The world is becoming smaller. There is more ability than ever before to experience places other than our home nation and to learn from others. The free flow of information, and the ability to travel great distances with relative ease, has enabled the citizens of different nations to be global citizens—citizens of the world. International exchange programs come in various shapes and sizes. Some are designed for specific exchange purposes, but most have the same core goal of increasing mutual understanding between the people of different nations and fostering the exchange of information.
Educators who participate in international exchange programs have opportunities to learn about education systems, policies, and practices from around the world. During exchanges, educators may visit universities, development agencies, non-governmental organizations, and schools. International exchange programs help educators to build professional friendships and to share critical perspectives on educational processes and approaches. Exchanges in education are operated by various providers, including nongovernmental organizations and universities.
International exchanges help us to see outside ourselves and realize that the world is full of variety—interesting people with varying perspectives. It increases our ability to see possibilities, find solutions to complex problems, act on opportunities, and bridge cultural and linguistic divides.
Providers of international exchanges with programs related to education include:
Teachers Without Borders
People to People Ambassador Program
Cross Cultural Solutions