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Transformative Education: The Gems of Studying Abroad in Germany

Transformative Education: The Gems of Studying Abroad in Germany

Rubecca standing on a bridge with the town of  Höhenpark Killesberg, Stuttgart in the background in 2011
Rubecca in Höhenpark Killesberg, Stuttgart, 2011

In the summer of 2011, Rubecca Lui (BEd '13, MEd '15) embarked on a transformative journey through her time abroad in York University's Faculty of Education’s Bachelor of Education program. Motivated by an interest to broaden educational perspectives, Rubecca opted for the road less traveled—an exchange program with Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg in Germany, facilitated by the Faculty of Education’s international education program. The objective was not merely learning, but rather immersive engagement with diverse teaching methodologies from around the world.

"My decision to pursue education through this program at York University was fueled by the anticipation that it would not only enhance my academic perspective but also contribute significantly to my professional development,” Lui says, “I was eager to step out of my comfort zone, explore diverse teaching methodologies, and engage with a global community of educators."

Driving this international education experience were collaboration and community. Lui found herself amidst a diverse cohort of like-minded individuals, guiding mentors, and her instructors. There, collaboration was not only encouraged; it constituted the heart of the experience. Imagine exchanging insights with fellow students from disparate corners of the globe—an eclectic confluence of ideas, cultural nuances, and a collective journey of learning.

"During my time abroad, my primary collaborators were my fellow students at the partner university and the instructors who guided our educational journey. Interacting with a diverse group of international peers allowed for a rich exchange of ideas, perspectives, and cultural insights,” she says.

It was at Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg where her academic immersion would truly unfold. There, lecture halls resonated with global wisdom, workshops bustled as canvases of shared experiences, and collaboration with fellow students provided a panoramic view of German teaching methodologies.

"The majority of my learning during my international education experience took place at Pädagogische Hochschule Freiburg.” Lui mentions. “This institution served as the primary venue for my academic pursuits, where I attended lectures, participated in workshops, and collaborated with fellow students, offering a comprehensive immersion into German teaching methodologies."

Rubecca visiting a church in Heidelberg, Germany, 2011
Rubecca at a church in Heidelberg, Germany, 2011

Amidst the academic crescendo, personal milestones emerged. One notable achievement was the evolving connection with a roommate in Freiburg, Germany. Overcoming language barriers showcased the magic of cross-cultural connections and personal growth.

Fast forward to the present, and Rubecca finds herself navigating the intricacies of the public sector. Today, her enthusiasm for learning and adaptability, nurtured during the journey, has evolved and branched out into different realms. In working as an administrative assistant in the public sector, her exposure to diverse cultures has proven invaluable in navigating the complexities of a multicultural workspace.

"Although my current role doesn't directly relate to my teaching degree, I've found that my enthusiasm for learning and my eagerness to acquire new skills easily transfer across different areas,” she notes.

Zooming out, the potential of going abroad with York becomes apparent. Its value extends beyond just an educational program; it is a global rendezvous—an opportunity to explore, connect, and cultivate personal and professional growth beyond borders.

"Taking my education abroad with York brings great value to education professionals,” Lui says. “It's a chance to explore new ideas, meet diverse people, and understand learning from different perspectives."

And for those sitting at the edge of possibility, contemplating a career into the world of education, Rubecca offers a direct recommandation—take the leap! Embrace the unknown, and let the skills acquired pleasantly surprise. The journey, as she attests, unfolds where the real experience abroad happens.

"Go for it!” She says. “You won't know until you try, and the skills you gain are really valuable. If it interests you, give it a shot—you might be surprised at what you can achieve."