Scan Magazine, Issue 94, November 2016

Page 66

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Education Special – Danish Efterskoler

An international experience Eisbjerghus International School offers its students a unique opportunity to acquire intercultural skills. By Nicolai Lisberg  |  Photos: Eisbjerghus International School

Many future jobs will be in an international environment, which is why the continuation school Eisbjerghus International School has a special focus on giving students an international experience. “We believe it’s important that young people nowadays have an understanding of other cultures. Their future destination could potentially be anywhere in the world, so we provide them with an opportunity to acquire intercultural skills,” explains Mads Poulsen, principal at Eisbjerghus International School. When the students enrol, they each select the country where they want to do their exchange programme. Currently, the school offers exchange experiences in France, Spain, Japan, India and China. “The idea is that our students live with local families during their stay. This way they get an opportunity to really get a feel for the culture and everyday life in the host country. It’s important for us that it is an actual exchange programme and not just 66  |  Issue 94  |  November 2016

a holiday; you won’t get the same understanding of a country’s culture if you are just travelling as a tourist,” says Poulsen.

International environment The students have one hour every week where they are taught about the host country and preparing for their trip. The exchange trips last between ten and 12 days and the students travel with their classmates. Other than going abroad and living with a local family, the students also host foreign students themselves. “The student you are staying with during your exchange programme also comes to our school to stay with you, so our school is often full of people from other coun-

tries. This creates an international environment and helps the students improve their intercultural skills as well as their level of English,” says Poulsen. Name: Frederikke Friis Knudsen Age: 16 Nationality: Danish Why did you choose Eisbjerghus International School? I wanted to be a part of an international environment and have a break before the gymnasium where I could attend topics considering global perspectives and have the opportunity to go abroad and experience a whole new culture. What has been your impression of the school so far? Really good. The teachers are dedicated and great supporters on the personal level. My fellow students are involved and interested in the international environment – but also really good at including everyone at the school on the social life. There’s a good environment when it comes to teaching and learning, but also the relationship between the students.

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