IU Global Gateway for Teachers adds Tanzania as partner country

  • Sept. 16, 2015


BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University education students will again have an opportunity to do their student teaching in Africa now that the IU Global Gateway for Teachers program has added Tanzania to its list of countries for teaching and cultural immersion experiences.

The East African nation becomes the 18th host nation in the Global Gateway’s Overseas Program for aspiring teachers, joining placement countries in Europe, Asia, Central and South America and elsewhere.

Laura Stachowski, director of Global Gateway, traveled to Tanzania in July to complete arrangements with the University of Dar es Salaam and local elementary and secondary schools. Her proposal to make student teaching placements in Tanzania was approved in August by the IU Overseas Study Advisory Council.

“The people there couldn’t have been more excited about this opportunity to collaborate,” Stachowski said. “I met with school administrators, teachers, pupils and host families and, across the board, the reception was positive and enthusiastic.”

The Global Gateway placed student teachers in Kenya for over 10 years, but the Overseas Study Advisory Council suspended further placements in this location because of security concerns. Because students still wanted to student teach in Africa, Stachowski made arrangements in Tanzania with help from Deogratias Tungaraza, an instructor in IU’s Swahili Flagship Center, and his wife, Frida, who are from Tanzania. Frida Tungaraza was in Dar es Salaam at the time of Stachowski’s visit and played an instrumental role in establishing the connections with local schools interested in participating.

Participants in the Global Gateway for Teachers Overseas Program spend at least eight weeks student teaching in another country in addition to local student teaching required for teacher certification. Participation requires a two-year commitment including preparatory classes, workshops and readings.

“They are not tourists, and this is not a typical ‘study abroad’ program,” Stachowski said. “It’s student teaching, and they are making a commitment to schools, teachers, pupils, host families, and the community.”

The Global Gateway for Teachers, based in the School of Education, offers three programs that feature student teaching, cultural immersion, community involvement and academic study:

  • The Overseas Program with school placements in Australia, China, Costa Rica, Ecuador, England, Greece, Ireland, India, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Turkey, Wales and now Tanzania.
  • The Navajo Nation Program, with placements in Navajo Reservation schools in Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
  • The Urban Program, with placements in Chicago Public Schools.

Between 90 and 120 student teachers, most of them from IU Bloomington, take part in the program each year. Students from other colleges and universities are also placed in international student-teaching assignments through the Global Gateway for Teachers.

The Global Gateway for Teachers, formerly called the Cultural Immersion Projects, began at the Indiana University School of Education in the early 1970s. In 2012, it succeeded the Foundation for International Education by assuming the responsibility of making overseas school placements. Since its inception, it has sent thousands of pre-service educators to gain professional experience in foreign countries, on American Indian reservations and in urban schools.

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A teacher engages with students in a Dar es Salaam middle school.

A teacher engages with students in a Dar es Salaam middle school.

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IU's Laura Stachowski (back row, second from right) poses with students and teachers at a school in Dar es Salaam.

IU's Laura Stachowski (back row, second from right) poses with students and teachers at a school in Dar es Salaam.

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Steve Hinnefeld