Students who participate in PSU’s student teaching abroad opportunity have a life-changing experience, according to Jean Dockers, director of teacher education.

“I think its been very successful,” Dockers said of the program, which allows PSU teacher education students to do part of their student teaching in Australia. “The three who went last year were profoundly changed.”

Students in the program do 10 weeks of their student teaching in the U.S. before going to Australia, where they live with an Australian family and student teach in an Australian school.

This spring, two PSU students participated in the program, which is run through the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in cooperation with the University of Minnesota-Mankato. During the fall semester, a QUT representative visited PSU to talk about the possibility that students from Australia might have a similar student teaching experience at PSU.

Although cultural differences certainly exist, Dockers said, student who have participated in the program have discovered that “kids around the world are surprisingly similar and an effective teacher is an effective teacher wherever he or she may be.”