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    Education major studies abroad in Europe

    While most students get summer jobs, internships or just relax for the summer, Karista Plain, ventured to Europe in hopes of getting a better understanding of different teaching styles. With the help of a former Dillard faculty member, she was able to travel to Oslo, Norway to study abroad. Plain will become a part of the 60th session of the International Summer School Program at the University of Oslo. She will be taking classes at the university for six weeks in efforts to obtain new innovative teaching styles from the European culture.


    Plain is a junior elementary and special education major from Baton Rouge, La. With a competitive spirit, responsible and professional character, Plain was the best candidate for the program, according to her advisor Patricia Ventura, education professor.


    “I am truly honored that I was chosen for this summer program, but I am nervous because I will be alone in a foreign place for the first time,” said Plain the day before leaving New Orleans.

    Members of the Dillard faculty of the Education and Psychological Studies Division selected Plain for the program. Students in the division were evaluated and selected for the summer program based on their grade point average, involvement in organizations and leadership skills among other elements.


     ”Karista is a good representation of Dillard and our division. She is always professional, responsible and reliable when she is in the field teaching,” Ventura said. With help from Kassie Freeman, the former dean of the division of education and psychological studies at Dillard, Plain was able attend the summer program on a full scholarship. Airfare was also provided.


    Freeman had worked with this summer program in Norway for many years and has a rapport with the university. This is how Freeman was able to make sure that Dillard students get the chance to attend the study abroad summer school program, according to Plain.


    Plain said she wanted to attend the program in efforts of obtaining different teaching techniques, so she could use those techniques to help her students in the New Orleans area, she said.”The New Orleans school system needs as much help as possible right now. I feel that this program would be very beneficially to me and my students,” Plain said.


    According to Plain’s friends, she has a big heart and is always willing to help others. They said that this program is a perfect fit for her. Being that she will be able to help gifted students in Louisiana.


    “The need and want to serve the community and be apart of children’s lives inspired me to teach. In the near future I would like to travel to Africa to learn about their teaching style as well,” Plain said.


    According to faulty members, Plain is an exemplary student. She is the college buddy director for the Best Buddies program, a member of the Louisiana Association of Educators Student Program and a member of Kappa Delta Pi national education honor society as well as being involved in Project SEEC, which is the Summer Experience for Exceptional Children. She also plans to attend a graduate program studying special education.


     ”It was really quiet when I got off the airplane, no one said anything and the airport was really quiet. I thought something was wrong but everything turned out okay after I met two girls in the same program and we figured out which train to take,” Plain said.


    However, Plain is not alone in her travels. Numerous students from Dillard have completed study abroad programs over the years. These programs range from students traveling to Spain, Africa and to South America, among others.


    Next fall, Plain will plan to put her new teaching style to use right here in New Orleans, while teaching her young students. This is all in hopes of assisting in the rebuilding and development of New Orleans public school system.











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    Education major studies abroad in Europe