Some people are born to travel. Many people think once they decide on a career path, such as pursuing an online education degree, their wandering days are a thing of the past. If you love to explore, but also want to teach, we have you covered. Whether you fancy a short jaunt to the next state, or an epic journey to the other side of the world, there is a program for you. There are many travel opportunities for Education Students and teachers, including unique programs designed just for people on a teaching trajectory.
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)
Every year, the National Endowment for the Humanities awards tuition-free opportunities to several educators interested in a wide array of humanities subject matter. Teachers of different backgrounds are encouraged to apply, from school aged teachers up through university level. All you need is a passion for education and the humanities. Each unique program is designed for certain people in mind, though, so there will be separate criterion for each seminar. According to the NEH, there are stipends ranging from 1,200-3,900 for programs that span anywhere from one week up to five weeks. The stipends are given to cover life expenses for the duration of the program.
In the past, there have been seminars around the world. Currently, there are summer seminars scheduled all over the United States. This is a great opportunity for those of you who really have an itch to explore, but aren’t quite ready to dust off the passport. Plus, there are so many beautiful things to see in the states, you won’t be missing a thing. You’re in for a treat with the variety of topics to choose from as well. There are seminars on the Chinese Exclusion Act, Charles Dickens, The Underground Railroad, and much more. As for location, the programs are located in New York, California, and everything in between.
Global Learning Fellowship
The Global Learning Fellowships were founded by the NEA Foundation to create well-rounded teachers with a deep understanding of today’s global society. The NEA knows that teachers must be exposed to world cultures and better practices in their field to effectively teach globally competent students in an ever connected, international community. The NEA states,
When teachers are able to engage in international travel, either for study or for their own personal benefit, they are able to share their learning experiences through social media with their students. The students can experience a personal interpretation of how various places in the world are different than where they live while they gain an understanding that people all over the world have many of the same needs and goals in their lives.
This deep and authentic learning by teachers experiencing the world, leads to real curiosity from their students. This sparks an organic exchange of ideas that will last the entire career, and lifetime of the teacher.
To get a feel for the program, the 2016 fellows are 30 award-winning educators from pre-K through 12th grade with diverse backgrounds, teaching a wide variety of subject areas. The fellows completed a year of online seminars, courses, and readings which culminate in June when they will travel to Peru. They will visit Lima and Cusco to visit local schools and participate in serviced based learning activities.
Joseph J. Malone Fellowship in Arab and Islamic Studies
The National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations founded the Joseph J. Malone Fellowship in Arab and Islamic studies in 1984. It allows American professionals educational experience in the Muslim and Arab world, which is paramount for being successful in today’s society. The namesake of the fellowship is to honor Joseph J. Malone, and his contributions to Arab and American relations. He spent his life as an author, historian, educator, and promoter of understanding of the Muslim and Arab world.
The fellowship entails an immersive study in a Middle Eastern country, which varies from year to year. The program gives American candidates a unique experience to immerse themselves in Arab and Muslim Countries. They will discover the hospitality and generosity that is engrained in the Arab culture. The last fellowship was hosted in the country Oman, where the candidates explored a UNESCO heritage site, attended meetings at the U.S. Embassy, and conversed with locals.
The Gilder Lehrman Teaching Seminars consist of a one week accelerated study of American history on a given topic. There are several different one week seminars that take place throughout the summer, and must be applied for separately. The program is usually offered domestically, but is hosted internationally from time to time. These academically rigorous seminars are offered to educators teaching grades K-12, and are considered to be qutie competitive.
If you are thinking of pursuing a graduate online education degree while teaching, these seminars are meant to help with that goal. The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History has a partnership with Adams State University to award graduate credits for the seminars attended, as well as online courses.
The summer internship credits may also transfer to the college of your choice. Some of the courses this summer are: Native American History, The Age of Jim Crow in History and Literature, 9-11 and American Memory, and much more.
US-China Education Council (USCEC)
The US-China Education Council is meant to act as a bridge for American people interested in visiting China, to further their understanding of Chinese civilization, life, and history. The programs of USCEC create a cross-cultural exchange of ideas.
