This is the fourth in a series of stories exploring various University of Findlay colleges and programs and the work they do to provide their students with global learning experiences.
The student-teaching experience plays an essential part of preparing teacher candidates to manage their own classroom. With over 80 school partnerships in Ohio, teacher candidates from the University of Findlay’s College of Education can be found in schools all over the state, but their reach doesn’t end there. Offering study abroad trips to Japan, South Korea, and the Czech Republic, teacher candidates have the opportunity to widen their cultural perspective and enhance their teaching methods.
While abroad, teacher candidates have the opportunity to create and teach various lesson plans and work with students throughout the day. Although coursework at Findlay prepared them for the technical part of teaching, being abroad presented a new set of challenges for students.
“Teaching styles can be so different, to adapt quickly you have to be flexible and open minded,” said Savannah Harvey, an early childhood education major who participated in a study abroad experience in Fukui, Japan. “Classroom environments change all the time and most of the time you cannot control it. I can use the skills I developed in my future classroom to teach in different ways and stay calm in unexpected circumstances.”
In addition to improving upon current teaching methods, students studying abroad also have the opportunity to learn about the similarities and differences between international and American schools, learn more ways to accommodate international students in the classroom, and get to know the people and culture of a new country. But it’s not all work for students who study abroad. Trips to cultural landmarks, museums, nature hikes and visits with local families are built into the experience.
“This experience reinforced that everyone, no matter where they are from, how old they are, their race, or their socio-economic status, has the same ability to succeed at learning when given the right support,” said Jaqui Morris, an adolescent/young adult – life science education major. Having previously studied abroad during her general education studies, she found that this major-specific study abroad experience was much more useful for her future career and kept building her passion for education.
Study abroad opportunities with the College of Education vary in length from a three-week teaching experience to a full semester of student teaching. Some experiences can count as fulfilled required credit hours, and students may use part of their financial aid to fund the trip. To learn more about study abroad opportunities in the College of Education, please visit www.findlay.edu/education/undergraduate-programs/study-abroad.