Cultures are fascinating to learn about, so why not hop on a plane and spend weeks or months living in another country and speaking another language?
To begin… the cost of flights can price some people out of the international travel experience, and the time that it takes to travel to some destinations can occupy entire days of the precious personal days some people may have.
However, this is no reason not to pursue international education and the study of other cultures. In this post I will address a few ways that I have been able to get myself and my students connected internationally.
Peace Corps Worldwise Schools
Connecting with a current Peace Corps volunteer can be a great way to open your students’ eyes, and your eyes, to another reality in the developing world. Peace Corps volunteers are connected with the local community where they are stationed, and very well may teach in a local school.
In my experience (corresponding with 5 volunteers over the years), I found that almost all volunteers have some kind of access to an internet connection. They would share stories and photos with my students that they, or their students, had composed. Combining this connection with a Google+ Community can really make the international education experience take off.
It’s also possible to set up discussion topics for easier management of content. If the Peace Corps volunteer, or any other international correspondent, could join they same G+ Community as you and your students, the opportunities for cross-cultural communication are exponentially enhanced.
Google for Educators Communities
If you’d like to take a more active role, post on the community board that you want to virtually collaborate on a proposed project and see what responses you get. You may be able to get virtual “pen pals” from another country for your students. Further collaboration is made possible with a few Google Apps, and can make this cross-border virtual project all the more possible.