The programs are in place to promote travel to China as well as afford teaching and study opportunities in the country. There are programs that run from one week all the way up to one year. Visitors will be encouraged to learn the local language, visit important sights such as: the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, the Temple of Heaven, Summer Palace, and much more. If you choose this program, you will have an opportunity to not only learn about the historical importance of many of the places through books, but also stand on the ground where the history took place.
In addition to the historical and cultural aspects of the culture, you will also be able to partake in the ever so important gastronomical sights. Chinese food is famous the world over. Go to the birthplace of Chinese food, and don’t be afraid to try new things. While the Chinese food in China may not be the same as Americanized Chinese food, you might be surprised by how much you really like it. Real Chinese food is amazing. You can almost taste the history of trade routes and cultural influences on every plate.
NOAA Teacher at Sea
You may have noticed, the constant talk of global warming or climate change. It is everywhere; you hear it on the news, from politicians, and of course scientists of all disciplines.
An overwhelming percentage of climate scientists (around 97%), agree that climate change is real. Our planet is in danger. Climate change is a real threat to the world, and we have to find ways to combat this global threat. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,
“The mission of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Teacher at Sea Program is to provide teachers hands-on, real-world research experience working at sea with world-renowned NOAA scientists, thereby giving them unique insight into oceanic and atmospheric research crucial to the nation. The program provides a unique opportunity for kindergarten through college-level teachers to sail aboard NOAA research ships to work under the tutelage of scientists and crew.”
This program allows educators to become familiar with scientific research in a real life application, that just can’t be learned from a book. The teachers learn the problems our oceans and our environment face, as well as the current methods to prevent further damage. In turn, the teachers will bestow the knowledge and passion they have gained from their experience onto future generations. Each trip that is made through this program can change several lives, and perhaps even save the world.
The Korea Society Fellowship Program
Korea has a rich culture filled with folklore, stories, and an ancient history. The Korea Society aims to promote the presence of Korean history and modern politics in curricula across the United States. The society believes that the development of lesson plans centered around Korea in grades K-12, will promote a better understanding and relationship between the two countries.
This program allows American teachers a unique and exciting experience to visit Korea and enjoy all that it has to offer. Participants will be able to examine modern day Korea as well as look at the country through a historical lens. The fellowship affords teachers a way to view Korea as not only a point on a map, but also as a second home.
The Korea Society Fellowship Program has three seminars annually. They are offered in the spring, fall, and summer. Each session runs about two weeks, and will include lessons, debates, and tours. The tours will include visits to important places and historical sites such as: various museums, King Sejong’s Royal Tomb, Haeinsa, the Early Printing Museum, Yangdong Historic Village, and much more. This is an opportunity that will make you a better teacher and a well versed person.
The Laurasian Institution
The Laurasian Institution is a group of people who have a passion for promoting a better understanding of different cultures the the global community at large. They believe that our world would be a better place if others’ cultures were respected. This includes increased social justice, world prosperity, and ultimately a harmonious world exchange. While this might sound like an impractical utopian ideal, there is definitely some validity to that reasoning. It is extremely hard to wage war on a country that you view its inhabitants as human beings with thoughts and feelings.
There are several exchange programs for American and Japanese students and teachers who would like to participate in an educational and cultural transfer of ideas. There are intensive language programs, hosting of high school students, and much more. For American teachers, the main goal of the program is to teach respect and understanding of Japanese society, so that they can teach it to their students. They want the teachers to leave the program with an enhanced cognition of the world around them.
There are three phases to the teaching program: Choose your focus, shift your focus, and stay focused. Choosing your focus means the teacher will study about an area of Japanese society that they would like better understand, such as Japanese architecture or cuisine. Then, they will teach what they have learned to their students throughout the academic school year. The second portion of the program is where you shift your focus.
The teachers then visit Japan for two weeks where they will have complete immersion into Japanese culture, including a homestay with a Japanese family. Lastly, the stay focused portion focuses on the teacher sharing their experience with their American students for the rest of their career.
Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO)
This is a program designed specifically for teachers to explore the world. The Global Exploration for Educators, or the GEEO believes that a globally aware person makes for a better person, and a more equipped educator.
