International Practicum classroom

International Experience

Ghana Practicum May 2014

International practicum placements and BEd Year 3 Study Abroad placements are not being offered at this time. We are, however, hopeful international opportunities will be open again for the fall 2023 term.

The Faculty of Education offers a number of international experiences for initial teacher education (i.e., Post-Bacc or BEd) students.  Outlined below, opportunities range from international field placement through to study abroad semesters.  Participation is by application and in conjunction with the International Education at VIU.  Upon acceptance to an international experience, all students will participate in pre-departure workshops and seminars, as well as some fund raising activities.  During the international experience, students will be expected to stay connected to the Faculty and their BC based practicum placement school (if applicable) through engaged conversation and assignments, while post participation may include presentations about experiences had.


1. Semester Abroad

This is an opportunity to study at a different institution/university overseas while still earning transfer credit towards your VIU Bachelor of Education degree.  This opportunity is done in conjunction with VIU partner institutions, the International Education department and the Education Abroad program.  For BEd Year-3 students, participation is limited to the Spring semesters with applications being due by October 6, or earlier, of the preceding Fall term. 

For program details, including application procedures, consult International Education.

This opportunity is available for students enrolled in:

  • BEd Year 1 (Fall and/or Spring Terms)
  • BEd Year 2 (Fall and/or Spring Terms)
  • BEd Year 3 (Spring Term only)

If you are considering one of these options, please make your intentions known to the Faculty of Education Advising Office by arranging an appointment with the Advisor to discuss program implications and reach out to Marian Riedel for opportunities and details.    

2. Queen Elizabeth Scholars

Through the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubliee Scholarships Program, VIU funds internship placements with established partner organizations in Commonwealth countries working on projects, including education, related to building resilience in coastal communities. 

This opportunity is available for students enrolled in:

  • any BEd or Post Bacc program

For more details about this opportunity and details about applications, please consult Queen Elizabeth Scholars. If you are considering one of these options, please make your intentions known to the Faculty of Education Advising Office by arranging an appointment with the Advisor to discuss details and options. 

3. Inter/Intra-National Field Placement

This is an opportunity to participate in an additional field placement in an international location.  Opportunities fall within a Community Based or a Independent Based school setting.  Community Based placements generally take place towards the end of March to mid April and run for approximately three weeks.  Independent Based options generally take place during the month of May and consist of approximately four weeks of independent teaching time.  During the duration of the overseas placements, participants are expected to maintain a connection with their current BC based field placement school/classroom, as well as reconnect with their school/classroom upon return, if possible.

The inter/intra-national field placement is an 'additional' teaching experience.  All components of the participant's initial teacher education program, including evaluation of the spring practicum course work (i.e. EDFE 421 or EDFE 520), will be complete outside of the international experience.  Evaluation for the international placement will be slightly less formal but will still involve supervision from school principals, sponsor teachers, field school supervisors, etc.  At the host schools’ discretion, students may be provided with a reference about their overseas teaching experience and performance.  For those who qualify, this is an excellent opportunity to gain teaching experience at an alternate level to which they are currently enrolled. 

Placements generally fall in two genres as outlined below.  Please consult the Advising Office in the Faculty of Education for details and/or to discuss additional options.  Alternatively, please email Marian Riedel directly.

a. Community Based Option


  • practicum focus includes community involvement, development and sustainability
  • placements are cohort based in the same school and community
  • opportunities are run as a VIU Field School in conjunction with the International Education
  • accompanied by VIU Education faculty members
  • potential placement locations include:                                                          
  • previous placement locations include:
    • India
    • Belize
    • Ghana

b. Independent Based Option                                               

  • continue teaching at current program based level or subject focus            
  • change teaching focus to alternate levels or subject focus
  • accommodation is generally provided by host schools
  • students are individually placed, often in pairs
  • no accompaniment of VIU Education faculty members
  • potential placement locations include:      
  • previous placement locations include:
    • China
    • England
    • India
    • South Korea

Both opportunities are available for students currently enrolled in:

  • BEd Year 4
  • Post Bacc Elementary Year 5
  • Post Bacc Secondary Year 5 

Application to participate is done through the Faculty of Education, with additional Faculty of International Education components.  A general information session containing details about the program is hosted in September by the Faculty of Education.  Applications are accepted from mid October of each academic year. 

Intra/Inter-National Practicum Placement Applications

Due to COVID-19, this option is not available. Please check back in Fall 2023 for potential opportunities for spring 2024.

For details on application, timelines of document submission, as well as criteria for program acceptance please review the International Practicum Placement Program Applicant Handbook.

Application Process

Due by Monday October 21: Applicant Profile Form (to successfully complete this form, download and save the file before entering in any data)

Due by Monday January 13: Field Experience Evaluation Form (provided upon program acceptance)

Due by Monday January 13: Faculty of Education Evaluation Form (provided upon program acceptance)

Please return your completed forms to the Faculty of Education Advising office (room 208, building 356 VIU Nanaimo campus or

BC Offshore Thailand