Programs : Brochure
- Locations: Freiburg, Germany; Melsungen, Germany
- Program Terms: Summer-Embedded
- Restrictions: PSU applicants only
The International Field Experience course encourages students primarily enrolled in the field of Education (e.g., Elementary, Secondary, Special Education) to consider the foundations, methods, and purpose of education in the U.S. by visiting German classrooms as a context for comparison. The intent of the field experience is to build a deeper understanding of the student's philosophy of education by using the U.S. and German foundations as building blocks to frame their personal pedagogical beliefs for classroom practices. Students are asked to reflect on their personal pedagogical foundations, beliefs, and origins as they explore the cultural underpinnings as roots for each country's educational practices. Such reflection is critical as future teachers develop their personal philosophies of teaching and the reasoning behind their perspectives. School visits include various grade levels (e.g., Kindergarten, elementary, secondary) across two geographic locations for students to gain a greater understanding of the German classroom culture and education system. Visiting multiple sites offers students an opportunity to compare and contrast differences in cultural practices, which stimulates perspective into the student's personal beliefs regarding the purpose of education. The trip typically spans 18-21 days. One week is spent in central Germany and one week is dedicated to schools in southern Germany, in the Freiburg area. While in German classrooms, Penn State students are encouraged to interact with teachers, children, and administrators, and often times participate by coteaching or tutoring in the classrooms. While in the Freiburg area, students sit in on classes at the Freiburg University of Education in the afternoon after visiting schools in the morning. Penn State students interact with their university peers while in Freiburg and discuss educational practices, instructional methods, and classroom environments by comparing practices in each country. Students are required to journal and reflect on similarities and differences in instructional practices, culture, classroom climate and environment while traveling and write a paper upon return.
During the embedded travel component, housing will consist of hotel/hostel accommodations.
The process for enrolling in an embedded course varies according to the instructor and/or department. The program leader has indicated that in order to enroll in the course and travel component, students must submit the following: 1. The application form found at: https://berks.psu.edu/international-field-experience-3 2. An essay describing their reason for applying (responses are blindly scored using a rubric). 3. The names of 2 references which are interviewed over Winter Break using standardized questions and rated regarding the strength of the applicants reference responses. 4. 1 Letter of recommendation from someone who can speak to the student's ability to work in a group (previous travel or travel outside of the U.S. is not necessary). Strength of the author's ability to recommend the student is scored. 5. GPA is not used to preclude a student from participating, however a GPA greater than 2.8 is highly recommended. 6. Faculty approval required. German language skills are not required.
|Term||Year||App Deadline||Decision Date||Start Date||End Date|
|Summer-Embedded||2020||08/21/2019 **||Rolling Admission||05/12/2020||05/30/2020|
|NOTE: The application deadline date is NOT as it appears above. Please contact the program leader (Jayne Leh) by emailing (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you are interested in applying for this embedded program.|
** Indicates rolling admission application process. Students will be immediately notified of acceptance into this program and be able to complete post-decision materials prior to the term's application deadline.
Indicates that deadline has passed