Follow Chile participants as they experience life abroad.
"I want to fully appreciate education in a country that is not my own. I want to help my future students - from all cultural backgrounds - to view the world more fully."
"I began to love the challenge of communicating with Spanish speakers and became more self-confident in my abilities to communicate."
"By the end of the 3 weeks I had adapted and was speaking Chilean Spanish. I now have more empathy and am committed to making sure that language learners in my classrooms will feel comfortable."
"When I learned I would be paired with another Buffalo State student, I never imagined I would soon call her one of my best friends."
"This experience helped me grow into an educator who is better prepared to work with diverse students."
"Although I won’t be going into teacher education, the Chile experience was beneficial because it required me to interact with people who don’t speak my language.
Follow Dominican Republic participants as they experience life abroad.
"This IPDS journey truly opened my heart and my mind. I learned how to trust. I learned that I can love and respect someone who is different than me without judgment."
"I had to break out of my comfort zone and force myself to try a new language but, even though we couldn’t communicate perfectly, we found so many fun ways to become closer without words."
"If there’s any part of you that is curious to see what life is like outside of the United States, you absolutely should join the IPDS!"
"IPDS provides hands-on experience with unfamiliar things that we cannot learn from sitting in class listening to a professor."
"My mind was permanently altered by my IPDS experience. I have a broader perspective on why education is so important."
"I was nervous about working with students who don’t speak English but, through Spanish lessons at the Mariposa DR Foundation, I realized there are effective strategies for teaching English Language Learners even without knowing their native languages."
"I was able to reflect on the person that I am and who I want to be - I couldn’t wait to get home to allow the memories to influence my future steps."
"This program affected so much of my work as an educator. I am empathetic to students who are learning a new language and am able to understand the difficulties they face in the classroom."
"I noticed how many things I could bring into a traditional classroom to make students more successful. I saw the Method in two completely different cultures."
"I work at a camp with several children who came to the US from the Dominican Republic. It was wonderful to return from this program and be able to share my experience with them, and to listen to their own stories."
Follow Germany participants as they experience life abroad.
"I feel I’m more well-rounded and knowledgeable about other cultures, not just Germany. I can see things from a big-picture perspective and am confident in myself."
"I did the things I feared most in a completely new environment, and it changed me in the best way. I truly stepped out of my comfort zone and am so different from the shy, nervous girl who left Buffalo for Germany."
"I now can navigate my way around a new place, and not become anxious about being by myself. I am so proud of the independence I not only developed but also became comfortable with."
"I feel that I have grown as a student, future educator and person. For the first time in 20 years, I stepped out of my very small Buffalo bubble and learned so much about the world, different cultures and traditions, and how important it is to keep an open mind."
" I took the leap and learned that I am able to follow my dreams - by myself - and can make friends easily. I became a stronger person."
"Personally, I feel that I have gained a new perspective into the person that I want to be. Academically, I feel that I have grown more as an educator. I have seen new methods and strategies that I want to implement in my own classrooms."
"Living with a host was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I did not feel like just a tourist but instead experienced the sites as well as everyday life “behind the scenes,” as if I was living there myself."
"I grew as a teacher, student, and individual and found out things about myself that I am grateful to
know. I feel more willing to work with and understand others; the payoff is making lasting friendships and memories."
Follow Italy participants as they experience life abroad.
"Torremaggiore is so quiet and peaceful and charming - it felt frozen in time! Wandering the town during ‘siesta’ gave me a chance to look at myself and my life and to be grateful for how much beauty there is in the world."
"The challenge of communicating instructions, content and new vocabulary to students - with my limited Italian and their limited English - only made me a stronger educator."
"I had always wanted to go to another country, but was too scared to travel alone. This program was so group-based that I was reassured - by being with others who were experiencing the same things and faculty leaders who help along the way."
"I was fully submerged in their culture and learned a lot about the country, town, teaching...and how to take a deep breath and enjoy the moment!"
"The children were so welcoming on our first day and did not want to leave us at the goodbye event. I felt so loved, valued and appreciated for being a teacher."
"I learned that I am capable of more than I realized. I was more confident going into student teaching as well. I know that I am capable of teaching a room full of students who don’t speak English and so feel more than prepared to be effective with students in the United States."
"Because of the costs, I never thought I could participate in a study away program, but I spoke with my professors and learned how to find funding. Have an open mind and explore your options"
"I have become more confident in myself since traveling. I am surer in my decisions and am more independent. This was my first trip from home and I learned just how strong and capable I can be on my own."
"Teaching to students in a language different from their own is hard, but with patience and hard work it is possible!"
Follow Myanmar participants as they experience life abroad.
"This experience helped me to better understand the influence we have in our position as educators... We truly have the ability to make a difference."
"The teachers and students may not be rich with wealth, but they were abundant with happiness and smiles, which they shared willingly. It was a humbling experience."
Follow Rwanda participants as they experience life abroad.
"This experience instilled in me the core values of appreciation, forgiveness, acceptance and appreciation for community."
"I’ve seen how a nation can rise - physically and spiritually - from the tragedy of genocide to rebuild itself into a safe and humane place; I experienced that joy and forgiveness."
"I almost didn’t go because I was petrified of acting! Now, I can’t even imagine my teaching philosophy without the use of drama."
Follow Zambia participants as they experience life abroad.
"While talking with previous travelers in our class really prepared me for travel, bonding with the group during travel truly strengthened the experience."
"I’ve realized that I feel most purposeful and happy when I’m able to provide quality education to students living in impoverished or struggling communities."
"Class sizes were enormous but there was no technology available. The experience showed me that children don’t need lots of high-tech 'stuff' to learn."
"Many students were shocked to learn that not everyone in America is financially stable. This knowledge - that America is not perfect, that we have our own problems - seemed to give them a sense of hope for their own country."
"Going to Zambia allowed me a direct experience with an African country, and to obtain an accurate and unbiased narrative of its culture and people."
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