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Atenas Preschool y Escuela Colina Azul
Atenas Alajuela, Costa Rica (506) 2-446-4027

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The International Teacher Internship Program in Costa Rica

An international teacher internship program in Costa Rica (CR) is provided for by the Foundation for International Education (FIE). The program was founded in 1975 by and is administered by Dr. Ross Korsgaard; in Costa Rica, the program is coordinated and supervised by Dr. Dian Dudderar and Ms. Mirthala Jenkins, resident consultants. There are several approved placement sites throughout the country but special placements can be made with advance notification by FIE applicants to the FIE administer and CR coordinators.

Teacher interns interested in a Cost Rican school and home stay placement need to first discuss their decision for completing an international teacher internship with the director of teacher internships at their home institution. Then they need to contact Dr. Korsgaard (see contact information below), he will forward their application to Dr. Dudderar and she will contact the teacher intern to personalize the placement request. Costa Rica teacher intern applicants do not need to be fluent in Spanish, some high school or college Spanish helps but is not required. The focus of the internship is to teach English as a Second language. This can be accomplished in several ways; either through a facilitatng early childhood/elementary ESL content with an appropriate preschool through 6th grade placement, content specific instruction in math, science, computer communications (all in English) and English for middle school candidates with a placement in grades 4-6 or content specific instruction at the high school level placement (grades 7-11). Many Costa Rican schools do not have specific full-time teachers in the fine arts, but we can make special arrangements for Art and Music certification candidates (K-12).

Placements can be made from early February through mid December. The two major school breaks are five school days off over Easter starting the Saturday before Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday and the first two full weeks in July for winter break.

The main mission of this program is to give teacher interns a 7-10 week international teaching experience, ideally after the intern has completed a 7-8 week USA placement, where they are teaching comparable English content to second language learners. During the internship the interns will be living with Spanish speaking only CR families and will quickly learn Spanish as a second language. The program instills cultural values of another country while being exposing interns to personal and professional global issues outside their normal lifestyle. Teacher interns often remark in their weekly reflections that their international experience has opened their eyes to who they are in the larger scheme on life, helping them to be more aware citizens of the world and more adept teachers for all children. They discover empathy for children and their parents in the USA who are struggling to learn a second language with little or no support in their primary language. They also leave the experience with useful teaching and learning strategies to use in their future classrooms with second language learners. The program is a win/win situation for all the participants!

Contact information:

Dr. Dian Dudderar
Spring Landing
P O Box 26
Crumpton, MD 21628
tel# 410-778-6695
tel/fax# 410-778-6695
Dr. Ross Korsgaard
Foundation for International Education
P O Box 38
Bay City, WI 54723
tel# 715-594-3362
fax# 715-594-3363

Other School Placement Sites in Costa Rica:

Monteverde Friends School (Grades pre-K)
Monteverde Cloud Forest School (Grades pre-K)
Country Day School – Escazu (Grades preK-12)
Country Day School – Guanacaste (Grades preK-12)

Santa Fe Bilingual Collegio – La Garita (Grades preK-11)
Santa Cecilia Bilingual Collegio – Heredia (Grades preK-11)