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A big part of what to expect from a teaching internship abroad is practical teaching experience. Really though, that’s just the start of it.

Yes, a teaching internship abroad is a fantastic way to gain experience leading a classroom, but so is any teaching internship. Teaching internships abroad lets you travel to places where your efforts can make a real difference. You’ll get to work with different kinds of organizations where you can do more and learn more. What’s more, as you do all this, you’ll build highly transferable skills and cross-cultural competency too.

In this blog, we’ll run through what to know about teaching internships abroad to make the most of the experience. We’ll lay out the key things to expect from a teaching internship abroad, offer some valuable teaching internship tips on how to prepare for a teaching internship abroad, and suggest some of the top international education programs.

What to Expect from a Teaching Internship Abroad

1. Excellent Teaching Experience

Teaching experience and classroom management skills are the most important things to expect from a teaching internship abroad. This is how you can grasp the fundamentals of teaching—like creating lesson plans, managing students, and adapting your teaching style to diverse student needs.

Teaching internships abroad lets you learn these skills through practical experience. You’ll spend your internship leading classrooms and delivering lessons. Beyond the fundamentals of teaching, this experience will help navigate different classroom dynamics, varying levels of student engagement, and distinct disciplinary practices. These are crucial skills that will serve you throughout a career in education.

Moreover, the unique challenges you’ll face teaching in a foreign classroom like language barriers and different educational norms will greatly accelerate development. As such, our top teaching internship advice is to get outside your comfort zone and train your ability to connect with students in a cultural context separate from your own. Beyond that, explore different places that excite you and go experience the best places for education internships around the world.

2. Professional Development

A big part of what to expect from a teaching internship abroad is career advancement as a teacher. You’ll gain practical teaching experience, which is invaluable for your resume. You’ll also have the opportunity to receive feedback from experienced educators and mentors, helping you refine your teaching techniques.

Another of the great things to know about teaching internships abroad is that the professional development extends beyond the classroom and careers in education. As you collaborate with other teachers, participate in professional development workshops, and potentially contribute to curriculum development you build highly transferable communication and organizational skills. Additionally, the experience of teaching abroad will set you apart in the job market, showcasing adaptability and cultural competence.

If you’re a high school student, what you should know about teaching internships abroad is that these transferable soft skills will benefit you regardless of your future career path. This is why teaching internships often make the perfect gap year internship.

3. Exposure to Different Educational Systems

One of the best reasons as to why do a nonprofit internship is to expose yourself to alternative organizations like those not driven by profit, or governed by a nation’s politics. This reasoning is especially pertinent to teaching internships abroad since education systems vary so much across the globe.

Observing and participating in a different educational system broadens your perspective on teaching methods and educational philosophies. You’ll learn new techniques and approaches that you can incorporate into your teaching practice. This exposure can challenge your preconceived notions about education as you’ll see firsthand how different cultures approach the system, from curriculum design to classroom interaction.

This knowledge can enhance your ability to adapt to various academic settings and improve your teaching practice. Understanding different educational systems also helps you appreciate the global diversity in education and the common goals shared by educators worldwide.

4. Cultural Immersion

On both a personal and professional note, one of the best things to know about teaching internships abroad is that interns receive the best opportunities to integrate with the local communities you work alongside.

As with any internship abroad, living and working in a different country allows you to experience new cultures firsthand. From local festivals and traditions to everyday customs and cuisine, you’ll gain a deep appreciation for the culture of your host country. Some great teaching internship tips are to seek out these cultural exchanges and embrace opportunities to learn about and integrate with the community you serve.

This is where teaching internships can offer you a unique insight into the country you visit. You’ll participate in local ways of life, build deep connections with students and their families, and learn to navigate the social etiquette unique to your host country. This deep cultural understanding can lead to a more enriching experience.

5. Building Global Networks

Teaching internships abroad, like any internships, are fantastic opportunities to build your personal and professional network. You’ll meet fellow interns, teachers, and locals who can become lifelong friends and contacts.

