Summer Spotlight: Toyota International Teacher Program

As part of the Summer Workation Celebrating Summer Contest, we will be featuring a number of Summer Spotlight. These Summer Spotlights will showcase some of the exciting things teachers have done and can do during the summer months. We hope that these posts can help teachers learn about some of the summer jobs and opportunities available to them, The first Summer Spotlight features an international opportunity for teachers.

Toyota Image

When was the last time you were able to travel abroad and experience foreign cultures with like-minded educators who share your insatiable thirst for knowledge and sincere passion for teaching? When was the last time you embarked on a personal journey to promote global awareness and understanding? Perhaps you would like to take part in such enriching experiences more often but just don’t know where to look? If so, the Toyota International Teacher Program might be just what you’ve been looking for.

Established in 1998 and administered by the Institute of International Education, each year the Toyota International Teacher Program sends U.S. educators to various international destinations like Japan, the Galapagos Islands and Costa Rica for intensive, high-quality, two-week study tours. Through these unique professional development trips, teachers explore important cultural, social and environmental themes in a global context and focus their energies and skills on the creation of interdisciplinary, hands-on, and solution-focused approaches to the pressing issues they will experience firsthand.

At the core of the Toyota International Teacher Program is a desire to promote global connectedness, and instill in teachers a sense of responsibility to actively contribute solutions to environmental problems and empower their students to do the same. The Toyota International Teacher Program is open to all U.S. educators and teacher-librarians who teach in U.S. schools in any of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. If you are interested in participating but still wondering how you would finance your trip, wonder no more. If selected to participate in this program, your international study tour is fully funded through a generous grant provided by Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. All you need to do is apply and prepare yourself for a truly unique professional development experience.

Are you ready to embark on your two-week study tour? The 2010 Toyota International Teacher Program to the Galapagos Islands is set to take place November 20th – December 4th, 2010 and applications are being accepted online (the deadline to apply is May 19th, 2010)! Program participants can expect to gain valuable insight into the human impact on this fragile ecosystem that has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. During the two week trip, participants will have the opportunity to attend panel discussions and lectures, and interact with biologists, conservationists as well as local citizens and teachers. In the past teachers have also had the opportunity to travel back with their students during the summer.

For more information, and to apply to the Toyota International Teacher Program, check out the Summer Workation listing by visiting

This video will tell you more about one teacher who was selected for the Toyota International Teacher Program.

  • What do you think about this Summer Spotlight?
  • Would you like to apply to the Toyota International Teacher Program? Why or why not?
  • Have you participated in a similar study abroad/international professional development experience before?
  • What would your ideal summer growth opportunity be (e.g., volunteer work, study/travel abroad, internship/externship, fellowship)?

Leave a comment between Feb 17-27, 2010 to enter the Celebrating Summer Contest!


7 Responses to “Summer Spotlight: Toyota International Teacher Program”

  1. Julie Conner says:

    What a great opportunity for educators! This would be a great way to experience the world being studies in our classrooms. Thanks for sharing this article.

  2. Karla Duff says:

    Having the summer to educate yourself is the reason we NEED summer vacation! If we (teachers) aren’t excited about learning, how can we expect our students to be?

    Summer Spotlight should be a part of all educators’ summer.

  3. Debbie Gottsleben says:

    What a great opportunity for teachers. We talk about teaching our students to be lifelong learners and this program allows us to model that very behavior!

  4. Michael Furman says:

    This sounds like a great opportunity. As a new teacher, I have not thought much about how various countries differ in their teaching methods. This would be a wonderful learning experience.

  5. Jessica Y. says:

    This Summer Spotlight is fantastic! We get a chance to learn and realize what some teachers are doing during the summer and in this case, a study tour sounds awesome. Sadly, I’m not a teacher, so I don’t think I can apply for the Toyota International Teacher Program. Also, as I’m not a teacher, I have not participated in a similar study abroad/international professional development experience before. For my ideal summer growth opportunity, I think volunteer work is what I would choose. I would love to study/travel abroad, but something about volunteering close to home really tugs at my heartstrings.

  6. mbcollins says:

    I think it is great organizations like Toyota have stepped up to provide teachers with this great opportunity!

  7. Paul says:

    This was a great read! Good job Damion!

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