Isabelle Hutrel

“Keep in good contact with the people and resources you come across”
Isabelle Hutrel
International Teacher Education for Primary Schools student

From Strasbourg to Phnom Penh, Isabelle Hutrel is getting to experience what it’s like to teach in some very different countries. She’s really grateful that the Internationa Teacher Education for Primary Schools programme gives her the chance to travel around the globe doing a job she already loves. 

Different places, different practices 

“The programme trains us to become international primary school teachers. The main cool thing about it is that when I graduate, I’ll get to travel around and work in many different schools around the world. I know for example that I’d like to come back to my mother’s country one day, South Korea, and maybe Central America, even though I know for sure that I love Europe. My plan is to travel, work and when I want to settle down, I will probably come back to France, my country of origin.”  

“I’ve already done teaching practice in Strasbourg in France and Maastricht in the Netherlands, and I am now in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for my teaching practice. That’s how every morning I find myself on a tuktuk crossing the city and the local markets on my way to teach my Year 6 students . We start quite early in the morning because the sun rises already at 5 am here, but we do take the time in the morning to settle and prepare for the day. The homeroom teacher of the class is also my mentor and we basically stick to each other as we plan lessons together and sometimes co-teach. Every school has been different, and I’ve taken away good practices, resources and knowledge every time.”  

Teaching certificate 

“One thing to keep in mind is that some students do an additional year after the bachelor to get a national teaching qualification so that they can teach at publicly funded international schools. The ITEPS degree enables you to teach at privately funded international schools – and there are plenty of those who are more than happy to hire you with your bachelor’s degree and competitive CV, as you get a lot of experience during your time here. Each year, we have the chance to pick a school from a vast list all around the globe to do our teaching practice for about 10 weeks. It is a great opportunity as not all universities offer that much teaching practice. It was why I applied to NHL Stenden and to this course. It’s giving me fun and fulfilling experiences both personally and professionally.”  


Trust yourself 

“Living in the Netherlands was a totally new experience for me, even though my first year and half were really affected by Covid-19. I got to really discover another culture, and enjoy my student life, with all the parties and assessment weeks that comes with. Assessment weeks are the things I enjoy the least (as you can imagine), simply because I wish that it was more spread throughout the year. On the other hand, the thing I enjoy the most at NHL Stenden is the way the lectures are given. The style is more independent and “learning by doing” which I appreciate way more than sitting in a big room listening to a lecturer the whole day. That’s what makes the atmosphere great. Teachers trust you and people come from different backgrounds which makes things cooler and funnier and the design-based education projects more interesting.   

“A tip for future students I would say keep in good contact with the people and resources you come across as international teaching is a small world. Things will always come back to you, in a positive way. Something I want to shed light on to future non-native English-speaking students is that if you work hard and stay motivated you will make it. It might be hard at first and sometimes there’s going to be downs. Been there, done that, but don’t worry there will be big ups as well – and it’s worth it!”  

To find out more about the programme, check out the International Teacher Education for Primary Schools programme page or request the programme brochure