Travel Wise

Why should kids have all the fun?

There is a wide range of professional development programs for teachers that also just happen to have an international element

Studying abroad is not just for undergraduates. In fact, according to study abroad program coordinators, many graduate students improve their GPA while participating in foreign programs, and gaining international relations experience is invaluable in today’s job market.

StudyAbroad.com offers a comprehensive directory of nearly 200 graduate study abroad programs taught in English alone. A key feature of the site is the ability students have to search for programs based on location and academic subject. Once students find programs that align with their interests, they can to contact the program providers directly to learn more and begin the application/enrollment process. After finding a graduate study abroad program, students can prepare for their trip with a variety of informative resources. Blogs written by current students studying abroad offer a peek inside the life that awaits study abroad hopefuls with pictures, descriptions of the classroom environment and stories of day-to-day life in a foreign culture with lots of weekend travel. Articles paint a picture of what to expect when studying abroad with tips on everything from what to pack, how to adjust to foreign life, what to do and see while abroad, how to re-adjust to American life, and much more. A directory of scholarship information allows students the option to search for financial aid options specific to their study abroad plans and financial needs.

Pepperdine University:
The Pepperdine University Graduate School of Education and Psychology (GSEP) offers an innovative learning community comprised of academically acclaimed faculty who are scholar-practitioners and experts in their respective fields. Providing students with real-world experience and expertise through curricula designed to produce an immediate improvement in their job performance, GSEP offers a unique study abroad component to many of our graduate programs.   The Doctor of Education in organizational leadership program (Ed.D.) provides students with the opportunity to travel internationally to countries such as China, India, and Brazil. During a one week to ten day trip, students meet with local and national leaders, observe and examine industries and organizations such as healthcare, schools, universities, and manufacturing. Through cultural immersion, students gain a well rounded, cross-cultural perspective of business and industry. The experience is expanded upon in the classroom through coursework designed to challenge ideas, promote discourse, and bridge discoveries to theory and practice. Students find the travel experience to be inspirational, and for many, it is life changing. Returning with a refreshed awareness and appreciation for other cultures as well as for life in the U.S., students continue to advance in their current professional pursuits or begin new ventures and innovations.Pepperdine provides a learning community that expands students’ professional networks while encouraging them to challenge the status quo; they become adept leaders throughout diverse disciplines and fields both nationally and internationally.

Shenandoah University
TESOL Program

Shenandoah University, a private university located 50 miles away from Washington, D.C., offers online Master of Science and certificate programs in TESOL to students across the U.S. and in 19 countries worldwide.Established in 1999, the University’s online TESOL program boasts of over 1,000 alumni who are teaching students of all ages, proficiency levels and academic and professional needs. “We are proud of our strong programs and tradition of excellence and accessibility for our students. We know that students leave us with skills and knowledge that identify them among the finest teachers of English to speakers of other languages around the world,” says Liz England, Professor and Department Chair in TESOL at Shenandoah.Housed in the School of Education and Human Development, the online TESOL programs offer courses using the Blackboard system taught by three faculty members located in Winchester, Virginia, and three adjunct faculty members. All faculty members have PhDs and are active in scholarly and service activities in TESOL and related fields.  Currently, students are located across the U.S. — in Virginia, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, Arizona, California and Oregon — as well as in other countries including Korea, China, Japan, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, Ethiopia, Romania, and France.

Acceptance into a TESOL program is based on rigorous admission requirements set by the University’s Graduate Admissions Office. Admitted students are assigned graduate advisors who communicate regularly and support them throughout their coursework.  Students keep in touch with one another long after they leave the program and enjoy opportunities to meet at conferences locally, nationally and internationally. A recent graduate says, “SU TESOL offered me the best possible way to complete my master’s in TESOL and I never even expected that I would make so many friends and colleagues in a distance program!”  To apply to TESOL programs at Shenandoah University, students send application documents, official transcripts, reference letters and a statement of purpose to the Admissions Office (www.su.edu/admissions). Upon acceptance, students enroll in classes taught in Fall and Spring semesters as well as selected courses in Summer term.

