TIEC Celebrates 5th Year for Uruguay Fulbright Commission Teaching Group

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On February 2, TIEC welcomed the arrival of 24 Uruguayan elementary and secondary public school educators through the Uruguay Fulbright Commission under the Educator Exchange Program. The program is designed to provide the Uruguayan educators with a professional development program in the United States, and the group spent much of their program shadowing teachers in the Austin and Liberty Hill Independent School Districts during their time here in Austin.

“It has been a pleasure to meet with all of the Uruguay Fulbright delegations who have come to TIEC in Austin over the past five years,” said Dr. John Schmidt, TIEC’s Academic Coordinator. “This year’s group, like all that we have hosted, was wonderfully enthusiastic and ready to be immersed in professional and cultural experiences in Austin homes and schools.”

Before their arrival in Austin, the educators spent some days touring Washington, D.C., and taking part in a special academic programs arranged by TIEC and hosted by the George Washington University’s International Education Program.

"This has been a terrific program highly beneficial to Uruguayan and Austin-area schools alike,” said David Aronofsky, who organized the trip for TIEC. “I teach in Uruguay a couple of times a year and have the opportunity to hear and see firsthand these benefits.”

The Uruguayan educators are composed of 13 elementary teachers, and eight secondary educators (seven of which specialize in EFL) and three secondary principals. Through the program, they stayed with a local educator at the school in which they observed. Their team-teaching provided hands-on experience with the American educational system and, through it, lifelong friendships with their American hosts.

“The fact that so many Austin-area teachers and administrators have asked to host Uruguayans in their homes and classrooms every year since the program began speaks for itself. A number of these Austin educators have hosted them all five years."

The program is funded by several organizations, including the U.S. Embassy in Uruguay, the Uruguay Education Ministry, the Uruguay Fulbright Commission and Plan Ceibal.

These educators stayed in Austin from February 2 to February 17.

Liz Holliday