Linn Skum

Linn swapped LTU against five weeks in Iceland

Published: 13 March 2014

During the five weeks teacher student Linn Skum traded everyday life at Luleå University of Technology for an internship in school in Iceland. Every day she woke up to the view of Icelandic mountains.
– It was so beautiful. I can hardly believe it's possible to be unhappy there, says Linn Skum.

In all teacher education programmes several periods of internship or work placement is included. The internship can be done either in Sweden or abroad.

Photo: Linn Skum
The view from Linn Skums home in Iceland. Photo: Linn Skum

Linn Skum studies to become a teachers in grades 4-6. When it was time for her second internship, she wanted to do something extra fun. Using contacts she managed to arrange an internship at a school in the city Mosfellsbær, outside Reikjavik in Iceland.

- My sister has lived in Iceland so I've been there many times and understand a little Icelandic, says Linn Skum.

She ended up in a class of ten year olds in Lágafellsskóli. There are approximately 700 students at the school, which includes both pre-school and elementary school.

"Will they understand me?"

There were two things Linn Skum thought about before she traveled to Iceland. The first was the language - would the children in the class know enough English? The second was her supervisor that she had never met before. But when she was in place everythings worked out well. The students were good at English and her supervisor turned out to be a real enthusiast.

- He was passionate about his profession and inspired me, says Linn Skum.

In the Icelandic school there's no pre-school class. Children start first grade when they are six years old. Elementary school ends after tenth grade.

- I had to adapt my lessons and remember that they are a year younger than the students in the same class in Sweden would have been.

Home Economics from the start

Other things that separate schools in the two countries is that the Icelandic students have more music, dance, crafts and home economics on the schedule. All subjects are compulsory from first grade.

- It was very good. Especially that their home economics starts so early, I wish we had that here in Sweden too, says Linn Skum.

She lived with a Swedish / Icelandic family that her older sister has lived with and worked for several years ago. The family runs a guesthouse where Linn Skum was allowed to stay for free because she helped to take care of children and horses.

- They are my extra family in Iceland, it worked out very well, says Linn Skum.


Linn's advice to those who want to do an internship abroad

  • Start looking for your internship well in advance.
  • Be prepared that you may have find out everything yourself.
  • Be openminded to make it a fun time.

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