Supervised Teaching Field Experience

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Course Information
Internship Seminar
Terms offered: 
Fall, Spring
Language of instruction: 
Contact Hours: 
20 classroom contact hours; at least 40-50 hours in the placement classroom

Dedicated, curious, open minded, future-oriented students from all fields (majors, minors, or others?) are welcome to try their hands on teaching ESL, culture, peaceful co-existence in a globalized world. Students should have some experience in working with young people/children, and must be open, courageous, with a good sense of humor, and willing to find out more about and accept differences, to reflect upon their own home environment and their own personalities. They need to step out of their comfort zone, out of the sheltered environment of the IES Abroad Center, and thus gain a better understanding of their home/country/state/culture, the changing world on both sides of the Atlantic.

Additional student cost: 

Small contribution (for food) for a field trip outside Vienna


This course is designed to provide U.S. students with a variety of opportunities to immerse into different educational settings in Vienna, by assisting Austrian teachers, students and businesspeople to acquire not only better language skills in English but also to move sensitive and skillfully in another cultural environment. Walking in somebody else’s “moccasins” or “Wanderschuhen” for a while will have a long lasting impact on your life!

Attendance policy: 

IES Abroad Vienna requires attendance at all class sessions, including field study excursions, internship meetings, scheduled rehearsals, and exams. Attendance will be monitored and unexcused absences will affect the student’s grade via the “Participation” component of each course’s final grade.

Excused Absences

  • Excused absences are permitted only when a student is ill, when class is held on a recognized religious holiday traditionally observed by the particular student, or in the case of a grave incident affecting family members.
  • To be granted an excused absence, the student must write an email to his/her professor in a timely manner stating the reason for the absence (and, if appropriate, how long they expect to be away) with a cc to Center administrative staff. In an emergency, the student may call Student Services or the Front Desk. If the student is unable to send an email (too sick, no computer), he/she may call the Student Assistant at the front desk (01/512 2601-11) who will then write the email described above and send it to said parties as stated above, with a cc to the student.
  • If a student is absent 3 consecutive days or more, he/she will need to obtain a doctor’s note and then submit this to the Registrar’s office.
Learning outcomes: 

By the end of the course, students are able to:

  • discuss historical developments in education,
  • skillfully move in and reflect on another cultural environment, while also reflecting on ones home,
  • analyze requirements of a globalized world and how they are reached in different settings,
  • discuss the interdependence of a multicultural student population, of politics and education, and socio economic facts,
  • establish “connections” and networks, hopefully to be used after graduation,
  • apply tricks and tips to successfully teach language in different subjects
Method of presentation: 
  • Lectures and seminar sessions, partly in smaller groups
  • Teaching practicum at assigned locations (Kindergarten/Pre-school, Elementary, High School…)
  • Learning by doing!
  • Field-experience: Immerse into another cultural and geographical environment, also outside Vienna
  • Basic group dynamic experiences
Required work and form of assessment: 
  • Class-participation and attendance - 30%
  • Teachers’ evaluation at Internship location - 30%
  • Final Paper - 30%
  • “European Region-in-Text” - 5%
  • Oral presentation around Midterms - 5%

Additional Information
Regular attendance at field experience locations and during afternoon sessions at IES Abroad as well as active class participation are expected! Keeping a journal, reporting back evaluating during midterms, creating a “region in text”-paper, plus a 10 page paper at the end of the semester + reflection section. Topics to be discussed and agreed upon! Regular, 4-5 weekly, teaching sessions at the assigned educational institution. Irregular extra hours for preparing worksheets, handouts, taking part in school activity!

  • Meetings are a platform to reflect, exchange ideas, provide hugs, lend shoulders in an environment small enough to be intimate, yet large enough to feed on it!
  • General characteristics of Austrian Educational System: Why is it the way it is?
  • From pre-school, kindergarden to university and adult education. Lifelong learning as a strategy to successfully cope with the future. Comparison between Austrian and European educational systems and USA, what is the best system and why?
  • The influence of the European Union, PISA, requirements for studying abroad. 
  • Student testing systems and comparability. Is standardized testing the best?
  • Intercultural teaching and learning. Have requirements from society and the businessworld changed lately? Avoiding burn-out, stress, yet “squeezing the juice”
  • Keeping or losing our Austrian identity?
  • International projects and possibilities to foster understanding and decrease xenophobia and to increase intercultural skills.
  • Current issues! Society, poltics, economy, art, globalization,...and their impact on Austrian education.
Required readings: 
  • Textbooks
  • Smples of English or American literature
  • Current dailies or weekly magazines available at IES
  • Internet
  • Books on how to move in another culture.