These connections can provide support and guidance during your internship and beyond. You might collaborate on educational projects, share teaching resources, or even plan future travel together. Maintaining these global networks can lead to job opportunities, collaborative research, and continued cultural exchange long after your internship ends.

Not only does networking internationally open doors to future opportunities it also helps improve your networking skills and abilities. These relationships will naturally enhance your global awareness and understanding, making you a more effective educator and international citizen. It’s a great piece of teaching internship advice to keep anywhere you go and to capitalize on this chance to meet new people and engage with colleagues and locals as much as possible.

6. Personal Growth

Stepping out of your comfort zone and living independently in a new country fosters personal growth. You’ll become more self-reliant, confident, and resilient, which are qualities that will benefit you in all areas of life. Living abroad challenges you to navigate daily life in a new context, from managing finances to finding your way around a new city. You’ll develop a deeper sense of self-awareness, understanding your strengths and areas for growth. This personal development also includes learning to balance work and life and finding ways to maintain your well-being while fulfilling your professional responsibilities. The skills and confidence you gain will serve you well in future endeavors, both personally and professionally.

7. Sense of Fulfillment

Beyond the skills, the career insights, and the personal growth you’ll gain, the work you do during teaching internships abroad matters. You’ll be helping disadvantaged communities to build better futures and equipping children with vital life skills and knowledge.

Making a positive impact on your students’ lives and contributing to the global education community, allows interns to return home with a sense of accomplishment and memories that will last a lifetime. Knowing that you have made a difference in your students’ lives, helping them grow and succeed, is incredibly gratifying. This sense of purpose and achievement can inspire you to continue to pursue your passion for teaching and make a lasting impact in the field of education.

3 Recommended Teaching Internships

Special Education Internship in the Philippines

Travel to Siem Reap in the Philippines to collaborate with experienced mentors to design and deliver engaging lessons tailored for children with special needs. This program places you with a reputable school that provides specialized classes for children with conditions such as Down Syndrome, Autism, and visual or hearing impairments.

As an intern, you’ll offer one-on-one guidance, helping to create personalized learning plans that address each child’s specific needs. You’ll also engage with parents and collaborate with educators to exchange insights and strategies for effective teaching. This hands-on experience is ideal for those pursuing careers in special needs education, social work, psychology, or occupational therapy, providing both professional growth and a meaningful impact on the community.

Community Development and Education Internship in Brazil

This is a fantastic opportunity for conservationists and eco-warriors to help educate the next generation of sustainability leaders. This program offers a hands-on opportunity to teach sustainable practices and support community development in a small seaside town on the Cocoa Coast of Brazil.

Joining a multi-faceted sustainability-focused nonprofit, interns will help design and facilitate educational programs on environmental conservation, social justice, and professional development. This role includes tasks like running environmental classes, language exchange programs, and computer literacy training, with a special focus on community-based conservation efforts.

The internship provides significant professional and personal growth, offering practical experience and cultural immersion in vibrant communities in remote areas of Brazil.

Female Empowerment Education Internship in Zambia

This is one of our best education internships in Africa offering hands-on experience in developing educational materials and conducting workshops while helping to uplift and empower young girls and women.

Interns can participate remotely or in person, joining a grassroots learning center in the town of Livingstone, near Victoria Falls, which provides primary educational support and various vocational workshops. The role involves research, creating interactive materials, and assisting with health education workshops. The internship provides practical experience in a supportive community setting while helping to develop gender equality in Zambia.

Get the Experience You Need from a Teaching Internship!

Want to know what to expect from a teaching internship abroad? You can expect your teaching internship to equip you with invaluable experience, cultural immersion, and professional development.

Now you know what to expect from a teaching internship abroad, you’ll want to know more about how it works. At Roots Interns, we meticulously match you with programs that align with your skills and aspirations, ensuring a meaningful and impactful internship. Our diverse range of internships spans various countries and focuses, offering you a unique opportunity to contribute to significant projects while enhancing your resume. Get in touch with Roots Interns today to start planning your teaching internship abroad and make a lasting difference.

Browse ll Our Available Education and Pedagogy Internships

This blog was written by Tom Rusbridge