If you are battling long airport security lines this week, planning your next big trip may seem like the last thing you want to be doing right now. But in many ways, winter break is the perfect time to start making plans for next summer. You have time and space to clear your head and to imagine yourself outside of the daily grind of teaching.

Is there a part of the world you’ve always wanted to visit? Is there a topic in U.S. history that you want to brush up on? Take a look at the list  below for several current opportunities, most of which are fully funded. You can also check out this blog from teacher travel guru Lillie Marshall for even more ideas.

The following three programs have January application deadlines. They are all on my short list of programs that I hope to do in the future.

Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program: Spend a week aboard the ship National Geographic Explorer learning about geo-literacy. You can travel to Antarctica, the Galapagos Islands, Iceland, Greenland, Arctic Svalbard, British and Irish Isles, or Norway’s fjords.

HURRY! Application deadline: January 3.

Japan-U.S. Teacher Exchange for Education and Sustainable Development (ESD): A two-way exchange for teachers interested in sustainable development, which includes joint conferences with Japanese and U.S. educators in both Tokyo and San Francisco. Travel to Japan is in late June.

Application deadline: January 20.

Transatlantic Outreach Program: A two-week study tour of Germany for social studies and STEM educators.

Application deadline: January 25.

February/March Deadlines

Keizai Koho Center Teacher Fellowship: A ten-day study tour of Japan for middle and high school social studies teachers.

Application deadline: February 15.

Gilder Lehrman Teacher Seminars: There are 30 different U.S. history seminars to choose from, but you don’t have to be a history teacher to apply. The seminars are open to full-time K-12 teachers and librarians. They give you up to $400 to cover travel expenses. Tuition and room and board (university dorms and campus cafeteria) are free. If you are looking for a way to go back to college for a week, this is your chance. (I spent a week at Columbia University in 2011.)

Application deadline: February 29. 

NEH Summer Programs for Educators: The National Endowment for the Humanities offers tuition-free weeklong workshops all over the country. They also have longer summer seminars (2-5 weeks) on a variety of topics. They provide a stipend to cover travel and lodging costs.

Application deadline: March 1.

Federal Trials and Great Debates in U.S. History: If you teach U.S. History or Government, definitely check this program out. Participants spend a week in Washington DC studying three landmark federal trials. You meet with prominent history professors and federal judges who explain the background of the cases. And you work with a team of teachers to design lessons. One of the best parts of the program is a field trip to the Supreme Court (I witnessed Justice Stevens’ last session in June 2010).

Application deadline: March 2.

Teachers for Global Classrooms: After completing an online course in the fall on best practices in global education, teacher fellows travel internationally during the spring or summer. There are also two symposiums in Washington DC during the program. I travelled to Brazil in July 2012. You can read about my experience on my travel blog. After completing the program, participants become eligible for $1,000 grants to support classroom projects. To apply, you must be a middle or high school teacher with at least five years of experience. Application deadline: March 17.

Study Tour of Turkey: If your area has a chapter of the World Affairs Councils of America, see if they co-sponsor this almost-all-expenses-paid 14-day study tour. This one is on my short list.

Application deadline March (exact date will be announced soon).

Please add a comment with any additional programs that you recommend. Have a great winter break (and get started on those applications)!

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