This internship will provide Vassar students with ample opportunities to immerse themselves in Tican culture and participate in the daily activities at a unique, dual-immersion independent school. The program will be organized to encourage interns to connect educational theory and practice in a dynamic learning environment. Vassar students will participate in a structured intern program that has been running successfully for over a decade. Working closely with faculty and staff at the Cloud Forest School, Vassar students will observe experienced teachers in the classroom, work as a teacher’s assistant in their collaborating teacher’s classroom, study Spanish, and carry out an independent research project.
The Cloud Forest School in Costa Rica is a dual immersion bilingual PK-12 school serving approximately 200 local and international children in Monteverde (95% of the students are Tican and 5% international). The school's core curriculum focuses on promoting academic excellence within a framework of environmental education. Its goal is “to encourage a new generation of ecologically aware, bilingual people with the skills and motivation to make educated land use decisions and create positive changes.” The school promotes child centered, progressive forms of curriculum and instruction combined with positive forms of discipline that reflect the educational approaches we encourage our students to take here at Vassar College.
Beyond mirroring the intellectual goals of the Education Department, the Cloud Forest program would also appeal to those coming from the Latin American Studies, Environmental Studies, and International Studies disciplines. Vassar students from departments other than the Education Department are invited to design an internship tailored to their interests; this might entail working closely with the Environmental Education Coordinator regularly rather than working in a classroom environment.