Study Abroad Student Teaching

My name is Nick, I'm a student at Western Washington University. I have been given a once in a lifetime chance to do my final full time student teaching abroad, in a foreign country! This is such a big deal to me, and I'm so excited to dive deeper into the process of being officially placed in a country's school system, so different than my own. Here is some background on me, and why I do what I do. Ever since I was young, I was always trying to learn new things so I could teach others. I like to think that I came into teaching naturally and subconsciously. As I grew up, I dreamed of being a teacher, but at middle and high school age, I started to let that dream go because I thought that teachers couldn't make a living on their wages. In some cases it was true, but I was uninformed of the reality. Through my young adult years, I held many leadership roles and positions that were all teaching related. I led student groups, taught some music, and tutored students. Teaching runs through my veins and I couldn't imagine life without it.Now, with less than a year from finishing my teaching degree, I have been offered the experience of a lifetime to student teach abroad. The main country I'm trying to get into is Norway. Norway has so many aspects that I dream of experiencing. One being that they are one of the top 5 education systems in the entire world! Where better to hone my teaching skills and learn more about teaching from a top-of-the-line education system?! Another important part for me is that it is a completely different culture than here in America. And being thrown into a culture with no previous experience with it will be a shock, and will allow me to experience feelings that I couldn't get here. I'd be a major minority in the country based on culture and language. Although many Norwegians speak English, they speak their own language first. This experience would be extremely humbling, and will allow me to show and feel empathy towards minority students or students who don't speak English that I am guaranteed to have in the future. This experience will help me find new techniques to cope with these situations that I can pass on to my own future students. But best of all, because many do speak English in Norway, I will have a way to communicate still. Finally, Norway is so important to me because I am a majority Norwegian by ancestry. I have been able to trace multiple lines and branches of my family tree all the way back to 1400AD. I want to experience and feel the culture my family had in the days when they still lived in Norway. Family is so important to me, and a side mission is to find at least one living relative who still resides in Norway and connect with them! Who wouldn't want to have an experience that not only could bring them closer to their family, but could give me such amazing experiences and knowledge about how I can teach my future students?Now, things brings me to why I made this GoFundMe campaign. Tuition is expensive for this, and my student loan debt keeps growing and growing. And the most difficult part is that this program for study abroad does not include the cost or arrangement of housing, food, or travel to and from the host country. That means there is still a lot of cost out of pocket aside from just tuition. Here is a breakdown of what kinds of costs I'm looking at for the about 11-13 weeks I'll be abroad, no matter the country I receive: Tuition: $3750Housing: $3200-4500Food: $1000-2000Airfare: $2400-4000Even without asking for help on the tuition part of the study abroad time, I'm looking at an out of pocket cost of between $6600-10500. I'm doing my best to both work and go to school, pulling 13-16 hour days, to save up as much money as possible, but I know in the next 9 months before I leave, I wont be able to raise that much alone. A different challenge, as well, is that I will not and do not get paid to student teach, which leaves me without actual income while abroad. I am asking for your help to make this amazing experience possible. By helping me, you're, in turn, helping my future students have the best education possible and allowing those students to experience new cultures, teaching and learning strategies, and will allow me to make international connections that I can bring to my classroom via Skype or video calls with international students, teachers, and classrooms. Help me, and help my future students by donating to this amazing experience! I greatly appreciate even the smallest amount, and all your time reading about my campaign! Thank you so much!-Nick Ness

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Nick Ness 
Mukilteo, WA
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