George Lucas Educational Foundation
Professional Learning

5-Minute Film Festival: Travel for Teachers

Whether you have the resources to travel internationally or just take a short trip, traveling can be enriching both personally and professionally for educators. Watch the videos in this playlist for some ideas!

June 1, 2012 Updated May 6, 2016
Photo credit: ©Gable Denims/500px

I know that teachers are natural adventurers: I'm the proud daughter of a lifelong public school teacher, and one of the things my mom loved best about being an educator was the opportunity to travel in the spring and summer. She brought artifacts, photographs, language, and lessons from every place she traveled back into her classroom, and her students were richer for it. Now retired, my mom made a goal of visiting every continent, and she goes to schools in nearly every country she visits, enchanting the children there with bubbles, pencils, and her trademark stuffed-animal backpack purses.

I'm sure you don't need convincing to see that whether you have the resources to travel internationally or just take a short local trip, traveling can be enriching both personally and professionally for educators. Just watch the videos in this week's playlist for some ideas!

Video Playlist: Travel for Teachers

Watch the first video below, or watch the whole playlist on YouTube.

  1. The Traveling Teacher -- Hello from Moscow (02:26)

    This teacher took a ten-month trip around the globe and video blogged the whole way! Read about her adventures and get resources on her blog.

  2. Applying for a Fund for Teachers Grant (03:53)

    Fund for Teachers is an amazing grant-making foundation, just for teacher travel. In this video, grant recipients talk about their experiences with the program, and offer tips for getting the funds.

  3. International Training Tour for Teachers (02:44)

    If you're committed to taking students abroad, it's worth checking out a commercial tour company that specializes in education like EF Tours -- they offer free trips for teachers who sign up with their program, to scout ahead.

  4. Travel Packing Tips from Explorica (03:23)

    This packing tips video is sponsored by Explorica, another for-profit educational tour company, but you may still find it useful if you already have your passport and ticket in hand!

  5. Earthwatch Educator Fellow Tells Whale Tale (00:43)

    Earthwatch is another fantastic org that offers travel grants for educators (and anyone else!) interested in citizen science. Here's a first-hand account from a teacher.

  6. Teachers Visit India: The School Connection (04:28)

    Six teachers from North Carolina travel to India and bring back their experiences to share with their students at their International Baccalaureate (IB) schools.

  7. What Is The Fullbright Program? (3:15)

    The most widely-recognized teacher travel program by far is the Fullbright Fellowship. This video from the Fullbright YouTube channel explains the history of the program. Check out the rest of their videos for tips on how to apply. 

  8. Today I Will ... (00:54)

    If you're even more adventurous, how about teaching abroad for a year? Organizations like the Council on International Educational Exchange have lots of resources for international teaching.

Resources for the Globetrotting Educator

Some teachers take groups of their students abroad, and others get the travel bug so bad they themselves end up spending years teaching abroad. Others make time for short-term summer trips, and some find ways to bring the world into their classroom without leaving town. Though many deadlines have passed for 2016 opportunities, there are resources in the list below that will help you plan ahead for future travels of all kinds.

Travel Grants and Opportunities
Teaching Abroad
Taking Students Along

Note: The companies in the list below are for-profit but offer free resources for educators.

Online Global Collaboration and Virtual Travel

Whether your time off from the classroom takes you to another continent or you settle in for some armchair adventure, here's to broadening your horizons this summer. If you've heard of any other travel programs for educators, comment below! 

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