Thursday, September 15, 2011

International Exchange Programs for Teachers

Are you a United States secondary, elementary or college teacher with a strong interest to visit other countries and to learn the customs, traditions and language of their people? Would you be interested in teaching the English language and other subjects to students in this host country in exchange for this wonderful opportunity? If so, you may want to consider one of the many international exchange programs for teachers. In this article we will provide a bit more detail about how these international exchanges are structured, and highlight one such international exchange to give you a better idea about the program requirements and how to apply.

What Are International Exchange Programs for Teachers?

When most people think of exchange programs between countries, their thoughts immediately turn to student exchange programs, either at the secondary or university level. In that model, students from foreign countries participate in either a short term or long term program in which they study in a foreign country while living with either a host family or in some type of student housing. Actually, these student exchange programs are very similar to the international exchange programs for teachers.

International Exchange programs for teachers give educators the unique opportunity to teach English and other subjects in another country. The programs can either be short term, spanning 4-6 weeks, or long-term, in which teachers will remain in the host country for an entire semester or school year. Language proficiency is not required for these programs, but a strong interest to learn the language is definitely encouraged. Housing options can include living with a host family as many students do, but usually the teacher’s housing is provided by the organization that sponsors the international exchange.

International Exchange Programs for Teachers: One Example

One example of an international exchange for teachers is the program that is sponsored by the Rotary International Club, one of the largest and most well-known service clubs in the world. Initiated in 1992, this international exchange sponsors English teachers at the elementary, secondary and university level to teach English in Spanish, Portuguese and Russian speaking countries.

To date, U.S. teachers have been placed in over 50 communities around the world to teach 4-week sessions of English to speakers of other languages who could benefit from a working knowledge of the English language. This is a unique opportunity for teachers to experience the customs, traditions, language and culture of another country while simultaneously providing a valuable service as a teacher of English.

Applying for the Rotary Club International Exchange program is really a rather simple process, usually entailing an application and interview. Once accepted, teachers will be given ample time to prepare prior to their departure, and the Rotary Club will pay for round trip transportation, room and board, as well as any local transportation costs during their stay.

Aside from their teaching duties, teachers will also have the opportunity to participate in a number of cultural activities, as well as sightseeing ventures in the host country.

With this international exchange program and many more like it, teachers will not only help learners in the country they travel to, but they will usually become better prepared to serve the needs of international students at their home school, and become more versed in the challenges these students face.

No comments:

Post a Comment