Folk School Student Testimonials
*I learned so much about how valuable this type of educational experience is. By living in a small community of diverse and interesting young people, you can’t
help but learn a lot about yourself and your relationship with others.
*With the challenge of being in a new country, speaking a new language, all without
familiar surroundings, I got to know myself on a whole new level. Without this experience, I would not fully realize what I am capable of doing.
*The folk high school experience has opened facets of my education that I could
never have explored as intensely or completely if it wasn’t for this 24 hour,
7 days a week cultural, artistic, and educational experience.
*My education here in Finland taught me how to live on my own and prepared me
for my future life. I think traveling abroad for the first time and having to be away from my family
caused me to become independent and made me realize that I will be able to go
out on my own into the world and survive after college – it does not seem frightening
*My Nature and Environment class was composed of eight students – the best student/faculty
ratio I have ever had. Our time spent in the classroom was balanced with time spent outside. I have realized how much more interesting and effective “hands on” learning can
be. We spent 5 days on an island studying coastal life, learned the basics of sailing,
put out fish nets, helped out on an organic farm, and slept under a beautiful,
star filled sky every night.
*The outdoor life program in Norway was outstanding and simply being able to
see the country through such a diverse and varied way was why I chose to do this. The semester exceeded my expectations – it was fantastic.
*There are no exams to test what you have learned, no one telling you that you
have not learned enough, fast enough or well enough. * There are no unapproachable
teachers, no teachers that you just hear them lecture, the teachers are people
who care about what is happening in your life, people to have serious and not
so serious conversations with, people you eat meals with and most of all, people
you become friends with.
*I was so surprised that the classes were very relaxed, students were free to
voice their opinions and there was enough time allowed for each class that most
of the learning was done in the classroom, not with the homework which is what
I am used to.
*I really appreciated the openness and respect the teachers had for the students
and it really made me comfortable with discussions – I have never talked so much
in class before! I could talk to the teachers outside the classroom like real people.
*Being immersed in a culture that speaks a different language is a sure way of
learning that language quickly. I have learned more Norwegian in 5 months than I learned French in school in
*I am learning all of the time, even when I do not realize it. The tests for this course are not on paper, but rather when I go to the store,
take a bus, ask someone a question or carry on a conversation.
I think the majority of my education this year took place outside the classroom. Other students taught me how to knit, cross country ski and even hoe to drive
a stick-shift car. I have never met and befriended so many wonderful people from so many different
countries before. Living in a multicultural environment enabled me to look at the world from different
points of view. It made me realize that the American perspective is not the only and best – only
one of many equally valid perspectives.
*Not only did I learn a considerable amount about Denmark, I learned about the
US as well. Never before have I been so challenged to analyze the US and truly appreciate
it in the long run. My eyes are much more open now to the world. I am aware and conscious of America’s relations with other countries and their
relationship with each other.
*I have learned how the US is viewed by another culture. I have seen another part of the world, I have gained perspective on the world,
I have learned another language, I have come to appreciate nature much more, I
have learned how to knit, I have seen a calf being born, I have learned how to
folkdance, I have achieved a better understanding of myself. So, what was the total educational value of the year? I believe that it is too high to put a value on it.
*I believe my greatest discovery and most important lesson is – no matter how
different people are on the surface, deep down we are all the same human beings. I expected to learn about the differences between cultures and people when I
came here, but I ended up learning more about their similarities.
*The world would be a better place if everyone had access to such inspiring and
dedicated teachers and engaging students.