How teachers can travel the world for free

I had the honor of traveling to Brazil last summer with the Teachers for Global Classrooms (TGC) program. I spent two weeks visiting schools and learning about Brazilian history and culture. The trip was fully funded by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and administered by IREX. It wasn’t completely free, though; I had to work pretty hard before and after the trip. Last fall I completed an eight-week graduate level online class on best practices in global education. And I just submitted an intensive capstone project that I have been working on for the past few months. So, was it worth all the extra work? Absolutely!

When our TGC cohort of sixty-five teachers from around the country convened in Washington DC last February for our pre-travel symposium, I realized very quickly that I was among my own kind. Almost everyone there had participated in multiple study and travel abroad programs, most of them completely free. This wasn’t my first trip either. I have traveled to Guatemala with students four times in the past several years, and I plan to go on my fifth trip next summer. Six years ago I traveled with students to China for three weeks. All these travel experiences have been fully funded. They have all enriched my teaching practice, and in the case of Brazil, my understanding of education systems around the world.

If you have always wanted to travel in the summer (or for the year), but didn’t think you could afford it or didn’t know where to look, browse through this list of fully funded opportunities. Keep your eye on the Department of State’s Exchange Programs website for updated deadlines. The world is waiting for you!

Program  Application Deadline      Countries Visited  Length
Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange  October 15 Czech Republic, France, Hungary, India, Mexico, United Kingdom  Semester or year
NOAA Teacher At Sea Program  October 31  Our Ocean Planet   1-4 weeks
Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad  December 10 China  4-6 weeks
Distinguished Fulbright Awards in Teaching  December 15 Argentina, Finland, India, Mexico, Morocco, Singapore, South Africa, UK  3-6 months
Educational Seminars (ECA)  January India, Italy, or Greece  5-8 weeks
Transatlantic Outreach Program  February Germany  2 weeks
Educational Seminars (ECA)  March Thailand  2 weeks
Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange Program for Education for Sustainable Development  January Japan  2 weeks
KeizaiKoho Center Teacher Fellowship  February Japan  10 days
NEH Summer Programs in the Humanities  March Germany, UK, France, South Africa, Italy, Ireland, Mexico, Spain, Belgium  1-6 weeks
Teachers for Global Classrooms  March Brazil, Morocco, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Ukraine  2 weeks
Study Tour of Turkey  March  Turkey  2 weeks
Toyota International Teacher Program  TBD Costa Rica, Galapagos Islands, South Africa  2-3 weeks
Climate Change and Caterpillars  TBD  Ecuador  10 days
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