Linda Walton is studying pre-service teaching at the University of Southern Queensland, she recently had the opportunity to intern abroad in Indonesia and says it was an unforgettable experience. “I am forever grateful for this opportunity and highly recommend it to every pre-service teaching student,” Linda said.

Linda Walton traveled to Malang, East Java in Indonesia to complete her internship, taking along her husband and two teenage sons with her. To date, her pre-service teaching career has taken her from Melbourne, to the rural town of Biloela in Central Queensland and to Indonesia’s Malang in-between.

Within the next few months, Linda will graduate with a Bachelor of Primary Education at the University of Southern Queensland. Studying via correspondence from her home in Victoria, Linda added to her practical classroom experience a four-week placement at Brawijaya Smart School (BSS) in Malang, Indonesia – all thanks to the Australian Government’s New Colombo Plan program.

It was an unforgettable teaching experience, as well as life experience for herself and her family. Travelling with her husband an two teenage sons, it took thirteen hours to get from Victoria to Malang city. When she arrived, her days were busy and insightful as she started work at 6.30am each morning, teaching Grade Four children. “They were so keen to practice their English and ask lots of questions – happy, bright and full of energy,” Linda said.

As she planned her lessons according to the available curriculum, she taught the Grade Four students English, Science and Mathematics, Linda believes her teaching style was a new way of teaching for them. Linda had to use her creativity along with the minimal resources available at-hand for classroom activities. “We have many more resources available to us back home. I organised science experiments and math activities using materials I could rustle up from the local supermarket.”

Linda said it was a time of exploration and discovery for her, providing a new perspective on life and the teaching profession; there is so much to share and to learn on both ends. “I am forever grateful for this experience and highly recommend it to every pre-service teaching student,” Linda says. “I hope to return to Brawijaya Smart School and Malang one day soon, as I have friends to see again. Also, I promised the kids.”

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