This non-profit organization was founded in 2007, and since its inception, has sent well over a thousand teachers on the journeys of their lives. Trips range anywhere from a week to about a month, and are made extremely affordable, so that teachers can participate. The trips are open to all educators, as well as their partners. Participants are encouraged to have fun while learning as much as they can about the region they visit. The ultimate goal is to pass the love of travel, acceptance, and peaceful exploration on to the next generation. The current trips for 2016 span all over the world including: Bali to Lombok, Bangkok to Hanoi, Costa Rica, Eastern Europe, Galapagos, Iceland, India as well as Nepal, Ireland, Israel, Italy, and much more.
There is really a program for anyone who is interested in international travel. Each different trip is tailored to highlight the sights, architecture, and culture of the
Earthwatch Education Fellowship
The Earthwatch Education Fellowship is open to teachers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. The program offers teachers a fully funded scientific research expeditions. Trips vary from location to location around the globe.
The mission of Earthwatch is to promote conservation and sustainability among teachers so that they can teach their children about what they have learned. This program is meant as a way to spread awareness about climate change. Teachers of all backgrounds are welcome, regardless of scientific knowledge. In fact, the teacher who participate are given a chance to learn the scientific process first hand.
Participants will work with world class scientists to collect data on climate change, ecology, wildlife, and more. Teachers will return from their expeditions with a new world view as well as scientific research that can make a real difference in their classroom and beyond.
Peace Corps Response
Have you ever dreamt of traveling the world while helping out your fellow man? If so, the Peace Corps Response might be just the program for you. It follows the same premise as the regular Peace Corps, but it isn’t a two year long commitment.
This program is perfect for educators or any skilled professional who have limited time to give, but would also like to share their talents and methods with people in need. The Peace Corps states,
“Peace Corps Response offers education assignments across the globe in critical need areas, such as English as a foreign language, mathematics, science, special education, and university-level training. Volunteers work alongside local teachers to introduce innovative teaching techniques at all levels of instruction, from primary school classrooms in rural villages to teacher preparation programs at urban universities.”
This program needs professional teachers with experience to help build a well educated world. Being a part of any Peace Corps program is the hardest job that you will ever have, but it is also the most rewarding. You will be taken out of your comfort zone to a place where you can experience new cultures, foods, and a different standard of living. For many, there is a period of culture shock, but after period of adjustment, life will continue as normal.
Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Program
The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching is a program that encourages teachers to strive for excellence, and rewards them when they go above beyond. This program is open to educators in the United States, as well as teachers in the following countries: Botswana, Chile, Finland, India, Israel, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Palestinian Territories, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, United Kingdom, and Vietnam.
Outstanding teachers in these countries are welcome to apply, but must have at least five years of full time teaching experience. People are encouraged to apply if they demonstrate an exemplary teaching record and meaningful relationships with students. Once accepted, participants will be placed at University level schools of education. They will engage in debates about education, take classes, attend seminars, lead classes, and collaborate with others to come up with the best teaching methodologies. The program ranges from three months to six months, and the courses are quite intense.
The teachers that participate are meant to excel in their areas of expertise, learn about another country, and also teach others about their background.
Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminars
The Fulbright-Hays Summer Seminar is a program that is awarded as a grant to educators and administrators that are responsible for creation and implementation of curricula in the fields of social sciences, humanities, and foreign languages. It is a short term program with an emphasis on study and travel to improve understanding of and knowledge of other countries and cultures.
The location of the program varies from year to year, but it is always located outside of the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Education,
“The Department of Education transfers funds through the State Department to Fulbright commissions in various countries to pay the costs with administering seminars. This partnership allows the program to use the services and expertise of binational organizations to plan and conduct seminars for U.S. educators.”
The fact that educators have little to no cost, allows a low barrier of entry, economically speaking. This allows for teachers to travel internationally who may not be in the financial position to do so. As we know, teaching is a noble profession, but it doesn’t certainly won’t make you a millionaire.
It is programs like this that can help add perks to the trade. Plus, summer vacations really do rock!
Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad
The Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad program is designed to support collaborative work overseas. This is a short term grants in research, curriculum development, seminars, study, and intensive language programs. The projects can be located almost anywhere in the world, with the exception of the United States, Canada, and Western Europe. An example of a past project took place in Jordan, where the participants spent four weeks taking intense immersion courses of Arabic, learning about the culture, volunteering, and visiting sights of interest.
