Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor's Name

Dr. Hilary Landorf

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Dr. Sarah Mathews

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee co-chair

Third Advisor's Name

Dr. Flavia Iuspa

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Dr. James Burns

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


international student teaching, teacher preparation, teacher education, culturally responsive teaching, intercultural development, intercultural learning, intercultural competence, global learning, study abroad, student learning abroad, underrepresented students abroad, global programs, international programs, teacher education, pre-service teachers, teacher education abroad

Date of Defense



As classrooms in the United States grow more culturally and linguistically diverse, schools of education are challenged to prepare more culturally responsive, globally minded educators. International student teaching (IST) programs provide a unique opportunity for pre-service teachers to develop cultural competencies in a global context. However, in order for these programs to effectively meet ambitious global and intercultural learning objectives, multiple curricular and programmatic components must be considered, and on-going research exploring individual student experiences must be conducted.

The present collective case study explored the experiences of five, pre-service teachers during a semester-long, IST program at Florida International University. A reentry interview took place after participants returned home from their IST placements in Ecuador. Participants were asked to describe their overall experience of the program, and share stories about their teaching experiences, living with host families and engaging with the host community. Reflective assignments completed throughout the semester were also collected and analyzed. These included visual stories, written and video reflections, pre-departure surveys and other cultural learning assignments. Data collected from both the reentry interviews and reflective assignments were explored on an individual case basis and then across cases to collectively analyze emergent themes.

Findings revealed both the similarities of student experiences across cases, as well as the nuances that make an experience like international student teaching unique to each participant, particularly diverse students. This supports the experiential/constructivist paradigm which posits that an individual creates their world both individually and with others, and learning occurs through the individual’s transactions with a culture and with others. Further findings illustrated the connection between critical reflection and intercultural and global learning.

It is intended that the findings of this study will serve as valuable insights for study abroad stakeholders to develop programming more intentionally, with critical reflection and cultural learning as a design framework. Additional program recommendations include providing ample preparation for both participants and faculty, a structure of support that facilitates intercultural and global learning throughout the study abroad cycle, and curriculum that elevates and leverages student voice.





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