Teacher exchange program is a cultural learning experience and a way of expanding and enriching a teacher’s pedagogical expertise. A teacher exchange is a challenge. Period of exchange provides a number of social, professional and personal challenges, and the scope of the exchange experience is a broader than most people usually think. It involves not only the exchange of lecturing but also an exchange of lifestyles, even sometimes only for a short period of time.
I attended the International week at the School of Accounting and Administration of Porto – ISCAP in Portugal in October 2015. This teaching experience has been very valuable to me. I participated in the school life for one week and lectured Portuguese students, but also students from different countries that are partners in the Erasmus+ program (students from Germany, Belgium, Latvia, Romania, Poland etc.). The value that these students place on education and the wonderful warm atmosphere that they create was precious. Both students and professors at the ISCAP are friendly, open, flexible and hospitable. It was a pleasure to meet and work with them, build relationships, mutual respect, and above all enjoyment, but also to experience another culture and interesting and amazing things that Portugal offers.
There are many benefits that I gained from the teacher exchange. First of all, there is a great opportunity to learn about different educational system, reflect teaching practice and education philosophy. Also, the opportunity to contribute to the professional development of the ISCAP as a hosting institution and share the ideas, knowledge and experience was precious for me. Finally, part of the pleasure of this exchange is that I have been able to experience another community and Portuguese culture, broaden personal experiences by visiting Porto as one of the beautiful places.
Anyone who has a desire to teach and travel, or to learn and travel, should go for it. This is the best way to promote networking between teachers, students and colleges.
Jelena Stanojevic, IBCM Lecturer
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