International Exchange Opportunities

Global Classroom seeks to engage teachers and students on global issues that affect our world today. By providing information about travel opportunities to educators and students, we hope that global knowledge and understanding will be brought into K-12 classrooms around the Puget Sound region. Please explore the links below and check out the various international travel and exchange opportunities available to U.S. educators and students.


Links to program pages are embedded in the titles of each program.

Travel Opportunities for Students:

U.S. Youth Ambassadors Program

The Youth Ambassadors Program brings together high school students and adult mentors from across the Western Hemisphere to promote mutual understanding, increase leadership skills, and prepare youth to make a difference in their communities. Participants will engage in workshops, meetings with community leaders, community service activities, interactive trainings, cultural presentations, visits to high schools, local cultural activities, homestays with U.S. American families, civic education programming, and more. The application can be found here.

Critical Language Scholarship

The Critical Language Scholarship (CLS) Program is an intensive overseas language and cultural immersion program for American students enrolled at U.S. colleges and universities. The program includes intensive language instruction and structured cultural enrichment experiences designed to promote rapid language gains. Eligibility and application information can be found here.

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth

The National Security Language Initiative for Youth (NSLI-Y), sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, provides merit-based scholarships for eligible high school students and recent high school graduates to learn less commonly taught languages in summer and academic-year overseas immersion programs. Find out more about the application process on this page.

School Year Abroad

School Year Abroad (SYA) offers high school students the opportunity to study in France, China, Spain, or Italy. By staying with a host family and participating in educational travel around the host country, the experience is fully immersive. Rigorous course are taught in the target language and alongside other American students.

Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program

The U.S. State Department funded Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange Program (CBYX) is for motivated high school students who want to fully immerse themselves in German culture by living with a host family and attending a local high school. No previous language experience is required. Application timeline can be found here.

NorthWest Student Exchange

Established in 1987 as a non-profit organization, NorthWest Student Exchange offers a variety of international student exchange programs for both international and American high school students: academic-year, semester, reciprocal, and summer student exchange programs. To register for a program click here.

Youth For Understanding

YFU offers a variety of programs for High School students and graduating seniors, including yearlong, semester, summer, and short programs. YFU also provides a database of scholarships for prospective applicants. To create an account and register click here.

National Geographic Student Expeditions

National Geographic Student Expeditions offers high school and middle school students ages 13 and older opportunities to get out into the field and follow in the footsteps of National Geographic’s photographers, writers, and scientists. National Geographic invites the next generation of explorers to snorkel with marine biologists in Belize, go on photo shoots in Yellowstone National Park with a National Geographic photographer, help out with a community project in Nepal, and more. To start an application click here.

CET High School and Pre-College Programs Abroad

Relying on over 30 years of experience operating innovative and rigorous undergraduate study abroad programs, as well as high school programs such as Middlebury Interactive Language and the Junior State of America Diplomat Program, CET’s programs are designed specifically for college-bound students who have completed 10th, 11th, or 12th grade. Each of these theme-based programs provides students college-level academic instruction, complete student supervision and support, four lower-division college credits (1 credit of language + 3 credits of content), and of course, the cultural insight and personal growth that can only come from educational travel. CET also offers financial assistance, typically between $250-$2000 per student, depending on need.

To learn more and apply, click here.

Travel Opportunities for Teachers: 

Fulbright Teacher Exchanges

The Fulbright Distinguished Awards in Teaching Research Program provides an opportunity for educators from the United States to take part in a three- to six-month professional learning experience abroad to conduct research and pursue additional learning. Participants conduct individual inquiry projects, take courses at a host university, and collaborate with colleagues on educational practices to improve student learning. You can apply for the 2022-2023 program here.

Fulbright-Hays Program

The Fulbright-Hays Program awards grants to individual U.S. K-14 pre-teachers, teachers and administrators, pre-doctoral students and postdoctoral faculty, as well as to U.S. institutions and organizations. The Program supports research and training efforts overseas, which focus on non-Western foreign languages and area studies. The Fulbright-Hays Program is funded by a Congressional appropriation to the U.S. Department of Education

Grosvenor Teacher Fellow Program

The Grosvenor Teacher Fellowship (GTF) is a professional development opportunity for pre-K–12 educators made possible by a partnership between Lindblad Expeditions and the National Geographic Society. An annual competitive application process is used to select educators and host them aboard Lindblad Expeditions’ voyages for a life-changing, field-based experience. These exemplary educators complete a series of deliverables that enable them to transfer their onboard experience into new ways to teach students and engage colleagues. Through this opportunity, Grosvenor Teacher Fellows bring new geographic awareness into their learning environments and communities.

