Ghana Practicum May 2014The Faculty of Education offers a number of international experiences for initial teacher education students.  Outlined below, opportunities range from international field placement through to study abroad semesters.  Participation is by application and in conjunction with the Faculty of International Education.  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.

Opportunity Overview

1) Semester Abroad

This is an opportunity to study at a different institution overseas while still earning transfer credit towards your VIU Bachelor of Education degree.  This opportunity is done in conjunction with VIU partner institutions and the Faculty of International Education and the Education Abroad program.  For B.Ed. 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:

  • B.Ed. Year 1 (Fall and/or Spring Terms)
  • B.Ed. Year 2 (Fall and/or Spring Terms)
  • B.Ed. 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 details and options.    

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 B.Ed. or Post Bacc. program

For more details about this opportunity and details about applications, please consult the Faculty of International Education 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) International Field Placement

This is an opportunity to participate in an additional field placement in an international location.  Opportunities fall within a Community Service Based or a BC Offshore/International Curriculum School setting.  Placements generally take place in the month of May and consist of approximately four weeks of 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.

As this is an 'additional' teaching experience, all components of the participant's initial teacher education program, including evaluation of the spring practicum course (EDFE 421 or EDFE 520), will be complete prior to commencing the international teaching experience.  Evaluation for the international placement will be slightly less formal but will still involve supervision from school principals and sponsor teachers. At the host schools’ discretion, students will 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 working towards.

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.

a) Community Service Based Option:  
  • practicum focus includes community involvement, development and sustainability
  • placements are cohort based in the same school and community
  • accompanied by VIU Education faculty members
  • potential placement locations include:                                                          
    • Belize and Cuba in Central America
    • Ghana and Uganda in Africa
    • India (Himalayan Foothills) in Asia
b) BC Offshore or International Curriculum School 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
  • previous placement locations include:
    • China
    • England
    • India
    • South Korea

Additional future placements to be offered may include:

    • Egypt
    • Japan
    • Thailand

This opportunity is available for students enrolled in:

  • B.Ed. 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.  Applications are accepted from early November of each academic year. 

International Practicum Placement Applications for May 2019

For details on application, timelines of document submission, as well as criteria for program acceptancBC Offshore Thailande please review the International Practicum Placement Program APPLICANT HANDBOOK.  

Due by Monday November 19 is the APPLICANT PROFILE FORM INTERNATIONAL PRACTICUM PLACEMENT. Please return your completed form in HARD COPY to the Faculty of Education Advising office (room 208, building 356 VIU Nanaimo campus).  To successfully complete this form, please download the file and save to your files BEFORE entering in details.

Updated: 14 October 2019

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