Middle Grades Education major Bonnie Terrell talks about her experience on a study abroad trip to Kazakhstan.

Classroom: Kazakhstan

Bonnie: Doctor Thomas asked me to go to Kazakhstan with him on a study abroad trip there. We were going to be teaching over there. The trip to Kazakhstan was my first trip abroad and is definitely so far away. [slide of Bonnie sleeping on the plane] It took us twenty eight hours to get there. We got to Kazakhstan and.. anyone that knows me knows that being in sixty degree weather is cold. [snow scene: Bonnie with a group of people in heavy winter clothing] One day we were there it was negative forty degrees. [slides of Bonnie in a parka and fur-lined hood in a snow-covered forest] I was so cold, I had three pairs of pants on, layer after layer of shirts and jackets, and I was still freezing.

On the trip I definitely learned so much about how they run their schools. [several slides of Bonnie in the classroom with young students] I love their culture, their traditions, their teaching styles, and I will definitely take that with me into my future classroom.

[slides of Bonnie with other study abroad participants] They dont have as much as we have, but they get by. And I realize how spoiled i am.  The people were so nice. The hospitality is unmatched. They made sure we were fed... they eat so much over there. The food is a little different for me, um.. i'm not a picky eater, but... I'm not... I guess I am [laughs]. I didn't think I was until I got over there and I was like "oh, no...I don't know if I can eat this." They eat horse, and being raised on a farm with horses... [shakes head] I can't eat horse.

I'm so thankful that I had.. we stayed with a host family. [slides of Bonnie with the host family] It was like they just accepted me into their family, and I was a part of their family.

Dr. Thomas: I think she should be a very good teacher because she's interested, she's exciting,  she wants to make the history especially... she's teaching social studies [picture of Bonnie teaching a class of young students in Kazakhstan].. make it come alive. She's very lively [slide of Bonnie while teaching] and her eyes light up [closeup of Bonnie's face] when she gets on a topic she's really interested in. And I think that will pass along to her students when she gets in a classroom.

Bonnie: I'm so thankful Dr. Thomas was the mentor for this trip. [picture of Dr. Thomas with young students in Kazakhstan] I've had him for several classes, he's been a great teacher [picture of Bonnie with Dr. Thomas and another study abroad participant] and the experiences I've had with him in Kazakhstan and in the classroom... I'll be able to my classroom in the future, and I know I can call him whenever I need to and he'll help me out.

[Cut to a slide with pictures of Dr. Patrick Thomas, Middle and Secondary Education, and Bonnie Terrell, Middle Grades Education major. Slide also includes a quote from the video: "the experiences I've had in Kazakhstan and in the classroom, I'll be able to take to my classroom in the future." - Bonnie]


Armstrong Experience