Since this program is open to language teachers, there is a unique emphasis on learning language immersion. Obviously, the language projects will be based upon the indigenous language of the country, and participants are expected to have completed at least two academic years of the language before the Group Project Abroad program. The duration of the project can last anywhere from a summer all the way up to a year, however may not exceed a year.
People who participant in this program are definitely better teachers for having traveled. They gain experience that they would never have the opportunity to receive otherwise.
This program teaches conservation through a seven credit course, followed by a two week international field expedition. The Earth Expeditions program states that,
“Earth Expeditions is a groundbreaking global program supporting university courses, degree programs, and collaborative projects that are making a difference in Africa, Asia, Australia, and the Americas. Through Earth Expeditions courses, our mission is to build an alliance of individuals with first-hand knowledge of inquiry-driven, community-based learning for the benefit of ecological communities, student achievement, and global understanding.”
Participants will be able to travel to places around the globe to learn about best practices in conservation efforts, wildlife, and the local culture. One previous expedition was brought to Thailand where the program taught how the tenets of Buddhism were extremely important to Thai culture as well as their conservation efforts. The program is also meant to serve as an educational holiday, with activities like snorkeling, swimming, hiking, and whatever else the local terrain has to offer.
This is something that can be enjoyed by any educator with an open mind and an adventurous spirit.
Turkish Cultural Foundation Study Tours
The Turkish Cultural Foundation is a program open to middle and high school teachers, and it combines historical lessons through actual artifacts and historic sites. The tour focuses on giving a complete overview of Turkish history as well as a look at modern society. Here you can spend a day exploring ancient ruins, and have a cup of strong Turkish coffee or sweet mint tea afterwards, all while listening to music performed by Tarkan.
Taking part in this tour can help you speak with conviction when speaking about Turkey in relationship to current affairs and politics, and also when teaching a lesson on the Ottoman Empire.
Students will be more interested when learning from a person who has actually been to the region they are studying. It just adds more credibility. According to the Turkish cultural foundation, “As of 2015, 575 American teachers visited Turkey on the TCF Teacher Study Tours and over 3,500 teachers learned about Turkey at the Teacher Workshops with an estimated student impact of nearly 370,000.”
The impact of this foundation can last you a lifetime and impact many generations to come.
Teachers for Global Classrooms
The Teachers for Global Classrooms is a year long professional development program for educators in the United States. The program is open to teacher of primary school all the way through high school. The belief of this organization is that teachers must have a global competence to be effective at their craft in today’s society. Its goal is to bring an international perspective to teachers through training, field work abroad, and collaboration.
This program includes a mix of foreknowledge for teachers through online courses, and then later immersive activities. This program is a great way for teachers to learn in a nontraditional setting, and pass that knowledge onto their students. The Teachers for Global Classrooms professional development program is great for people who want to gain an in depth perspective of other people’s culture and our world at large.
The slogan of Primary Source is “Global learning matters”, and that is the entire mission of their organization. Primary Source tours are designed to enlighten educators and enhance their knowledge of other cultures. This organization offers free webinars for educators and their students, global learning partnerships to offer districts, and even custom services.
There are of course opportunities for teachers to embark on global learning adventures. Primary source participants travel with other educators who share a similar interest in learning about the world around them. Joining an organization like primary source is a great way to meet like minded individual with a passion for travel and education. You are likely to find lifelong friends to share many memorable adventures.
Fund For Teachers
Fund For Teachers states that their organization,
“enriches the personal and professional growth of teachers by recognizing and supporting them as they identify and pursue opportunities around the globe that will have the greatest impact on their practice, the academic lives of their students and on their school communities.”
But what does that really mean? It basically means that you can design your own fellowship.
Whatever and wherever you want to learn, the Fund For Teachers supports that decision. Teachers in the program are awarded up to $5,000 for individuals and up to $10,000 for teams. The educators in this program are able to think of their own strengths and weaknesses, the needs of their students and their community, and the best places for them to thrives.
It is an amazing way for teachers to feel a real sense of ownership over their own experiences. This will translate to a more effective experience.
Japan-US Teacher Exchange Program for ESD
The Japan-US Teacher Exchange Program for ESD is a fully funded opportunity for 20 teachers and administrators to travel per year in the exchange. Both teacher from Japan and the United States, won’t have to pay for anything, including accommodation, with the exception of a few meals. Teachers from Japan will travel to the United States in late April, and the teachers from the United States will travel to Japan in late June.
