"Educare has really met my expectations"

I decided on Jönköping University and the EDUCARE programme for a lot of reasons. The Swedish culture is close to my heart and I really liked that the programme had such a specific focus on early childhood, given that Sweden is considered as world leader in early childhood education.

I grew up in Washington DC but have lived, studied and worked in Boulder, Colorado for the past 8 years – except from a year when working in London. I studied Political Science, comparative politics at the University of Colorado. I focused on different socio economic influences like community, gender and environment. From the beginning I was convinced that I wanted to become a journalist. But my experiences from working with teenagers and kids, as a volunteer and with Americorps (a national service program in the US), made me change my mind. I’ve been working with children and teenagers, for example in drop-out prevention programmes for at-risk youth, and I realised I really enjoy working with kids, especially with preschool children.

When deciding to go to Europe for my master's I checked up almost 200 different schools. Another crucial factor for choosing Jönköping University and the EDUCARE programme was the international aspects and the fact that the programme is held in English. The EDUCARE programme has met my expectations in every way. The instructors are highly qualified and very engaged and encouraging. I feel that the programme has really given me the opportunity to tap into Swedish culture as it combines classroom-based instruction with field visits to Swedish preschools and other early childhood education venues. One of the upsides with the EDUCARE programme is the diversity among the students; we all have different backgrounds. I’ve studied politics, others are psychologists, educators or specialists in special education. We’re a tight group and are really enjoying this opportunity to share experiences and different point of views. It is very rewarding. I also like the international atmosphere: we’re 11 students from 9 different countries!

After my exams, I’m hoping for an academic career. I’d love to pursue doctoral studies, preferably in early childhood education or related fields but I do feel well prepared and wouldn’t say no to other opportunities. The EDUCARE programme has opened some doors and provided me with contacts that I can hopefully benefit from in the future. I’d really like to stay and do my research here in Sweden, but if I choose to go back to the US, or to some other country, I think my master's from the EDUCARE programme will be valuable.

Shelbi Taylor
Student, EDUCARE The Swedish Preschool Model
School of Education and Communication

Content updated 2018-09-14

Content updated 2018-03-15