No-Cost Summer Travel for Teachers
Do you find yourself thinking about how you will spend your long summer months as a civilian as the summer approaches? I adore enhancing the minds of students for ten months of the year, but as summer approaches, I wish to take on the role of the learner, preferably at the expense of someone else.
Every summer, educators can choose from a myriad of exciting vacation choices. Opportunities for intellectually engaging learning while travelling can be found via fellowships, workshops, seminars, and service travel, among other forms of educational travel. If you intend to take advantage of the numerous travel opportunities accessible to teachers, you’ll need to investigate your possibilities and begin submitting your applications as soon as possible. Deadlines are approaching soon, and invites are being sought after by a large number of people.
WHAT EXPERIENCE IS RIGHT FOR YOU?
Are you a newcomer to the world of teacher workshops? If this is the case, consider your choices (see below for links to various opportunities). Is it possible for you to spend a week, a month, or the entire summer in another country? Would you be interested in bringing your family? Are you willing to cover your own expenses? What are your thoughts on sharing a room with another teacher? Do you happen to have a passport? These are just a handful of the questions you should ask yourself before deciding which training will best match your requirements.
Village dancers perform on Yap, Micronesia, in this photograph. Photograph courtesy of Suzanne Acord
THE APPLICATION ADVENTURE
Every summer, I submit applications to a handful of workshops in the hopes of being invited to at least one of them. If I am not invited to an event, I never take it personally. Many workshop directors have very specific types of teachers in mind for their workshops, but they do not necessarily disclose this preference in the session description. Depending on the situation, they may be looking exclusively for new instructors or exclusively for experienced teachers. In contrast, if your application is incomplete or submitted late, it will not be considered, regardless of how amazing you are. There are many professors that submit multiple applications to the same workshop in order to be approved. So give it your best shot and try again!
Despite the fact that each trip opportunity is unique, the majority of workshops have the same application requirements:
Letters of recommendation are written in the form of an essay.
A vow to pass on what you’ve learned.
Do not allow yourself to be intimidated. I’m confident that I see the same people year after year since there are so few teachers who are ready to go through the application process to participate.
Teachers learn how to use traditional kitchen instruments at a National Endowment for the Humanities programme in Oakland, California. Photograph courtesy of Suzanne Acord
DECISIONS, DECISIONS, DECISIONS
If the idea of taking a foreign trip appeals to you, try travelling with one of the respected organisations listed below. Each of them has either been my personal experience or has been praised by others. While this list is by no means exhaustive, it might serve as a starting point for you as you search for the best suit for your requirements.
Response of the Peace Corps
Peace Corps Response offers the chance to serve for a significantly shorter period of time than the usual two-year Peace Corps commitment. Stints can last anywhere from a few months to more than a year. Due to the fact that many limited-term posts in the Peace Corps Response are focused on education, teachers are usually sought for these positions. Applicants are not necessary to have served in the Peace Corps, but they must have substantial teaching experience in order to qualify. Travel expenses are covered by the Peace Corps, and a modest living allowance is provided. The application process is time-consuming, so get started right now!
imagine a mountain village in the countryside of Japan. Photograph courtesy of Suzanne Acord
A tour of the Keizai Koho Fellowship
Keizai Koho, sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania, conducts two-week summer study tours in Japan with a focus on economics, business, and education. The trips are sponsored by the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania. Throughout the two-week period, the fellows attend lectures and tour cultural attractions around the world. In order to participate in the programme, participants must develop a lesson plan based on what they have learnt during the study tour — a tiny price to pay for such a great educational experience.
The Korea Society is a non-profit organisation.
Throughout the year, the Korea Society organises study visits to Korea for members of the public. The majority of the mornings are spent in lectures, with the afternoons being spent on cultural excursions to temples, palaces, schools, and restaurants. Please be advised that the training will demand substantial walking in hot and humid conditions. Additionally, upon your return to the United States, the Korea Society will require you to develop a course on Korean culture or history.
South Korean military men stand guard at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Korea. Photograph courtesy of Suzanne Acord Fulbright Programs
The Institute of International Education (IIE) is one of the world’s largest and most experienced international education and training institutions, with over 40 years of experience in over 100 countries. It provides a variety of teaching exchange opportunities through its Fulbright Programs. Program lengths and locations are subject to change.
Educator on the High Seas
Throughout the year, the NOAA Teacher at Sea programme provides students with hands-on learning opportunities. Students and teachers embark on an expedition aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research and survey ship in order to gain “clearer insight into our ocean planet, a greater understanding of maritime work and studies, and to increase their level of environmental literacy by fostering an interdisciplinary research experience.”
Gilder Lehrman is an American author who lives in New York City.
Gilder Lehrman is a non-profit organisation dedicated to the development of history education. The organisation has produced a variety of programmes for schools, teachers, and students that are available in all 50 states. Their workshops are mostly concerned with American and world history. In order to cover the costs of their workshops, private school teachers are obliged to chip in.
The National Endowment for the Humanities is a federally funded organisation that promotes the study of the humanities.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is one of the main donors of humanities programmes in the United States, and it offers dozens of workshops and seminars during the summer months. They are available in the United States as well as other countries and last from one and six weeks. Stipends are more generous for programmes that last longer.
The fine print: you should anticipate to get a 1099 tax form from the organisation for the amount spent on your travel. These “profits” must be reported to the appropriate authorities.
A ritual including drumming is performed at a monastery in South Korea by monks. Photograph courtesy of Suzanne Acord
I’VE RECEIVED AN INVITE — WHAT DO I DO NOW?
Are you interested in finding out what you should do now that you have received an invitation? I would be happy to share thoughts on pre-travel preparation and in-country travel. Let’s talk shop!