In Britain with Brigham Young University

BYU’s study abroad program is for English Language majors and non-majors alike — if you speak English, if you love language, you’re invited. The “English Language in Britain” program explores where English came from and how diverse it has become. Participants study the language in its historical periods, from Old English to contemporary English, as well as dialects, from British Englishes to Englishes world-wide. Further enrichment comes through lectures by leading scholars from British universities like Cambridge and Oxford. Consider it the “Beatrix Potter & Henry Higgins” tour of Ireland, Wales, England, and Scotland.The city of London is the base for studies. Homework assignments lead to historical sites like the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, the Globe Theatre, Hampton Court Palace, and St. Paul’s Cathedral. Include are visits to neighborhoods featuring distinctive dialects like Cockney, Received Pronunciation, Caribbean English, and Indian English, as well as trips outside London to sites connected to the history and varieties of English, such as Stonehenge, Stratford-on-Avon, York, the Lake District, Dublin, Cardiff, and Edinburgh.

Students enroll in at least six credit hours. The core courses of the program are:n ELang 223 Introduction to Language Study (3 credit hours)

ELang  324 History of the English Language (3 credit hours)n ELang 468 Varieties of English (3 credit hours)

Graduate students are welcome to join the program with permission from the co-directors. Course work for graduate students is determined in collaboration with the co-directors.

USAC

USAC offers graduate students a wide range of 600-level in almost any region within their domain, including Asia, Africa, Central and South America, and Europe. There are many common concerns when it comes to studying abroad, but USAC is designed to allay many of those fears, including questions of cost, language barriers, and graduating on time. USAC’s status as a non-profit consortium means that it can keep costs low so that it can sometimes be cheaper to go abroad than to stay at home. With no language prerequisite to going abroad and such a wide range of courses available, there should be nothing preventing students from studying abroad. For those doing graduate study in political science, for example, there are courses in Chile, Italy, Costa Rica, and Germany; taught by both international and American professors which can be as broad as International Affairs since 1945 in Torino, Italy, or as specific as International Political Economy: North-South Relations in Heredia, Costa Rica. Also on offer are graduate engineering courses in Luneburg, Germany and graduate geography courses in Viterbo, Italy.

A wide range of courses are available including anthropology, foreign languages, business, and journalism, And an array of destinations,  including Ghana, Sweden, Mexico, and Norway. Graduate offerings are available year-round, so participants can study for a summer, a semester, or a full year. Summer courses are in fewer countries, but include the United Kingdom where literature, theatre, and history classes are all offered at the graduate level.

School for International Training (SIT)

SIT Graduate Institute’s MA TESOL program in Vermont is designed around the Experiential Learning Cycle, with the internship in the middle of the program. A supervisor comes and spends a week with the teacher, no matter where in the world it is. Those on the Summer MA program, designed for practicing teachers, attend two summers. In between, they return to the schools where they are employed and use it as an internship. This year’s group is teaching in Brazil, Korea, Taiwan, Turkey, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Those on the academic year program do their internships in January/February. Here are some of the sites:

Thailand
Two Thai K-12 schools outside of Mae Sot, where 70-80 percent of the students are Burmese.  South Africa A primary school and a high school in the village of Memel, Free State; and at the university in Port Elizabeth.

Morocco
The American Language Center in Kenitra. Most of the students are from the various local high schools where they are studying English in their schools already. Costa Rica Central Espiral Mana, an agricultural village, where English classes are available to all students 13 and older in the community. The country’s 2011 focus is on training public school teachers to bring their English Language skill to a level beyond basic.

The U.S. sites are in New England, in public and private schools, prisons, language institutes, community centers, and colleges. The students from the host institutions are immigrants, refugees, international students or visitors.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for the nice blurb. I was looking around something similar this and I found your journal. I’ll be subscribing to your feed and saving. Best Regards

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