Language education students are swapping the University of Stirling campus for schools and universities around the world as part of an international placement programme.
Six Masters students in Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) have travelled to Brazil, Germany and Hungary, to put their teaching skills to the test.
The overseas university partnership has tripled in size this year, with Hungary and Germany joining the potential placement destinations for students.
Peerapat Singlong, from Thailand, has recently travelled to Hungary to take up a teaching placement at Széchenyi István University in Győr. He said: “I am so glad that the MSc TESOL programme at the University of Stirling provides such a unique opportunity to students.
“As neither English nor Hungarian are my native languages, teaching English here in Győr will be very challenging for me.
“I’m looking forward to passing on all the skills and knowledge I’ve learnt from the MSc TESOL programme to my students, and I hope to see an academic growth in myself.”
Student Yingying Wu, from China, is undertaking a placement in Germany in partnership with Leuphana Universität Lüneburg.
She said: “When I moved to Stirling, it was the first time I had been away from China, and it’s been such an exciting experience.
“I’m now looking forward to applying the skills I have learnt in the MSc in TESOL at this University in another country and to gain experience teaching in a high school in Lüneburg.”
Stuart Milne, from Aberdeen, has travelled to São Paulo State University (UNESP) in Brazil, alongside two other Stirling students – from Thailand and Vietnam. The Stirling cohort will help Brazilian undergraduates prepare to sit the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam.
He said: “I’ve never been to South America, so it will be fantastic to spend three months teaching there. I have taught at international language schools throughout Europe but, for me, the trip to Brazil will be an excellent opportunity to develop my career and embrace teaching English in a completely new context.”
In total, three Stirling students have travelled to Brazil, two to Germany and one to Hungary.
Dr Vander Viana, lecturer in TESOL and Applied Linguistics at the University of Stirling, said: “The opportunity to apply their English language teaching skills abroad is a fantastic opportunity for our TESOL students to practice what they learned throughout the year on the Master’s program and to add to the practical skill set that they need to enter or progress in the job market.
“We’re delighted to partner with three internationally renowned institutions to deliver these placements. The experience of working abroad helps students to learn about respect and diversity in other cultures as well as to develop their international outlook and intercultural competence, aspects which are most needed in today’s world.”
Stirling’s highly-successful TESOL postgraduate degree has been in place for nearly 30 years and currently supports 45 students.