At the close of each session, the teachers will come together for joint collaboration. The main objectives of the program are for there to be an increased understanding and respect between the two countries. The foundation would like to deepen the effectiveness of the school curricula in both the U.S. and Japan, by encouraging adoption of international pedagogies and points of view.
Lastly, they would like to foster relationships of professional development between the two countries that can last the careers of the participants.
National Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellows
The Geographic Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship is a professional development opportunity tailored for current classroom teachers from grades K-12 who strive to give their students a well rounded geographic education. The program is open to educators residing in the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Teachers in this program are rewarded for striving for geographic education excellence by allowing them to learn through field work experience.
For example, this year’s fellows will be aboard the National Geographic ship to explore several regions which include: Antarctica, Iceland, Canadian Maritimes, British and Irish Isles, the Galapagos, and more. That should be enough real world experience to share with their students for a lifetime, but somehow, we don’t think these teachers could ever stop traveling now. The best part of the entire program is that it is an all expenses paid expedition, including airfare. Through these experiences, participants will be able to bridge communities together and make the world feel like a smaller place.
Educators’ Study Tour to Japan
The Educators’ Study Tour to Japan is a program sponsored by the Japan Society, and affords participants the opportunity to travel around Japan for three weeks. This is a time to experience Japanese culture and history, so that they can bring their experiences back to their classrooms. The study tour brings the teachers around various points of interest such as: Aichi, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tokyo, Nara, and Kyoto.
One of the most meaningful experiences is where the participants are placed with a family for a homestay. When living in a home with a local person, you can truly experience the culture of a country through the eye’s of natives. It gives you a greater understanding of a place, as well as deeper relationships.
Another important piece of the tour is that the teachers are encouraged to speak to survivors of the atomic bomb blast that hit Japan during WWII. This experience is not only a way for history to be told through a first hand account, but also a way to relate the human story of war. It is extremely important that teachers convey the horrific side of wars, so that perhaps we can avoid such ugly acts in our nation’s future.
Keizai Koho Center Teacher Fellowship
The Keizai Koho Center Teacher Fellowship, which is sponsored by the Japan Institute for Social and Economic Affairs and is in partnership with the National Association of Japan-America Societies, sends fellows on a 10 day trip to Japan. The program takes place over the summer, and is open to candidates from Canada and the United States. This program is an effort to allow teachers to gain first hand experience in modern day Japan to help them gain a global perspective.
The teachers will have full days of visits to Japanese companies, meetings with Japanese educators, cultural events, and homestays. Learning more about contemporary Japan will allow teachers to teach about Japan in their classroom with more knowledge and authority. It is an experience that the teachers will not soon forget.
National Consortium for Teaching about Asia
The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia has several opportunities to learn about Asian history and culture.
Typically, the courses take place over the summer, as a convenience for the teachers.
Depending on the type of travel you are looking for, there is probably a program that would suite you well. Current workshops taking place in the states are: Teaching East Asian Literature in the High School Workshop, which takes place in Indiana, Japan’s Olympic Challenges: 20th-Century Legacies, 21st-Century Aspirations, taking place in Colorado, Japan and the West: From First Encounters to Contemporary Global Issues, which will be in Washington State, and more. There is also an international study tour that will take place July 3-21, and will span two countries, China and Japan.
This professional development will consist of 30 hours of learning, as well as sight seeing to points of interest, and immersion into these two East Asian cultures.
Goethe-Institut Transatlantic Outreach Program
Since the program’s inception in 2002, the Transatlantic Outreach Program, or TOP, has sought out qualified educators to experience Germany in the best way possible, in person. According to the Goethe-Institute,
“TOP is a public-private partnership that promotes education about Germany, fosters intercultural dialogue, and provides the opportunity for North American social studies educators, STEM educators, and decision makers to experience Germany.”
While the best way to experience Germany is in person, you may want to brush up on the German culture and language before a trip. If so, the Goethe-Institut has you covered. There are articles about the current immigration wave in Germany, free tutorials with fun games on the German language, and many more resources. Once ready for travel to Germany, there are many exciting adventures waiting for you. There are trips from Berlin to Frankfurt, and everywhere in between.
This trip will leave you with a greater respect for the world around you, and a deep understanding of German history and culture.