Student Teaching in Bolivia

This is a student teaching program for Education Majors. This is an excellent opportunity for students to apply methods learned at Pitt Greensburg or Pitt Johnstown to a real-world teaching experience! Students will spend half of the semester in Bolivia and the other half on their Pitt campus to complete their academics and to student teach. The student teaching placement is at Calvert CCS - Cochabamba Cooperative School, a local international school whose curriculum is primarily in English. Spanish language lessons on site throughout the program will allow students to gain or improve basic language skills which will create a better connection to their host community.

During the program students will also get to visit two of Bolivia’s most famous sites. Students will take in the breathtaking scenes of South America's largest, and one of the highest in the world, natural lake, Lago Titicaca. In the Chapare, students will adventure through the Amazon, encountering monkeys, hiking through rainforests, and experiencing outstanding tropical fruits and foods.

Interested students at the Greensburg campus should contact Dr. Melissa Marks, Director of Education, at mjm37@pitt.edu and Lauren Perri, Study Abroad Coordinator, at lap140@pitt.edu

Interested students at the Johnstown campus should contact Dr. Bethany McConnell, Program Director, at bmm93@pitt.edu

 

What You'll Accomplish

As an engaged and active participant in this program, you will have the opportunity to develop:

  • writing and implementing daily lesson plans that match standards and school curriculum
  • communicating clearly and professionally with students, teachers, and parents
  • instruction that uses "best practices"/effective teaching pedagogy based on student level and subject matter
  • helping to create an environment that supports diverse learners academically, socially, and emotionally

 

Bolivia is located in the heart of South America. It is a land locked country with the Andes Mountains to the west and the Amazon Jungle to the east. Our program takes place in the city of Cochabamba or “Llajta” (its name in Quechua). Surrounded by the spectacular Andes Mountains, this city is Bolivia’s third largest next to Santa Cruz to the east and La Paz to the west. During the Inca Empire, Cochabamba was used strictly as farmland to feed the entire Inca Empire. Remains from this empire provide an excellent opportunity for students to study this ancient civilization. In Cochabamba as well as in the other nine departments of Bolivia, the indigenous groups still practice their traditional customs such as the winter solstice, “Andean cosmovision” (Andean view of the earth), “koa” (ritual to Pachamama, Mother Earth), language, food, “Urkupiña” (a celebration to the virgin), and a “Cholita,” (a traditionally dressed woman). However, due to the Spanish Conquistadors in the 1530s, these indigenous cultures have been mixed with Spanish cultures. Bolivia is a very diverse country reflected in its languages, indigenous practices, politics, ethnicities, and customs. This makes Bolivia an interesting country. The Bolivian people are very proud of their country’s journey throughout history and keep alive their traditions which all too many countries have already lost to the Western World. Bolivia is an adventure within itself making it an amazing place to learn and grow.

 

Where You'll Live

Students will stay with a Bolivian host family arranged by Connect2Bolivia. Bolivian host families will offer the chance to not only learn about the culture but to immerse yourself in the language and improve your skills. Some meals will be provided by the host family. Homestays are in a safe location and are usually located nearby and close to shopping and areas of interest. 

You can expect your housing to have the following:

  • homestay with a local family
  • some meals (breakfast and dinner) 
  • linens and towels
  • internet in the home (may not necessarily be Wi-Fi)

We do our best to provide the most accurate information about housing and amenities but due to the nature of the locations in which we offer programs and limited availability, these items are subject to change. Contact your program manager with any questions. 

What You'll Study

The Student Teaching in Bolivia program is suitable for Early Childhood Education or Secondary Education majors. Students will earn 8.0 credits while in Bolivia: Student Teaching Abroad (6.0 credits), Student Teaching Seminar (1.0 credit), Spanish (1.0 credit). The Spanish language course occurs throughout the student's time in Bolivia. All students must also enroll in the 6.0 credit Student Teaching course at their Pitt campus prior to departure for Bolivia.  

Information about how the courses on this program count towards general education requirements for different schools and campuses can be found here.

Early Childhood Student Teaching Abroad (IL1882)

6.0 credits. Pitt Greensburg course.  

Description coming soon!

Early Childhood Teaching Seminar Abroad (IL1884)

1.0 credit. Pitt Greensburg course.

Description coming soon!

Secondary Student Teaching Abroad (IL1892)

6.0 credits. Pitt Greensburg course.

Description coming soon!

Secondary Education Teaching Seminar Abroad (IL1894)

1.0 credit. Pitt Greensburg course. 

Description coming soon!

Spanish Independent Study (SPAN1901)

1.0 credit. Pitt Greensburg course.

Spanish will be taken throughout the student teaching experience in Bolivia. 

 You will complete your required teaching placement at Calvert CCS - Cochabamba Cooperative School under the direction and supervision of current full-time teachers.

