Grand Valley encourages all students to study abroad. Two programs in particular are available to CSAT majors: an English Department program in the Netherlands and a Math Department program in Tanzania. Both allow students to complete two courses in the major, including the Capstone, the final course in the major. Both programs include extensive practice teaching in local schools, as well as excursions to nearby sites.
Spanish Elementary Education minors
The Michigan Department of Education requires that teacher candidates demonstrate a proficiency level of at least Advanced-Low (as defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages) in order to receive certification. Studies have shown that this level is rarely achieved without a significant period of study abroad in a structured program. While study abroad is not required for the Spanish Elementary Education minor, it is strongly encouraged. Completing a semester of study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country not only improves Spanish proficiency, it also provides important exposure to the target-language culture. A semester of study abroad will fulfill many of the course requirements for the minor, as well as satisfying the Issues requirement, part of the General Education program.
The Spanish program offers several programs through partner institutions in Mexico and Spain. Other programs may be approved by Spanish faculty.