Ten NIU College of Education undergraduates will travel to China this summer for Year Two of Educate Global, scheduled from early July through mid-August.
Students will spend six weeks at the Beijing Royal School, where they will teach English to Chinese middle- and high-schoolers ages 10 to 16. Each “summer camp” section spans nine days.
Licensure candidates in Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Middle Level Teaching and Learning and Special Education will work in teams of two to develop, design and deliver lessons plans of their own chosen theme.
Five orientation sessions will take place before departure.
“Each NIU student will teach about 25 English lessons through the week,” says Terry Borg, director of the college’s Office of External and Global Programs.
Other activities include Foreign Culture Nights when the Beijing students and their NIU teachers exchange and share traditions of their respective countries along with beyond-the-classroom hobbies and interests.
Students and teachers also will participate in an opening ceremony and collaborate to create a closing ceremony. For the latter, Borg says, “our students will work with the campers in terms of developing different exhibitions of their talent that would include the English language, making their parents proud.”
Travelers include students Morgan Dominguez, Bethany Johnson, Allison Meurs, Alexis Moaton, Hannah Schlecht, Emma Shade Fischer, Abby Spankroy, Moehsa Swanigan, Nicole VanGarsse and Sarah Williams. Faculty members Stephanie DeSpain and Melanie Walski will accompany them.
NIU’s ambassadors returned with more than amazing credentials to share with prospective employers. They also mined the rewards of overcoming language barriers to reach young learners and the realization that “kids are kids wherever you go.”
International travel offers many advantages for the Huskies, Borg says.
“One, they’re going to get a broader worldview. Two, they’re going to create relationships with students in China. Three, they come back with more classroom experience in instruction, giving them the opportunity to build their teaching skills while working with an English Language Learner population,” he says.
“That broadened world perspective will get us closer to peace and understanding,” he adds. “When you can see people as people, and not as countries, it creates understanding.”
Educate Global provides round-trip airfare, room and board in the Beijing Royal School dormitory and cultural tours at no cost to the students or the college.
Students who make the journey also can apply for the university’s Engage PLUS Academic Transcript Notation, which demonstrates such skills as critical thinking, organization and teamwork to employers and graduate programs.