If you’re anything like me, the prospect of earning your masters degree abroad probably seems exciting, but mostly- terrifying. Will future employers recognize this degree back in my home country? Will I have to go through a lengthy, expensive process to have this degree evaluated and translated? What happens if I decide to pursue further education after this? These are the questions that I worried over before ultimately deciding that the value of the experience that I would gain through the Masters in International Education program at Instituto Franklin far outweighed its potential inconveniences.
And I haven’t regretted it yet!
Masters degrees are becoming increasingly common in a competitive job market, so having a degree from abroad and the international experience that comes with it could actually give you an edge over other candidates applying for the same position. Some of the marketable skills that you gain as an international student through the Instituto Franklin Teach & Learn program include:
- Language Immersion and Acquisition
Bilingualism is very desirable in employees, regardless of field. If after completing your masters at Instituto Franklin your Spanish is perfect- great! Make sure this is noted on your resume. But even if your Spanish isn’t perfect and you don’t feel comfortable using it in a professional capacity, mention that you have some working knowledge of the language. The fact that you have started the process of learning a language demonstrates that you have a desire to communicate with people outside of your own culture, and that you understand the frustration that non-native English speakers experience when they don’t feel understood in your mother tongue.
- Theory to Practice
The Instituto Franklin Teach & Learn program is a prime example of a “Theory to Practice” educational model. Each week you’ll spend time in class learning theories of bilingual education, theories of learning, teaching methods, and curriculum design. Then you’ll spend the rest of the week out in the field- putting these learned theories into practice in community bilingual schools. Your experience as a student will enhance your teaching just as your experience teaching will enhance your studies!
- Comparative View of the Higher Education System
Completing your Masters degree abroad will also provide you with valuable perspective on how the higher education system functions in a different country and culture which, above being interesting on a personal level, can also help provide insight if you plan to pursue a career in higher education after graduation. Although the Teach and Learn curriculum focuses mainly on primary and secondary education, this is definitely not the only possible career path.
The Teach and Learn faculty come from diverse career backgrounds that they share with their students; some of the teachers in your practicum may become mentors; and perhaps most importantly, you will build relationships with each and every person in your cohort. Through the discussions and projects that I completed with my cohort, I learned a great deal about each person’s background and career aspirations. Couple that with the fact that we were all in another country, outside of our comfort zone, continuously trying new things and having new experiences- we became friends! Now that we’ve graduated, each person has gone on their own very far and distinct path. This speaks to the versatility of the skills gained through the Teach & Learn program, but it also is a very useful networking tool. My cohort is all over the world: Seattle, Miami, New York, Morocco, France, Thailand, and many- still in Spain (you won’t want to leave either)!
Deciding where to complete your masters is a difficult choice, and what’s most important in a program for you may not be the same for others. However, if you know that you plan to pursue a career related to international or bilingual education, there is no better way to demonstrate your commitment to the field than to live it as an international student.