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Nicole studied abroad in Denmark through the DIS Child Development & Diversity program.
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Ford Center for the Fine Arts

Nicole D'Alterio '20

Chicago, IL

Major in Elementary Education, Self Designed Minor in Writing Studies and German

Nicole studied abroad in Denmark to pursue her interest in international teaching.

Nicole studied abroad in Denmark through the DIS Child Development & Diversity program.

Describe your study abroad experience.

I participated in the Child Development & Diversity program through DIS in Copenhagen, Denmark. I grew very attached to my host family and met a lot of people who helped me explore Europe. Through the program I not only learned a lot about the Danish education system, which will help me when I become an international teacher, but I also learned a lot about myself and what I want my life to look like.

My favorite part of the experience was that for my core course, “Child Development in Scandinavia,” I was able to be in a local elementary classroom every Thursday. The teachers there gave me so much freedom with lesson and activity planning. It really cemented my interest in becoming an international teacher and working with non-native English speaking students. My class also went to Finland for a week where we were able to learn about the Finish education system and explore some of Helsinki. We even experienced the traditional Finish sauna/lake jump, which requires that you jump into a freezing lake and then relax in the sauna!

Why do you want to become an international teacher?

Since my parents are international teachers, I grew up moving around and going to international schools. I have always tried to learn at least some of the host country’s language when I go somewhere because languages are fascinating to me. Having lived in six countries, I can't imagine living any other way than by travelling and working with people from different countries.

How did Knox prepare you for study abroad?

A mix of classes and practical experiences at Knox helped prepare me for study in Denmark. Working as a writing tutor and being a teaching assistant for the  Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) classes really boosted my confidence and knowledge of the English language. John Haslem, director of CTL, has also always encouraged me to go farther than I think I can go. Although I have always known that I wanted to be a teacher, my experiences at Knox have helped me explore the kind of teacher I want to be and the different ways I can teach. The knowledge that one is never done learning about the world or even oneself is something that I want to take with me.

At Knox, Nicole works as a writing tutor for CTL and as a student worker for the Registrar. She also plays on the women’s water polo team, participates in intramural basketball, and volunteers for Blessings in a Backpack.

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Printed on Sunday, October 24, 2021