Study Abroad Opportunities

GVSU's Barbara H. Padnos International Center and the Consortium of Overseas Student Teachers (COST program) have partnered with College of Education faculty to offer a number of programs for Education students to study abroad. Brief descriptions of some of the opportunities are included below. Scroll down the page to find information or select one of the following links to jump directly to that program:

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Study Abroad Courses


Teacher Assisting (During EDI 330, EDI 331, or EDI 332)
Student Teaching (During EDI 430 or EDI 431)

Managing Classroom Environments (During EDI 310)
Reading Assessment and Corrective Methods (During EDR 320 or EDR 321)
Technology in Education (EDT 370)


Social and Cultural Foundations of Education (During EDF 672)

Undergraduate International Teaching Certificate

Click here to learn more about the Certificate of International Teaching Experience for undergraduate (initial) teaching programs.

Consortium of Overseas Student Teachers (COST) Program

The Consortium of Overseas Student Teachers (COST) is a collaboration of 16 universities across the continental U.S. that provide quality student teaching experiences in 15 countries worldwide.


  • January 15 for students scheduled to student teach the fall semester of that same calendar year.
  • July 1 for students scheduled to student teach the winter semester of the following calendar year.

COST Program Requirements

  • Admission into College of Education
  • GPA 3.0
  • Sufficient health and qualified health insurance
  • Registration with GVSU as study abroad student
  • Passport
  • FBI clearance
  • Applicable visa
  • Sense of adventure

COST Program Facts

  • Students complete 7-9 weeks of student teaching in a traditional setting placed by GVSU prior to departure
  • Student complete an additional 7-9 weeks overseas placement depending upon school calendar
  • All receiving sites use English as first language
  • Supervising teacher and GVSU coordinator are notified of students pending application prior to placement
  • Student requirements such as unit plans and class supervision are accelerated and met before departure
  • All students are supervised in accordance to GVSU standards by cooperating teachers and university personnel at receiving sites

COST Program Fees

  • $200 processing fee at time of application submission
  • $900-$1200 supervision and placement fee due upon departure
  • GVSU tuition for semester (as usual)
  • Transportation
  • Room and board varies depending upon student preference, availability, and rate of monetary exchange - ($75 to 200 per week)

Anna Abramenka

COST Program Coordinator

Phone: 616-331-6289

Consortium of Overseas Student Teachers (COST) Website

Spain Program

Ourense, Spain: This program offers an opportunity for students in the College of Education to explore the educational system and cultures of the Galicia region in Northern Spain. Students will also be teaching in the local schools, either in English or Spanish based on student needs. Students will be placed depending on two considerations: 1) Their certification needs dictating placement at the secondary or elementary level 2) Their major/minor needs if secondary. There is no language prerequisite for this program. Students will participate in a dual placement program that facilitates half a semester placement stateside and half a semester placement abroad during the teacher assisting semester.

Students will be housed with host families, thereby immersing them in Spain’s culture. Students will explore Ourense by taking a tour of the city and trips to The Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral, the Capilla del Cristo, the Ponte Vella (Old Bridge), and the Spa and Thermal area. Additional cultural experiences include weekend trips to Santiago de Compostela, a leading Catholic pilgrimage route originated in the 9th century and home to Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Students will also spend a weekend in Albergue “Os Biocos” where they will go hiking, make astronomical observations, visit medieval castle "Castillo de Castro Caldelas", explore Roman mines, and see century old chestnut and oak trees. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to participate in excursions to Madrid and Portugal.

This experience could greatly impact a student’s ability to teach in a multi-cultural setting. It will also offer students the opportunity to experience another culture and assist in the creation of culturally competent students and educators.

Dominican Republic Program

This program is designed to give graduate students in the College of Education (COE) an opportunity to learn about social and cultural differences and apply their learning to systems of education in the U.S. while visiting the Dominican Republic. The EDF 672 Social and Cultural Foundations of Education course is one of two courses (EDF 671 & ED 672) that graduate students are required to take in the COE Foundations unit. EDF 672 will be offered as a study abroad section in the Dominican Republic. Students will enroll for the spring session at GVSU and spend two of those six weeks in the Dominican Republic. Three pre departure meetings will take place while in the U.S. For distance students, these meetings will be available via Skype. Additionally, a web-enhanced component will be available for students to complete some course work prior to living for the Dominican Republic.

Program excursions include trips to Samana, Museum of the Mirabal Sisters, Playa Sosua (beach), Cento Leon Museum, and an overnight stay in Santo Domingo. An emphasis on higher education will be included in the curriculum. Students will visit two very different universities in Santo Domingo and in Santiago. They will learn about the structure, organization, and student experiences (school persistence) in both the private and public university system in Dominican Republic.

Germany Program

In the Germany program, students partner with Pädagogische Hochschule Schwäbisch Gmünd (PHSG) to engage in 6-week K-12 school placements in the area of Schwäbisch Gmünd. GVSU and PHSG have been partners since 2006, and PHSG offers outstanding educational programs to more than 3,000 students. Founded as a teacher education university, most students at PHSG are studying to be teachers. GVSU students can take courses in either English or in German; however, the courses available in English are limited. Students interested in improving their German proficiency are strongly encouraged to take regular PHSG courses taught in German.

The most desirable semester for GVSU students to participate in the semester exchange is the spring/summer semester since there are more course offerings taught in English. Additionally, the spring/summer semester more easily aligns with the GVSU academic calendar. The calendars of GVSU and PHSG do not perfectly align; however, this has not been a problem for past participants.

Set upon a hilltop just outside the town of Schwabisch Gmund, PHSG is just a short bus ride to the city center which offers students a very warm and culturally rich atmosphere. This medieval town is part of the UNESCO World Heritage "Roman Limes," and is home to several architectural treasures, museums, shopping centers and cafes.

  • Students interested in a school placement through one of PHSG's school partnerships must contact Sherie Klee in the College of Education, to learn how this can fit into your academic plan. 
  • For additional information about the course options available visit the PHSG website


South Africa Program

Stellenbosch, South Africa - The College of Education at GVSU collaborates with the University of Stellenbosch School of Education to offer education students a six week teacher assisting experience in area elementary or secondary schools, in English medium classes. GVSU students first complete their required coursework and the first ten weeks of their teacher assisting in a West Michigan school. The last weeks of their teacher assisting are completed in a South African school. During the South African school vacation, GVSU students participate in travel and touring throughout the Cape Peninsula, one of the most beautiful regions on the planet.

Additional Study Abroad Opportunities

Please visit GVSU Study Abroad to search for additional international study opportunities and begin your study abroad journey.