Explore the underside of the "cultural iceberg." In the same way that only a fraction of an iceberg is visible above the surface of the ocean, our understanding of other cultures is limited to what we most easily perceive. At the top level of the iceberg, you'll find a culture’s food, festivals, and fashion. Below the surface, you’ll begin to understand a culture’s beliefs, values, and attitudes, which only become apparent after you have spent time living as part of that culture.
Teaching opportunities are available in the following countries:
- Costa Rica
- New Zealand
There are no foreign-language proficiency requirements for most locations. In Costa Rica and Ecuador, we recommend basic Spanish-language proficiency. In Spain, conversational Spanish proficiency is required. We do encourage participants to learn basic words and sentences in their host country’s native language, either by enrolling in an introductory course or using self-study materials.
Your choice of host country should be dictated by your professional goals as well as your personal preferences. If you are interested in a license addition in reading or technology, a placement in an English-speaking area is probably the best choice for you. Similarly, if you are interested in teaching English as a new language, non-English speaking countries are a good fit.
In English-speaking countries, you can expect to teach classes in your licensing areas (elementary education, secondary mathematics, visual arts, and so on.).
In non-English speaking countries, your focus will be working with your school’s foreign language teachers to provide instruction in conversational and written English. If you happen to be fluent in your host country’s native language, you may have the opportunity to teach classes in your licensing area. Most participating schools, however, value the program because they want to expose students to native English speakers.
Participants must meet all the School of Education’s eligibility requirements for student teaching, which include:
- GPA requirements for your licensure area
- Completion of all professional course work toward your degree
- For foreign-language majors, a passing score on the Foreign Language Proficiency exam (usually taken at the end of your junior year)
In addition, you will also need to fulfill your Indiana student teaching requirements (minimum of 10 weeks) in preparation for an Indiana teacher’s license.
Students will be responsible for their regular IU tuition, as well as fees related to student teaching and practicum coursework. Students are also responsible for travel and living expenses during their stay. Some grants and scholarships are available for students who want to participate.
As a participant in the Overseas Program, you’ll have the opportunity to explore those hidden aspects of culture while you gain real-world teaching experience. You’ll return home with a better understanding of your host country through the interpersonal relationships you will build with students, teachers, and members of the community; a new perspective on your own teaching practices in the United States; and a broader worldview so greatly needed in our classrooms today.