My name is Alexandra Lopez and I am 22 years old. My life has consisted of growing up everywhere. I was born in Peru, where most of my family is from, but at the age of 5 my family and I moved to Miami, Florida. After 5 years of living in the U.S. we moved to Barcelona, Spain where I have spent most of my years, until the age of 18. When I finished high school, I knew that I was going to continue exploring and move to a different country, I just didn’t know where yet. I worked and traveled for 3 years and when I went back home from my last trip to South Africa, I knew that I wanted to work with children, and of course in an international environment.
I started Googling degrees with the name of ‘’Studies with Children in an International Environment’ ‘International Primary degree’’, ‘’International Studies in Europe’’ until I came across a website called http://www.iteps.eu/ . When I read and saw videos on what ITEPS (International Teaching Education for Primary Schools) was about, I knew that that was what I was going to study, even though I didn’t know where the location of the studies was at. I read about the location of my studies, in a small town called ‘’Drammen’’. I googled pictures and looked for it on Google maps. I have heard about Norway a couple of times at school in Geography class but didn’t know anything about it, I just knew it was snowy and very up north. I applied for ITEPS and within weeks I got accepted. Before moving to Norway, I have always been living in tropical climates, and I wanted to experience something knew. I also knew that if I didn’t study ITEPS, I wouldn’t study anything else because this was the only degree in which I could see myself study for several years. My family and friends were curious about how I would end up living, and if I would end up liking it, they asked me so many times ‘’but are you sure you want to go there? You know it’s very different and very cold?’’ But I already had made my decision, the next place where I would live would be Scandinavia. I was just excited and positive about it, and I told myself, “even if I don’t end up liking it 100%, it’s just for 4 years, which goes by fast.”
I arrived at Drammen August 2016, during the first weeks, specifically during ‘’Fadderuka’’, literally translated into Buddy Week, which consists of different activities to get to know different students. I attended the Karaoke night. I was completely lucky to meet a girl who now is one of my best friends. She was also starting to study Teaching but in Norwegian. She was born in Tanzania but grew up in Norway. We instantly clicked as if we had known each other for years, aside from the fact that we were from two completely different continents. We both have the same dream and purpose, which is to help others by working with children. She inspired me to grow in so many ways, not only professionally but personally.
Since I moved to Norway I have met the best of friends in my entire life. On top of that, my studies, International Teaching, has shown me a new, different door to education. The Globalization, Multiculturalism, and Diversity of it all, from the classes to the teaching practices, have fulfilled my purpose. I have had the opportunity to teach in International schools from Norway to Mexico. My studies have provided me vision, as well as fulfilled me in a personal way. By working with children in an international environment, I came up with the idea of creating an organization called ‘’Humanity Aspires’’ which consists of interviewing youth from around the world, with different stories, and giving light to them and their stories with the purpose of inspiring others. ‘’What if your worst can be someone’s best?’’ These stories are uploaded on both Instagram https://www.instagram.com/humanityaspires/ and YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ixYp11oTpwE (platforms that are used regularly by youth). My aim by uploading them on these platforms is to give a different meaning to social media, where not only we are entertaining ourselves but as well as educating ourselves.
Through my journey at university, and having different teaching practices around the world, I want to prove that inspiration is everywhere. My long-term goal is to bring these different interviews to different schools around the world, and spread awareness about the power in each story, specially those told by youth. This project is by youth for youth. I probably would’ve never come up with this idea if I hadn’t decided to come to Norway and join an international teaching degree.
I believe that by each choice we make, different opportunities come to us. That is why I encourage everyone out there who is considering moving and studying in a different country, to just do it. Life is about experiences and the more experiences you have the more enriched as a person you will become. I consider ourselves very lucky to live in an era where technology is accessible and the internet is filled with opportunities, were a Google Search away, your life plans can change forever. I believe we have to make the most of what we have, and by studying and learning with and from people from different nationalities you can get the opportunity to develop a sense of Globalization and become an inspired and inspiring world citizen.