Strengthening WNY's Education by Studying in Finland
My name is Ally Radley and I'm currently studying abroad at the University of Jyvaskyla in Finland. I graduated from Niagara University in May 2014 with a bachelor's degree in English education and am currently a graduate student at Niagara University, studying for my master's degree in literacy instruction.
I was nominated by Niagara University's faculty to participate in this study abroad opportunity in order to learn about the Finnish educational system (one of the best in the world) and to strengthen Western New York's partnership with the University of Jyvaskyla.
I am here with only one other student (from Daemen College) and so far, we have had an excellent time. We're taking classes in special education, early childhood education and education in Finland. We are going to be observing several local schools and using those experiences to see, firsthand, the different methods of instruction used in Finnish schools.
Niagara University has prepared me for this experience by equipping me with an extensive knowledge of the American educational system and providing me with a framework through which I can evaluate the Finnish education system and draw comparisons between the two.
In our free time, my colleague and I have explored the city of Jyvaskyla, signed up for several trips with the university's international student group and fallen in love with using the sauna! Finland has proven to be a very welcoming and fun place to study, and I can't wait to see what else I will learn and experience on this trip!