In the absence of campus-wide internationalization efforts, advisors are a critical link. can encourage students to choose internationally focused electives and other requirements. Advising about international options for undergraduate students is a major need in teacher education programs. In To Leave No Teacher Behind (2007), Ann Imlah Schneider found that 75% of faculty and administrators interviewed in schools, colleges, and departments of education reported that advisors are not sufficiently trained about the international options open to students. Ninety percent of current teachers interviewed think teacher training should include advising specifically about international options.
Advising students about inernational opportunities early in their undergraduate education, even during the college application process, increases the likelihood they will be able to fit them into a tight schedule. Admissions recruiters explicitly market the fact that students can fulfill their student teaching requirements overseas, so they come into the program knowing this and can plan accordingly.
Advisors and offices of international programs outside of schools of education can identify and advise students with well-developed international interests and encourage them to consider teaching. For those who choose education early in their college careers, first-year advisors are particularly important due to the paucity of electives in teacher training programs and the importance of ensuring international exposure during the first two years. Schneider (2007) has highlighted that training for academic and career advisors on international options for prospective teachers has the potential for increasing international exposure within the normal time-to-degree constraints.
In addition to information, universities can provide opportunities, such as training and travel, to help advisors understand the value of study abroad and other international experiences. Miami University in Ohio has identified study abroad a priority campus-wide, with the goal of having 50% of its students study abroad. The Office of International Education has dedicated study abroad advisors and provides resources on advising for study abroad. The Director of Clinical Experiences and School Partnerships in the College of Education actively promotes international student teaching experiences, and provides ample resources and advising to students interested in these opportunities on the Office’s website. The Director is also responsible for promoting international experiences during recruitment activities, student orientation, advising, field experience, and student teaching.
As part of its Global Educators Cohort Program, Michigan State University’s College of Education has a dedicated international advisor. This advisor works with students in the program, and creates advising materials and other resources to share with all education advisors ensuring that all pre-service teachers know about international courses, experiences, and resources. Graduate assistants at the Global Center in the School of Leadership and Education Sciences (SOLES) at the University of San Diego advise students on student teaching abroad, teaching abroad as a career, and taking study-abroad courses.