"Don’t hesitate to come to Norway, it’s great here!"

Lucie Mosquera
Lucie Mosquera is from Switzerland and is training to be a teacher. She’s currently exchange student at Nord University, here to experience Norway and Norwegian teacher education.

"We work with Arts and crafts. Last week we were taught to carve, and we made knives and spoons among other things. Now we're out in the woods in Levanger to make things out of wood", says Lucie.

She's learning among the trees, not far from Nord University's campus in Levanger. Together with her fellow students, she's learned to use tools such as a knife and an axe.

They're making swings, tables and chairs on tree stumps. In addition to learning the tools and craft skills, students are encouraged to adapt their materials by bending, sawing, drilling and barking.

“We learn to create something from nature with our hands. It's really cool," she says.

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Šárka from Czech Republic. Photo: Rune Hjelen

Classrooms in the forest

“The next task is to create a living space in the forest, the answer to which is usually to create something you can be inside", says Assistant Professor Rune Hjelen.

The most important thing is to collaborate with others, and work with unfamiliar tools.

Lucie and the other international students work together with Norwegian middle school students.

“We believe this will lead to interaction across national borders, and learning from each other's cultures. We have a tradition of hiking and building in Norway. No matter where you are in the world, you build with the materials you have. In Norway, we have lots of trees, and being able to use the resources we find in nature is brilliant," he says.

For Lucie, teaching in the woods is something completely new, she is used to learning in a classroom where everyone sits.

"This is very different. We're out and about, working together and learning a lot. I think it's really great."

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Šárka from Czech Republic and María from Spain. Photo: Rune Hjelen

An alternative approach to education

Lucie is from the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and is both Swiss and Spanish. She's studying to teach children from four to twelve years old.

She chose to study for a semester in Norway because the approach to education is different, compared to her home country.

“You think more about the children and about learning by doing here. Not just sitting in a classroom while the teacher talks."

In addition, she's fascinated by Norwegian nature.

“I've travelled around Norway and found it's a really beautiful country. So I came both because of Norwegian nature and culture, but first of all because of teacher education here."

Outdoors a lot

She says that they knew that they were going to be outdoors, but sleeping outside was a new experience for her.

“We learn that a classroom can be anywhere, not just inside. For example, we spent three days in the woods with canoeing and outdoor accommodation. It was unexpected, but we learned a lot! If you want to challenge yourself and learn more about how to teach students outdoors, I think Norway is the perfect choice. What's more, you learn a lot about yourself."

"What would you say to students considering taking a semester in Norway?"

“Don't hesitate to come to Norway, it's great here!" says Lucie.

Facts: Nordic and International Perspectives on Teaching and Learning

ECTS credits: 30
Semester: Autumn
Study level: Shorter programme/one term programme
Teaching language: English
Campus: Levanger

FacultyFaculty of Education and Arts

More about the programme