Studying Social Education in Denmark: Karoline's experience

Today I want to present you Karoline, a Danish girl that decided to everything to reach her goal, even doing a teaching experience in China. She wasn't accepted at the university the fist time she applied, because of some paper mistakes, and she decided to improve her personal skills and her curriculum. But I won't say more and I will let you read her story :)

Tell me more about your study background.

I attended high school in Aarhus because I am originally from there. I did a classic high school and I studied Chinese, English and social studies, which was my major studies.

After high school, did you decided which university you wanted to attend?

Yes, I applied to Via university college to study Social Education, but unfortunately, I wasn’t accepted because I did a mistake on my paper. I had to wait a year before I could’ve applied again and I had a job that I upgraded to a full-time job. While working, I was searching for things that I can do to get my application better and I found a website about a China where I could go and teach English to school kids. And I went to China for one year. I thought English to young kids, between 1 and 3 years old and preschool kids.

Did people speak English?

Very few, some of the parents spoke English and only one teacher in the school. Sometimes it was difficult to express yourself and to understand each other. It was a difficult experience because of the language barriers and the way they wanted me to teach and the way I was used to teaching English. I lost energy and time to understand how they wanted me to teach English and they also advised me to go to other classes and see the way they teach. And after some time, I started to build a new teaching method and everything was ok in the end.

Did you need any specific diploma to teach English in China?

No, high school diploma was enough with a level A. We have three years of high school in Denmark and if you finish all 3 years is called A-level, if you finish 2 years is B-level, and one year is C-level. While I was attending high school, I attended an online course and had a diploma that certified me to teach English. It was a mandatory course that I decided to do.

What happened after your experience in China?

While I was in China, I applied again for Social Education at Via, and when I came back, I started attending university because I was accepted.

How is the bachelor?

In the beginning, it is exciting because you don’t know how is going to be because it is a practical degree, you should use your personality, experience and you cannot hide behind a screen.

What subjects do you have?

We don’t have subjects; we just have modules with a theme. Right know is a theoretical knowledge and science-based approach and we learn how to use it. They explain to us how to use the theory in order to do our job.

How long is the degree? How are your exams?

Three years and a half. The exams are different from other degrees: we have the freedom to decide how we are going to do our exam paper, and the exam requirements change based on your tasks. The first exam that I did, I had to write a paper and then defend it. The last exam that I did before my internship it was also a paper that after that I had to defend it. We also had a group test, 3 or 4 people write a paper and then we had to defend it, most exams are like this.

What kind of internships do you do during your bachelor?

We have 3 internships through our education, and we don’t have to find our internship, because most of them are based in Horsens, in the public institutions. We are also paid for our internship, around 7000kr and we also get SU around 5000 kr. We work around 30 hours per week. During the internship, we go to school a couple of days where we go back to school and speak about our internship experience, the tasks that we need to fulfill during our internship and some new knowledge that we can apply. Then we go back to the internship. In 3 years and a half of degree, we have 3 internships: the first one is 7 weeks, the second and the third one are 6 moths long and we are writing our bachelor we have a 4-week internship.

Where did you have your internships?

I had a 6 months’ internship at Gedved, a city outside Horsens. I worked on the same side as you colleagues, you are still a bit under them because you are still under education and don’t have the same knowledge. I still had to do the same amount of work as them.

What are your job opportunities after you end your degree?

My degree is divided into 3 specialties, I am the group called dagtilbud/daytime institution, which is for kinder garden and nurseries, Skole-fritid/school and free time (kids after school have the opportunity to stay for more hours and play and have fun), and the third one Social-special is for people with special needs.

The degree is only in Danish?

Yes, and we have only one international student and she has been living in Denmark for 10 years and she speaks the language well and doesn't have any difficulties. All types of educations related to medicine, social science are taught in Danish because when you finish your degree and start working, you can only work speaking Danish.  

What would you like to do in the future?

Right now I want to focus on my current education and then I will probably start working in order to understand what I want to do. In the future, I would like to work with kids with special needs like autism and other diagnosed kids.  

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