Sweden bound scholars
Bendigo local Melinda Ellis will travel to Sweden to learn more about educating children who are Deaf. The La Trobe student is one of three students traveling to Malmö University, where they will study for one semester.
Ms Ellis, who is studying for a Bachelor of Education, says that Malmö University was the obvious choice for her to undertake exchange program studies.
‘Malmö is very active with Deaf research and has a big focus on human and children’s rights. It would be an invaluable opportunity to have access to their research as the knowledge I gain from it would assist in my future career as a teacher.’
The trip will also give Ms Ellis the opportunity to assess the education system in Sweden.
‘There is a National Curriculum in Sweden and right now Australia is in the process of moving towards having one too, so it would be great to experience an established National Curriculum before Australia puts one in place,’ she says.
Rebecca Picken, who is also studying for a Bachelor of Education, agrees. ‘I chose Malmo University because of the education system, both in schools and at university level. Malmo offers a very good range of subjects to study that match closely with my studies in Australia.
‘I am very social and love meeting new people so I am really looking forward to that aspect of this exchange. I am curious about the way other people live and want to know more about other people’s history, beliefs, customs and traditions. This will be an amazing adventure for me,’ says Ms Picken.
Hannah Stewart, who is studying a Bachelor of Arts (Nature Tourism), will use the opportunity to learn more about how the Swedes view the environment. ‘I want to experience how the Scandinavian concept of open air life helps to shape the ways in which people incorporate the natural world into their every-day life.’
Ms Stewart says Swedes have a very different approach to land use. ‘In Sweden the general public have a constitutionally protected right to access private land for the purpose of outdoor recreation. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency even retains the right to force the removal of fences on private property that obstruct public access.’
The students will also be telling people about their experiences of study at home. ‘Bendigo is a really special place to study, where else can you see a kangaroo hopping past your window on a university campus?’ says Ms Stewart.
The exchange study trip was made possible through $10,000 individual scholarships provided by the International Network of Universities (INU). The INU is a group of 12 universities, including La Trobe from 9 different countries.
‘Only high achieving students are invited to apply for an INU Travelling Scholarship,’ says Ian Bailie, Academic Services Manager with the La Trobe’s Faculty of Education.
‘Scholarship recipients are then selected based on how well they will benefit personally and academically from a semester of study in an unfamiliar environment and how well they will perform as an ambassador for Australia and for La Trobe University.
‘Spending time in another country can enrich their studies as well as providing great personal growth opportunities,’ he says.
Zerin Knight, Ph (03) 5444 7375 F (03) 5444 7526 M 0428 463 161 E email@example.com
Tom O’Callaghan, Ph (03) 5444 7415 F (03) 5444 7526 M 0408 900 469 E T.OCallaghan@latrobe.edu.au