• Posted by: Julia Peterk

A Glimpse into the Program: Hannah´s Perspective from UTS

Hannah is one of the participants in the MOTIVATE! tandem program and is currently studying at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS). Julia, a student assistant involved in the project, has been in contact with Hannah to exchange insights about her experiences in the program. The following  interview offers valuable perspectives on the impact and benefits of the program from a participant’s point of view.

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Julia: Hi Hannah. Thank you for taking your time to share your experiences of the program!  How did you become aware of the MOTIVATE! project?

Hannah: I became aware of the project through communications from my university on their weekly electronic newsletter.

Julia: Oh, that’s great that your university shares information about international opportunities. I can imagine that many students discover new and interesting projects through this. Have you ever participated in a similar project before?

Hannah: I have not taken part in a similar project before, so I was really excited and intrigued for what the program would be like.

Julia: I can understand that well. New experiences and especially meeting new people are always particularly exciting. What specifically motivates you to participate in this project?

Hannah: I wanted to participate in this project because of its ability to connect me to people from other countries and cultures. I want to be a global citizen, so being exposed to and interacting with people from different cultures than mine is important to me. Also, its focus on education drew me in as I already have an interest in this and have always wanted to know how schooling is delivered in other countries.

Julia: That is a wonderful motivation! Especially as an aspiring teacher, it is so important to get to know and understand different cultures. What personal benefit does the project have for you?”

Hannah: The MOTIVATE! program is personally fulfilling as I get to learn about and partake in a project that combines a few key interests of mine. It makes me feel better connected to the world through understanding what students are learning on a global scale.

Julia: That sounds really enriching. What expectations did you have before the project started? And were they fulfilled?

Hannah: The only expectation I can remember having before the first meeting was to meet and spend time with people from countries and cultures different to mine. This expectation was definitely fulfilled through the various meetings we had. These involved lecture-style Zoom calls with activities in break-out rooms where we could collaborate with different people each time, sharing our ideas, knowledge, and experiences. The MOTIVATE! program also organised for us to be in small groups for the entire duration of the project. This placed me in a group with Eline and Caspar, where we worked on different tasks together outside of the Zoom meetings. This long-term grouping allowed me to get to know them more and develop a friendship with them.

Julia: I’m glad to hear that your expectations were met and that you were even able to make friends. Such personal connections are often the most valuable outcome of such projects. Can you imagine continuing to have contact with the other participants after the project ends?

Hannah: I genuinely do want to maintain contact with the other participants from MOTIVATE! as working together on and off for nearly a year has drawn us closer together. I really hope I can make it to Norway to complete the last part of the program and see everyone in person!

Julia: That’s true, the summer school in Norway in September would certainly be a great opportunity! Personal meetings can further strengthen the connections. Who would you particularly recommend taking part in this project?

Hannah: People who are interested in education, different countries and cultures, and possibly making some new friends are who I would recommend participating in the MOTIVATE! program.

Julia: I also think that many people could benefit from such an enriching experience. Perhaps your insights could motivate a few students to participate in the project as well. Thank you very much for the conversation and your personal insights into the MOTIVATE! project!