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Photo: Lars Andersson
Fanny Löfmark and Isabelle Hägg. Photo: Lars Andersson View original picture , opens in new tab/window

New perspectives after international internship

Published: 15 April 2020

Preschool teacher students Fanny Löfmark and Isabelle Hägg chose to do their business education (VFU) at a school in western Uganda. An experience that involved both challenges, lessons learned and broader perspectives.

− I learned a lot, but it was also a challenge to adapt to a completely different form of teaching than what we are used to from the Swedish school, says Fanny Löfmark and Isabelle Hägg agrees.

Clear sustainability perspective

− They have a completely different way of thinking about how lessons should be planned and what requirements you as an educator can place on the children. In Sweden, we have a clear picture that teaching should be characterized by play and that the children are competent, but at this school we sometimes felt like it was like going back in time with a very authoritarian teaching style.

The two preschool students did their VFU at Sadhguru School in the city of Fort Portal. A school whose entire business is based on the teachings of an Indian yoga guru, something that was noticed in how the school worked on sustainability issues.

− I feel that they have come very far. Despite small resources and a large number of pupils, thanks to their own cultivation and reuse, they were able to be self-sufficient in terms of food and other supplies, says Fanny Löfmark.

Despite initial cultural clashes, both Fanny and Isabelle agree that the time spent in Uganda is an experience they will carry with them for the rest of their professional lives.

Good for personal development

− It opened my eyes to other ways of working and we had a supervisor who constantly pushed us to work independently with the goal that by the end of our VFU we could lead the whole class ourselves. I also take all meetings with the teachers at the school who in many cases had a strength in their leadership that I myself strive for. And all wonderful children, of course, says Isabelle Hägg and is supported by Fanny Löfmark.

− I have become more confident in my leadership and dare to test more in teaching now. I also feel that I now reason more and can say what kind of leader I want to be in the classroom.

Fanny Löfmark and Isabelle Hägg decided early in the education that they wanted to test doing their long VFU abroad. A decision they do not regret for a second.

− I think it should be mandatory! If you have the opportunity and want to go, you should definitely do it, says Isabelle Hägg firmly.

− It is good for personal development but also broadens the prospects for your future profession. My advice to anyone who wants to do VFU abroad is to go there with an open mind and only take with you the parts you think are good, says Fanny Löfmark.