facebook icon twitter icon youtube icon

International Student Teaching

International Student Teaching through the Global Gateway for Teachers Program


Kaitie SturtzSimpson’s education majors have the opportunity to spend half of a semester abroad while gaining real-world teaching experience. The rigid structure of most teacher education programs makes it difficult for students to take part in a traditional study-abroad experience. Yet this kind of cultural immersion is vitally important for future teachers, because it helps them develop the flexibility and perspective to work successfully with students from different cultures in their own classrooms back home.

The Global Gateway for Teachers (GGT) is designed to give students those multicultural student experiences while also fulfilling their degree requirements for student teaching. After successfully completing their initial 8-week long “stateside” student teaching placements, participants can then complete the second half of their student teaching experience abroad in one of the following countries: Australia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, Greece, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Tanzania, or Wales.

This “cultural immersion” program is one of the most rigorous and innovative study abroad experiences available. It has been honored by:

  • The International Awards for Innovative Practices in Higher Education
  • The Goldman Sachs Foundation Prizes for Excellence in International Education
  • The AACTE’s Best Practice Award for Global and International Teacher Education

Costs to participate in the Global Gateway for Teachers Program

  • $1,150 program cost ($250 payable at time of submitting registration set to GGT, with the remaining $900 payable before the end of the semester before student teaching commences)
  • $200 – $300 per week typically for 10 weeks (8 weeks in school plus any school holidays)
  • Flight/transportation costs
  • Visa (fees varies by country) and passport ($145)
  • Health insurance which will cover the student while abroad
  • Classroom liability insurance purchased through ISEA or IPEI

Simpson International Logo

For more information about the GGT program, please read through the GGT Program Booklet which provides lots of helpful details.

Students who are most likely to succeed in cultural immersion experiences have these qualities:

  • Emotional stability, good health, and willingness to adjust and adapt to unfamiliar and sometimes difficult circumstances
  • Freedom from worries about family and friends or other social obligations
  • Adequate financial resources to pay program fees, travel expenses, and living expenses abroad
  • Strong professional and personal objectives for their experience
  • A sense of independence and adventure

To be eligible to participate, students must:

  • have earned a least a 3.5 cumulative grade point average at Simpson*,
  • have passed a teaching dispositions review completed by the Campus Director of International Student Teaching in consultation with the Education Department faculty,
  • interview with and then be recommended for International Student Teaching participation by the Director of International Education and the Campus Director of International Student Teaching,
  • apply by the appropriate deadlines (see below),
  • follow through on all responsibilities included in the Global Gateways Acknowledgement and Agreement of Student Responsibilities document,
  • successfully complete their first student teaching placement of 7-8 weeks in Central Iowa,
  • complete all student teaching seminar requirements prior to departure for their international student teaching placement.

* While the standard minimum GPA requirement for participation is 3.5, consideration will be given to students with a Simpson cumulative GPA of between a 3.3 and 3.5 that have a great body of other evidence that clearly demonstrates they are an excellent candidate for IST.

To apply:

In order to apply for international student teaching, pre-service teachers must first complete the student teaching application requirements set forth by Simpson’s Education Department.  Once that’s been done, applicants should then complete the online study abroad application. (TBA).  Please note:  after completing the online application, applicants will also need to upload two documents to SC Connect before the application is complete  (i.e., passport or completed passport application form, and degree audit).

Application time frame:

For fall semester student teaching, students should apply to student teach by Nov. 1 (ten months in advance), should apply to Simpson’s International Student Teaching Program by Dec. 1 (nine months in advance), and submit completed Global Gateway application materials by Jan. 15 (eight months in advance).

For spring semester student teaching, students should apply to student teach by Mar. 1 (ten months in advance), should apply to Simpson’s International Student Teaching Program by May 1 (eight months in advance), and submit completed Global Gateway application materials by Sept. 15 (four months in advance).

How to fund an international student teaching experience:

Simpson students are eligible to apply an international education loan of up to $3,000 through the Office of Financial Assistance to help cover costs associated with studying abroad or doing international student teaching during their time at Simpson.  Check with Financial Assistance for more details.  Students can also apply for a Dr. Joe Walt International Education Scholarship to help cover some of the costs associated with international student teaching.  Walt Scholarship applications are due at the same time as Simpson’s International Student Teaching Application is due (Dec. 1 or May 1, depending upon the student teaching semester).

For more information, contact Simpson’s Campus Director for International Student Teaching Dr. Patricia Woodward-Young (515-961-1564) or Director of Off-campus Programs Matthew Kaye (515-961-1288).