Program Overview

Tricontinental Teacher Training (TTT) is an exchange program for pre-service teachers and soon-to-be pre-service teachers at the UNC School of Education to engage with pre-service teachers at the University of Hamburg (Germany) and the University of Education, Winneba (Ghana).

TTT’s purpose is to foster the professional development of budding teachers across contexts. As TTT Fellows navigate new linguistic and cultural spaces and education systems, they are forced to deal with uncertainty in their learning; this uncertainty is not dissimilar to what K-12 students often encounter daily in schools. TTT capitalizes on those experiences as a basis for reflection and learning with the goal to positively impact future teachers’ practice.


This project is partially funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) from funds provided by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Program Goals

TTT aims to boost professionalism before, during and after teacher education coursework and fieldwork by exposing future teachers to other cultures and encouraging them to reflect on their own experiences and perceptions.

Through the year-long engagement in the digital classroom, TTT Fellows will have the opportunity to observe, analyze, and discuss lessons, educational systems, and pedagogical methods with their buddies from Germany and Ghana. These experiences are intended to prepare TTT Fellows for their work in diverse classrooms. The project gives participants an opportunity to reflect on their preconceptions about other educational systems and expand their knowledge and skills, by exploring topics and challenges they are likely to encounter in their future career. Participants also hone their academic skills by participating in a group-based research project.

Program Arrangement

TTT Fellows from UNC School of Education are paired with student teachers from the University of Hamburg (Germany) and the University of Education, Winneba (Ghana) in Fall 2021.

A tricontinental exchange begins in our virtual classroom, where buddies start to grapple with the contexts and concepts which affect their work in learning to become teachers. Later, when TTT Fellows from the University of Hamburg visit UNC Chapel Hill in Spring 2022, UNC’s TTT Fellows will continue this learning face to face by joining them for seminars and activities. In summer 2021, UNC’s TTT Fellows will spend four weeks studying and visiting schools in Hamburg, Germany at the Universität Hamburg “Study Camp” alongside their buddies from Hamburg and Ghana. The full exchange program takes place over the course of nearly three semesters (see schedule below).

Program Schedule

Detailed schedule for students at the UNC School of Education

June 2021: TTT Fellows Applications Open

July 23, 2021: Priority Application Deadline

August 31, 2021: Final Admission decisions

September 2021 – February 2022: Monthly seminars for UNC TTT Fellows with Dr. Papoi and Dr. Gulledge

October 2021 – February 2022: Virtually work with TTT buddies in Hamburg and Ghana

February/March 2022: German student teachers visit Chapel Hill

May/June 2022: Study Camp in Germany for UNC TTT Fellows

How to Apply & Deadlines

Program is open to current MAT and pre-MAT students.

In order to apply you must complete the TTT Program application.

Priority Deadline: July 23, 2021

Final Deadline: August 31, 2021

Application requirements:

  • Complete application form
  • Upload an unofficial transcript (undergraduate)
  • Write a personal statement that explains why you are interested in becoming a TTT Fellow and how you anticipate the experience will impact your growth as a pre-service teacher and your future teaching practice.