CBU Alumni Teaching Around The World
Riverside, Calif. (Sept. 5, 2014) -- Last year, California Baptist University sent five alumni to teach English at a university in China. This year, 16 are going to China and Japan.
The Teach Abroad Program (TAP) is operated through the Global Initiatives office. Bryan Davis, director of the International Center, said the program has two missions: First, it is designed to help CBU build stronger partnerships with overseas institutions; and second, it helps CBU alumni who want to teach overseas.
"We've learned that many CBU students are looking to teach overseas after graduation to get some experience or because they want to go overseas long term," Davis said. "We thought, why allow them to continue to go through other placement agencies when we can build a process here for them to teach through the university?"
Every applicant needs to be a CBU graduate, hold a bachelor's degree and commit to at least one year teaching overseas. All the participants earn a certificate for Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL). Predictably, the group includes a fair share of English teachers, Davis said, but it also has attracted students with majors such as journalism, criminal justice and mathematics.
"CBU is such a globally minded place," he said. "Students here have such a passion for intercultural relationships and global work that we see [students from all majors]."
Cassandra Jo Kitchen ('14) graduated with a major in foundational mathematics and will be teaching at a high school in China. While she will be teaching English through TAP, her ultimate goal is to teach math.
"I have worries or fears of not reaching my students, getting homesick, eating different foods and not knowing the language, but that is what drives me to go," she said. "I am so comfortable in my American world that I believe a little discomfort will be good for me."
CBU provided the group with six weeks of training over the summer including lesson planning, teaching methods and cross-cultural understanding. They also received practical experience while teaching more than 400 international students who came to CBU for language camps.