So, this autumn, I will be..
a) observing lessons at American schools,
b) auditing two courses at Indiana University, and
c) conducting an inquiry project, which basically means writing a research paper on the topic of my choice (Inclusion of Ethnic and Sexual Minority Groups in the American Classroom).
I won't be a student, but I won't be a teacher, either. Instead, my role will be something in between - I'm supposed to develop my professional skills as a teacher by researching and observing aspects of the American school system.
Of course, the exchange will be about many other things, too, such as intercultural communication, cultural experiences, culture shock, homesickness, travelling in the USA, venturing out of my comfort zone, and also representing Finland and the Finnish school system to the best of my ability. And what a year to get to do just that - after all, Finland will be celebrating its centennial on the 6th of December 2017!
Julcsi and I will be based in Bloomington, Indiana for my exchange - a city and a state I've never visited before. Eek! After the actual scholarship, there will be a so called 30-day grace period, which we're planning on spending on the road, doing as much travelling in the USA as we possibly can in that time. I'm really, really, really nervous, and really, really, really stressed out about everything (especially all the paperwork), but excited all the same to see what the autumn will bring!
So, stay tuned for Emilia on the Road - the U.S. Edition! Adventures await!