Student Testimonials

We sent our very first cohort of COST students abroad in the spring of 2017. Check out their stories and testimonials below!

Sarah O'Connor

Sarah O'Connor on Cliffs of Mohair

Location: Cork, Ireland
Program: IETP with an emphasis in special education and English language learners

What would you say to students who are interested in overseas student teaching but are uncertain about taking the leap?
DO IT! It is hard to avoid the cliche of "it is a once in a lifetime opportunity" when it really is just that! It is such a powerful learning experience from seeing how other countries run their schools, to the amount of independence it takes to wander a new town in a foreign country. You learn how capable you really are.
What surprised you about teaching in a different setting/culture?
How nice and welcoming everyone was to the American. And how well teachers are treated in Ireland. It is viewed as a very respectable profession and the salary even reflects that.
What was your favorite experience during the overseas student teaching?
Experiencing the different culture that is built on traditions. Going to restaurants and pubs older than America was something else.

Dana Vierra

Dana Vierra with students in South Africa

Location: Port Elizabeth, South Africa
Program: Secondary education: social studies and an endorsement in ESL

What would you say to students who are interested in overseas student teaching but are uncertain about taking the leap?
If you are committed to truly embracing another culture and challenging yourself in both your personal and professional settings, do it! You will never regret taking a leap of faith as long as you are open to what could come of the experience.
Why did you choose your location?

I choose South Africa because it was a place I had always wanted to go and it seemed like the biggest personal challenge for me because it was way outside my comfort zone!
What was your favorite experience during the overseas student teaching?
My favorite experience was truly creating a home in SA at my school and with my host family. But also traveling all over the southern part of the African Continent didn't hurt!
What was your most challenging experience?
The biggest challenge came in my subject area. Because students had to learn history, specially South African history, I needed to do a lot more content studying then usual. But this challenge also gave me a more holistic view of events in SA history, like apartheid.
What surprised you about teaching in a different setting/culture?
I think I was most surprised about how much I would adapt and fall in love with South Africa, so much so I have planned to move back and teach there.