Elementary Education – Community Field Experience

When applying please note your preference for the B.Ed practicum.

Program dates

Date Activity
September 28, 2014 Deadline to apply
October 1, 2014 Interview date for placement. You must be in attendance at the interview day for a combination of group and individual interviews.
January – April 2015 Orientation and pre-departure learning sessions (multiple sessions)
April 27- May 15, 2015 International placement
Upon return 2015 ISL post-placement re-entry debrief and public engagement conference


Open to all B.Ed. UBC Vancouver students (primary, elementary, and middle years streams)

Program overview

Community Partners

Little Rock Inclusive Early Childhood Development Centre has been working in the Nairobi neighborhood of Kibera since 2003. Little Rock IECD Centre offers inclusive early childhood education programs for around 320 vulnerable and disabled children in the area who attend the kindergarten schooling and 250 graduates who attend the after school program, addressing the need for a strong start to education. In addition to the general education program, the school offers inclusive programming for children in the community who are deaf and are living with special needs, such as autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, mentally challenged and others integrating them into the school system and providing occupational therapy.

SOS Children’s Villages – International Service Learning has been in partnership with SOS Children’s Villages in Swaziland since 2008. The student volunteer teacher placements are nested within a larger collaboration whereby students from various disciplines at UBC are placed in three month internships on projects identified by SOS.

Stand Tall Training Centre-  Stand Tall is a new partnership with the International Service Learning Program in Kampala, Uganda. The Training Centre is a non-formal education centre for elementary level schooling that provides for children in the community who are unable to attend regular school programs. The student volunteer teacher placements will be to work with the school’s teachers on lesson plans and school activities for the learners.


Little Rock – You will work with teachers in various aspects of the program assisting with the inevitable challenges of working in the context of education in an informal settlement and impoverished area. You will do this through classroom teaching and planning with the school staff. Furthermore, you will work with the teachers and students in the afterschool program tutoring grade school students, who are Little Rock Academy alumni. You may also provide assistance to the Occupational Therapist who works on site. Student teachers should prepare to be flexible in work hours, some days may include regular classroom teaching, and other days may include breaks during the day and tutoring at the end of regular school hours.

SOS Children’s Villages –Student volunteer teachers will work with SOS Children’s village’s education team on two separate initiatives. The first is to work in the school with students on their general studies including teaching in the classroom and one on one student tutoring. Teaching will follow the set curriculum and student volunteer teachers are to utilize a variety of techniques to deepen learning and bring the curriculum to life. The second initiative is to provide further support to secondary students who have enrolled in a program that is a pathway to an international SOS school in Ghana. Students enrolled in this pathway must pass standardized testing and perform exceptionally well to attend the international school on scholarship. Particular attention to math and science has been identified as an area of need.

Student volunteer teachers need to be sensitive to the fact that many children enrolled in the school may have had gaps in their education or may not have had access to education until later in life. While well cared for within SOS Programme the children have come from vulnerable backgrounds as such student teachers will need to highly collaborate with SOS Programme Management mainly the Educator and the classroom teachers to understand both the progress of the class and individual students without making assumptions. Personal student profiles will not be shared unless there is pertinent information that any teacher would need to know.

Student teachers should prepare to be flexible in work hours, some days may include regular classroom teaching, and other days may include breaks during the day and tutoring at the end of regular school hours.

Stand Tall Training Centre- The school ranges in activities from classroom studies to vocational training. While the school is classifies as a non-formal education institute, it includes the general curriculum to that students can write entrance examinations for secondary school. The school trains students on the care and upbringing of poultry, cows, and pigs, as well as agricultural practices. Other skills such as jewellery making and sewing are also taught. The school is divided into levels that cover the primary education years up to secondary school. It is divided into levels to remove the grade labels for older students that are placed in lower level classes. The school is also split up into families with teachers as parents and learners of students. In these families the leaners participate in school debates, and learning sessions as part of creating a friendly home environment.

You will work with teachers in various aspects of this programming through classroom teaching and planning with the school staff. Student teachers should prepare to be flexible in work hours, some days may include regular classroom teaching, and other days may include breaks during the day and tutoring at the end of regular school hours.
Leading up to your placement (Pre-departure)

The pre-departure learning program is designed to prepare you for an international service learning placement. This will include:

  • Pre-departure learning sessions taking place over the academic term leading up to departure
  • Creation of a learning and development plan, reviewed with an ISL Advisor
  • Participant-led events/ presentations
  • Facilitated meetings with your placement team to explore learning topics

Living environment

You will either live with host families in or near the villages, or if placed at SOS Children’s villages you will be in the senior student houses with your own room.

After you’ve returned (Post-placement)

After you’ve returned, you’ll re-group, reflect, and work at unpacking the intensive experience you’ve had. The post-placement activities you will participate in include:

  • A full-day to debrief with advisors and peers
  • Presentation at a public engagement event

Program cost

We expect the program fee to be approximately $1,900*. Fees include:

  • Pre-departure learning sessions
  • Room and board
  • Transportation to your placement**
  • Orientation in Swaziland
  • Community partner management fee
  • Centre for Community Engaged Learning project management fee
  • Re-entry Debrief

**Fees may be adjusted before offer. Program costs cary primarily due to cost of living expenses per country and region.

Additional Information

All expenses not covered in program costs are the responsibilty of the student. Costs not included are airfare, visas, vaccinations, local transportation while in country, transportation from the project site back to the airport at the end of the placement, and personal items and daily incidentals.


If accepted in to the ISL program you will be automatically assessed for eligibility for the $1,500 International Service Learning Award.

Application dates

Now accepting applications for the 2015 program. Intake will occur through an application and interview process.

Application deadline: September 28, 2014