Overseas Teaching Offers Unique Experience

by Victoria Stearns, Public Relations Writer

Through the innovative Overseas Student Teaching Program (OSTOP), the Cedarville University School of Education is giving education majors unique experiences abroad. 

Since its inception in 1972, OSTOP has sent almost 15 students overseas each year. This year, 13 students will get that opportunity, including Laura Tice, a senior social studies education major from Birmingham, Alabama.

Tice will head to South Africa in January to teach social studies at York High School in George, South Africa.

“I'm so thankful for the opportunity to serve overseas as a teacher,” said Tice. “I know it will be both an adventure and a challenge. I am eager to see how God works in and through me.”

The top one-third of Cedarville’s education majors are given the opportunity to apply for a spot overseas based on their teaching ability.

The OSTOP program promotes overseas mission teaching and provides opportunities for cross-cultural ministries.  

Between 20-30 percent of students participating in OSTOP return overseas as educators following graduation. Cedarville’s program is helping to grow overseas ministry opportunities while helping students gain a cross-cultural experience.

Students go through a two-step process to be accepted into the teacher education program and must be recommended by faculty. Participants must be flexible, as they will face unique challenges and work with teachers and students from a variety of cultures. 

Prior to their departure, students participating in OSTOP are put through a “pre-experience” weekend, which serves as an orientation to living and teaching in a foreign country.

While in their overseas positions, students are supervised by licensed educators, who evaluate their student teaching. 

“For young people who want to experience God at work in their lives through a cross-cultural ministry, this program offers life-changing possibilities,” said Brenda MacKay, Ed.D., coordinator of the overseas program. 

The Christian College Teacher Education Coordinating Council (CCTECC) partners with Cedarville and 25 other colleges and universities to place students in partner school in other countries.

CCTECC is an arm of Interaction International, whose mission is to be catalyst in developing programs, services and publications to meets the needs of children from developing nations and internationally mobile families. 

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 3,711 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 100 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.