Studying Education Abroad
For many students, the thought of leaving their home, school, and friends behind to study abroad is a scary thought. For some students, what keeps them from studying abroad is the fact that their education may experience a slight setback. Sometimes, studying abroad means missing out on credits and having to stay in school a little longer. However, even as an education major or someone studying education, studying education abroad can be beneficial. Here are just a few ways you could benefit from studying education abroad.
Learn New Techniques and Philosophies
It is no secret that education is handled differently around the world. Almost every country teaches in a completely different way and has different standards. As someone who is studying education, you could benefit from this by learning about educational standards in different parts of the world and then see if they are standards or practices you want to incorporate into your own educational philosophy. Knowing different educational styles and techniques will help you reach out and teach a more diverse group of students. Whether you learn these in an educational class abroad or by visiting schools while you are studying abroad, you will have plenty of opportunities to learn and grow as an educator when you are abroad.
Learn a New Language
It is becoming increasingly important for teachers to be bilingual. As the world becomes more and more connected through technology, language barriers have to be broken down. The classroom is an important setting for language learning. Even if you are not required to know a second language, by knowing a second language you may be able to communicate better with students and with parents. Why not begin learning a new language at your current school, or honing a second language you already know? While you can certainly take foreign language classes, the best way to become fluent in any language is to immerse yourself in a culture that actually speaks that language. By studying abroad, you provide yourself with the opportunity to really learn a new language and thus become a better-rounded educator.
If you are nervous about taking time during the academic year to study abroad, then you might consider taking time during one of your vacation or holiday breaks to volunteer abroad. These volunteer opportunities happen all over the world, and you can volunteer for many different projects. If you are interested in conservation, then there are great programs in places like Costa Rica and Africa. You can also volunteer at various camps throughout Europe. These camps might help you as someone studying education because you will be dealing, most likely, with children. Volunteering abroad is a great way to give back and to see a new part of the world. This way, you do not have to sacrifice your school semesters, you still get to travel, and you will be doing something that will benefit your future as an educator.
While it is not technically studying abroad, if you have a degree in something other than education and are thinking about going back to school to become a teacher, then teaching abroad is a great way for you to experience what teaching is like. Furthermore, if you already have a degree in education, want some work experience, and also want to see a new part of the world, then teaching abroad is a great solution for you. Jessica Hill, writer of the blog Miss Adventure, has this to say about her teach abroad experience: “Fast forward to now, at the end of a six-month experiment that morphed into nearly a year and a half, and I was right. I loved it.” It is all about finding the right experience for you. Make sure the country you choose to teach in, if you choose to teach abroad, is somewhere that appeals to you and somewhere that you can see yourself living. You should also be prepared to teach English because that is most likely what you will be teaching abroad.