Indonesia Field School: "The Highlight of my Undergraduate Experience"

January 09, 2020

By Clare Slipiec

After hearing positive feedback from peers who had taken part in exchanges, Gloria Tsang began researching study abroad opportunities at SFU. In 2011, the Bachelor of General Studies in Education student decided to further pursue her interest in environmental education by taking part in the Indonesia Field School — an experience described as life-changing.

“I’d heard about great exchange school experiences, but I wanted more direction and guidance with a study abroad experience,” Gloria said of her decision to participate in the field school.

Like an exchange, field schools provide students with the opportunity to study and live abroad; however, students participating in a field school generally travel in small cohorts and follow a curriculum directed by an SFU professor. For Gloria, this meant having a more personal experience.

“I looked into options and saw that there was an Education-based Field School available and knew that was the type of experience I was looking for to complete my undergraduate degree. I particularly liked that it was a small group which made it more personal and I got to develop a closer relationship with the professor.”

Established by Dr. David Zandvliet, professor in the Faculty of Education and Director of the Institute for Environmental Learning, the Indonesia Field School is intended to help aspiring educators to develop new perspectives on environmental and ecological education through hands-on field work in an international setting.

“It is an ideal opportunity for students with a keen interest in environmental education, especially those looking to pursue the Professional Development Program (PDP) and a career in teaching,” says Dr. Zandvliet.

Now a qualified teacher, Gloria regularly draws on her field school experience in her practice and daily life.

“As a whole, it made me appreciate the wonders in life. As a teacher, it inspired me to never stop embarking on adventures and to continue to be a lifelong learner.”

Gloria’s advice to students considering the Field School? “Don’t overthink it and just do it!”

For more information, visit the Indonesia Field School website or register to attend an information session on Wednesday, January 22, 2020.

Indonesia Field School - Information Session

Date: Wednesday, January 22, 2020
Time: 3:30pm-4:30pm
Location: 8620.2, Education Building Learning Hub, SFU Burnaby Campus
Host: Dr. David Zandvliet