North Atlantic Student Teacher Exchange

North Atlantic countries implement a number of innovative ideas in public schooling, teaching, and education models. Global perspective is a sought-after experience for student teachers, who regularly teach abroad after graduation to experience the way education systems operate in other countries, and to gain new worldviews that contribute to the value of their personal teaching styles. In addition, hosting foreign teachers often enhances the quality of education received by the students, as well as colleagues. This exchange project will help students and schools achieve these goals before graduation and increase the quality of the experience. It will send USM student teachers in the humanities abroad to gain first-hand experience working and learning in these school systems, and will bring Icelandic student teachers to USM. The project seeks to integrate teaching and learning for student teachers, particularly through the integration of humanities into all content areas. The project considers input from STEM disciplines to enhance the integration of different perspectives and content areas. Student teachers will gain a sophisticated perspective of cultural and methodological nuances between Iceland and Maine, expand their teaching experience, gain proficiency in weaving humanities into new disciplines, and develop a personal network of international peers to continually incorporate this perspective in their work.


As the project gains traction, the goal will be to use it as a pilot for other student teach-abroad opportunities in additional North Atlantic countries, such as Norway.


  • Southern Maine Community College (Jeff Badger)


    University of Iceland (Hanna Olafsdottir)

  • Iceland University of the Arts (Ingmar Olafson Waage)

  • Maine and Icelandic K-12 schools


Kelly Hrenko

Kelly Hrenko

Department of Art