, thematic, creative curriculum for 3-12 year olds, with a clear process of learning and with specific learning goals for every subject, for international mindedness and for personal learning. The IPC has been designed to ensure rigorous learning but also to help teachers make all learning exciting, active and meaningful for children. Learning with the IPC takes a global approach; helping children to connect their learning to where they are living now as well as looking at the learning from the perspective of other people in other countries. The IPC is used by schools in more than 90 countries around the world. Source: http://www.greatlearning.com/ipc/the-ipc/what-is-ipc
In this course students will study IPC together. The students prepare and execute a theme in the primary school.

IMcct01          Coaching/counselling and tutorship 1

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.

IMdrm01       Drama/Music 1

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.

IMtpr01         Teaching Practice – Attendance

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.

IMtie01                      Teacher in Europe conference

You learn in an international environment how to design a project under Erasmus and to complete a final proposal.

IMprw01       Project week Randstad                  

Cultural trip (3 days) with your fellow students to the Randstad, the Western part 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.  For participation in excursions and the Project Week, you have to pay a contribution of 100 euros.

Most of the courses mentioned above are really interesting and you learn a lot about the language and the culture and traditions in the Netherlands. The highlight for me was the teaching practice as I had the chance to teach at the International school in Ommen. I really enjoyed that time as I could teach English and Food technology there. Moreover, as it is an international school you get to know so many different cultures and perspectives. Additionally, it is really helpful when you learn more about the school system in the Netherlands which is really different compared to the system in Austria.

To sum up, I can highly recommend an Erasmus exchange program at the Katholieke Pabo Zwolle in the Netherlands. I really enjoyed the five months as an exchange student as I got to know so many different people and their backgrounds. Moreover, as I already mentioned the best thing during this program is the teaching practice especially as a further teacher.

Written by Andreas Reder, Katholieke Pabo Zwolle, The Netherlands

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