1. TOP helps you become a global educator.
Today’s students live in an interconnected world where their decisions affect and are affected by the global community. Teacher travel programs like TOP provide you, as an educator, with the knowledge and resources to teach about other countries and provide your students with a global perspective and international understanding. TOP is a fantastic professional development opportunity that will give you the tools to educate your students as global citizens and will have a lasting impact on you both professionally and personally.
2. STEM educators can apply too!
Since 2014, TOP has also offered a study tour for STEM educators. Focus areas for the trip include visiting German STEM (MINT) schools, career and technical education and skills training, environmental education, sustainability, and much more!
3. You will visit places you would or could never go as a regular tourist.
As part of its tours, TOP offers VIP visits with German government officials, businesses, and organizations. On your tour, you may find yourself on the floor of a major factory, at lunch with a German diplomat, on a VIP tour of the German Reichstag building, searching for crabs in the mud flats of the North Sea, and much more!
4. The Food!! (and Beer!)
The way to the heart of a culture is through your stomach! On the study tours, TOP pays for two meals per day, so eat breakfast like a king and discover that German cuisine is more than bratwurst and sauerkraut! Just imagine yourself relaxing in a German Biergarten… and APPLY!
5. TOP takes you directly into German classrooms to learn about the education system.
Germany is known around the world for its first-class education system and its career and technical education programs. TOP takes you into the classroom (and into your element) so you can interact with German students and learn about what interests them and what their hopes are for the future. You will also meet German educators, giving you the opportunity to form partnerships and plan exchanges for the following school year!
6. One Word – Berlin.
Every TOP tour takes different routes through Germany and has different meetings and activities, but one thing they all have in common is Berlin. The German capital is full of amazing restaurants, museums, historical sites, stores, and unique neighborhoods to explore! Plus, TOP offers a very special midnight tour of the monuments in Berlin, which you don’t want to miss.
7. You can literally touch history!
Germany has played a pivotal role in world history for hundreds (if not thousands) of years. TOP takes you to a variety of historical sites – from Roman ruins, to medieval fortresses, to concentration camp memorials, to the Berlin Wall – giving you unique insights into the historical context which has shaped modern Germany.
8. Make new friends!
TOP fellows are selected from among the best educators in the United States and Canada. During their two weeks together, study tour groups of about 15 educators bond over their adventures in Germany, discuss their struggles and successes as educators, brainstorm new ideas for curriculum and projects for their students, and HAVE A BLAST! However, the one person you will not become friends with is your roommate – because you won’t have one. All TOP study tour participants have their own hotel room for the ENTIRE trip!!
9. Did we mention that the tours are all-expenses-paid?
TOP is a teacher travel fellowship supported by the Federal Foreign Office of Germany, the Goethe-Institut, Deutsche Bank, the Robert Bosch Stiftung, and the Siemens Corporation. TOP pays for most domestic and international transportation fees, hotel accommodation, two meals per day while abroad (usually breakfast and dinner), and any mandatory study tour related fees, such as museum entry, etc.
10. You can earn professional development or graduate credits.
After traveling Germany with TOP for two weeks, participants author one lesson plan about modern Germany and lead one professional development workshop about the program for their colleagues. Upon completion of these requirements, TOP can provide you with 132 hours of professional development credit or you can apply for 3 hours of graduate credit through Millersville University (additional fees apply for graduate credit).
TOP’s two-week, all-expenses-paid summer study tours are available to Social Studies and STEM teachers (grades K-12), methods professors, curriculum coordinators, principals/assistant principals and applicable state Department of Education employees. No knowledge of the German language is required. For more information about the program and to apply for a study tour, please visit our website: www.goethe.de/top.
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