Expanding Minds: Here & Abroad

Expanding Minds: Here & Abroad

At Southeast, students have the opportunity to take on the world. Study abroad opportunities are available in most academic disciplines, including student teaching. This past spring, a small group of education students traveled to Eagles College in Iquique, Chile, for six weeks to fully embrace a new culture and prepare them for working in the education system after graduation.

Eagles College is an English immersion school (k-12), meaning the students who attend are native Spanish speakers, and they begin learning English in kindergarten. Southeast students are paired with a teacher who works alongside them, similar as if they were completing their student teaching hours in the United States. The students help teach subjects like mathematics, science, social studies, and English.

Tracie Beard graduated in May 2018, just after completing the trip to teach in Chile. She now teaches kindergarten at East Elementary School in Jackson, Missouri.

“I gained not only skills in the classroom, but also a better understanding of the world. Seeing things from another perspective is such a great opportunity. I learned so many things about myself as a teacher. Being able to step into a classroom halfway around the world and connect with students gave me confidence that I had chosen the career I was designed to be in. The relationships that I made with the kiddos and faculty in Chile were amazing. I miss them so much!”

Now, Beard says she has a student in her classroom who is learning English as a second language, and her experience in Chile is directly contributing to her ability to connect with her current student.


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