Your Pitt Study Abroad Contacts

Lauren Perri

Hi! I'm Lauren, the Study Abroad Coordinator at the Greensburg campus. As an undergraduate student, I studied abroad in Marburg, Germany. Since then, my career in international education has taken me to many locations around the world. In addition to traveling, I enjoy growing my own vegetables, going to the beach, and hanging out in the backyard. Let's chat about study abroad opportunities - lap140@pitt.edu or 724-836-7494.

Your In-Country Contacts

Melissa J. Marks, EdD

Melissa J. Marks, EdD, is the Director of the Education Program at Pitt Greensburg and an advisor for the SPSEA chapter on campus. Although she will not be on site for the upcoming semester, Dr. Marks has traveled to this location and is very enthusiastic!  She teaches a wide variety of courses, including strategies, diversity, social studies methods, and general teacher education courses. Dr. Marks co-authored a book with Dr. Diane Marsh entitled How to Talk to Families About Child and Adolescent Mental Illness. Dr. Marks co-created the "Early College Experience" program for college-bound high school students with disabilities. She was awarded the 2009 PGAA Outstanding Faculty Award, the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg President's Medal in 2010, the Pennsylvania Teacher Educator of the Year Award from PAC-Te in 2014 and the Pitt-Greensburg Distinguished Professor Award. Areas of research include teacher supervision, multicultural education and diversity, and social studies education.

Items Billed by Pitt

  In-State Out-of-State
Program Fee $4,799 $4,999
Study Abroad Fee $400 $400
Total Billed by Pitt $5,199 $5,399

Estimated Additional Out-of-Pocket Costs

Tuition for 6.0 credits at your Pitt campus Consult your campus tuition rates
Fees for half of term at your Pitt campus Consult your campus fee rates
Roundtrip Airfare $1,200
Personal Expense $525
Passport Fees $150
Visa Fees $160
Required Vaccinations & Boosters $350
Room & Board for half the term at your Pitt campus (if applicable) Consult your campus room & board rates

Total Estimated Program Cost

  In-State Out-of-State

Total Estimated Cost of Program
(Includes items billed by Pitt and additional expenses)

$7,584 + Tuition/fees & Room/Board (if applicable) for half term at your Pitt campus $7,784 + Tuition/fees & Room/Board (if applicable) for half term at your Pitt campus

 

What's Included

As a part of your Student Teaching in Bolivia program fee, the following are included:

  • 8 credits for the program and student teaching experience in Bolivia (6.0 credits of Student Teaching, 1.0 credit of Seminar, 1.0 credit of Spanish)
  • Housing with host family in Bolivia
  • Meals: breakfast and dinner provided by the host family
  • Student teaching experience in a diverse school abroad
  • International travel health insurance
  • Excursions to Lago Titicaca (lake) and Chapare (rainforest) plus additional cultural activities

While your program fee will cover most of your expenses, keep in mind that you are also responsible for the following:

  • Tuition for 6.0 credits and fees for half of term at your Pitt campus
  • Roundtrip Airfare (~$1200)
  • Study Abroad Administration Fee $400
  • Personal expenses (~$525)
  • Passport fees (~$150)
  • Visa (~$160)
  • Required vaccinations and boosters (depending on your medical history and insurance coverage) ~$350
  • Room and board while in Greensburg or Johnstown for half the term (if applicable)

Remember that your lifestyle and spending choices can greatly affect the amount of money you'll need while abroad.  Visit our Budgeting page for more information.

When You'll Go

Spring

You will complete the first part of your student teaching semester in the U.S. first followed by the program in Bolivia. See program dates to right. 

Fall

You will complete the first part of your student teaching semester in the U.S. first followed by the program in Bolivia. See program dates to right. 

What Else You Need to Know

Go beyond the classroom setting! In addition to student teaching, students will volunteer at a local youth center that enables children to go to school, and then receive extra help such as tutoring after school hours. This allows students to receive better grades and more opportunities in the future. The center also provides students with daily meals to make sure they are well-nourished and offers other activities such as sports. This is a unique opportunity to gain a better understanding of the culture, the language, and make a positive impact on the local community. 

Students must enroll at Greensburg or Johnstown campus for the first half of the term and pay TUITION and FEES for part-time enrollment directly to Greensburg or Johnstown. This cost is in addition to the Bolivia Student Teaching program fees listed. See www.greeensburg.pitt.edu or www.johnstown.pitt.edu for current part-time tuition rates and fees. Students must be enrolled in corresponding Pitt student teaching course. 

Similar to student teaching in Pennsylvania, it is important to show a clean record when student teaching abroad. For that reason, students must upload their FBI Clearances, Pennsylvania Child Abuse Clearances, and Pennsylvania Criminal Clearances to the Study Abroad Portal once accepted into the program.

We work closely with our Third Party Provider Connect2Bolivia to offer students this wonderful program. Connect2Bolivia was founded by Alexis Wieczorek, a former Pitt Alum and David Ruiz, Bolivian Architect. For more detailed info on their mission check out the Connect2Bolivia webpage: http://connect2bolivia.com/