Learning by Teaching in a Different Culture

Published in MIT News on April 13, 2015, by Carolyn Knox, MISTI

MISTI Global Teaching Labs has reached over 10,000 foreign high-school students with summer internships and research opportunities.

The MIT International Science and Technology Initiatives program (MISTI) places over 500 MIT undergraduate and graduate students with international internship and research opportunities each summer. Through MISTI Global Teaching Labs (GTL), an experimental teaching program, nearly another 150 MIT students now travel abroad during MIT’s January Independent Activities Period (IAP) to teach science and engineering in foreign high schools.

“GTL attracts top students looking to share the Institute's unique approach to science and engineering education while learning to communicate in a foreign culture,” Serenella Sferza, MISTI GTL founder and MIT-Italy Program co-director, explains. In fact, because of its popularity among students, the program remains very selective, accepting only top candidates from all MIT departments. Launched in 2009 as a pilot program in Italy, MISTI GTL has grown to include programs in Germany, Israel, Italy, Korea, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, and Spain.

Before going abroad, MISTI GTL students attend several cultural and educational trainings. To prepare students for their immersion in a new culture, MISTI program managers lead country-specific training sessions to explore a host country’s economy, politics, and society. 

Read the complete MIT News article