Teacher at Sea Program

For three decades, the Teacher at Sea program has helped teachers participate in annual NOAA research surveys conducted by our scientists. Teachers from around the country embark on a two to three week expedition at sea. They gain invaluable on-the-job experience and communicate their journey through a series of blogs and lesson plans.

Teach Earth Program

Teach Earth fellows step out of the classroom for 7 to 14 days and work alongside scientists to study nature, learning real-world research protocols, and recording observations and measurements in the field. They collect data that underpin scientific progress and can, over time, change the world. In the evenings, teacher fellows work together to brainstorm new lesson plans that will bring science to life back in the classroom.

The NEA Foundation Grant

Through the NEA Foundation Global Learning Fellowship, public school educators develop the knowledge and skills to integrate global competency into their daily classroom instruction, advocate for global competency in their schools and districts, and help students to thrive in our increasingly interconnected world. Fellows transform their classrooms to give students a global perspective.

Keizai Koho Center Teacher Fellowships

The program aims to deepen participants’ understanding of Japan and contribute to international mutual understanding across the Pacific. Their experiences and findings in Japan have significant value to their students, who will build future ties with Japan. Only eligible to Social Studies teachers grades 6-12.

Abroad in Britain Scholarships

Every year, the ESU provides nearly 50 scholarships for classroom teachers in their communities. ESU scholarships are for current classroom teachers attending our multi-week courses at Shakespeare’s Globe, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Oxford.

National Endowment for the Humanities

NEH offers tuition-free opportunities for K-12 educators and higher education faculty to study a variety of humanities topics. Stipends of $1300-$3450 for residential programs and $650-$1725 for virtual programs help cover expenses for these one- to four-week programs. Applications for all programs close on March 1, 2022.

Goethe-Institut Transatlantic Outreach Program – Germany

Founded in 2002, the Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP) is a public/private partnership that provides curriculum and study tour experiences relevant to contemporary Germany for specific multiplier groups in North America, including social studies educators, STEM educators, and workforce development professionals interested in the German apprenticeship model.

GEEO Study Tours

Education is at the heart of our society and teachers with greater global perspectives provide richer experiences for those they lead in the classroom. Founded in 2007, Global Exploration for Educators Organization (GEEO) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization that has sent over 3,000 teachers all over the world on adventurous travel programs. GEEO’s teacher travel programs are 5 to 23 days in length and are designed and discounted to be interesting and affordable for teachers. The trips are open to all nationalities of K-12 and university educators, administrators, retired educators, as well as educators’ guests.

The Laurasian Institute, New Perspectives Program

Providing middle and high school students and their teachers the opportunity to delve deep into self-selected themes of Japanese language, history, society, and culture since 1992, the success of the program is something of which we are extremely proud and the quality of each of the three phases something we take very seriously. The program begins by offering what few other programs can: the opportunity for younger students to be exposed to curricula designed by notable scholars of Japan. The lessons build to a class study trip to Japan—complete with a homestay experience, visits to local schools, and group study travel throughout the regions most pertinent to the study theme.

Joseph J. Malone Fellowship in Arab and Islamic Studies

Since 1984, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations has provided American professionals in academia, government, and business unparalleled educational experiences in the Arab world through the Joseph J. Malone Fellowship in Arab and Islamic Studies. The Fellowship projects its participants into the dynamics of Arab-U.S. relations and provides first-hand exposure to the region’s considerable cultural, economic, political, and social diversity pursuant to increased knowledge and understanding.

Toyota International Teacher Program

The Toyota International Teacher Program was an international professional-development opportunity for U.S. secondary school teachers, that focused on environmental stewardship and global connectedness. Selected teachers traveled on a short-term (2-3 week) study tour to a country at the forefront of innovative solutions to environmental challenges. The teachers explored environmental issues through hands-on activities and incorporated what they learned into interdisciplinary and solution-focused lesson plans to share with their students and communities in the U.S.

PolarTREC Programs

STEM at the Poles! was developed based on the strengths of the past PolarTREC (2007-2018) and TREC programs, as well as other teacher research experience (TRE’s) programs. PolarTREC has been around for over 10 years providing over 170 U.S. teachers a unique opportunity to work with scientists in the polar regions. It is a multi-year project with four major categories of interrelated activities making up the PolarTREC Teacher Research Experience Model.

Monarch Butterfly Scholarship Grant

The Monarch Butterfly Scholarship Grant is open to any person in the United States who is an environmental educator, including preschool, elementary, middle and high school teachers; college professors; educational exhibition curators; nonprofit outreach specialists; textbook authors; documentary producers; and more. Teachers earn the opportunity to experience the monarch butterfly migration while traveling on a small-group adventure led by premier naturalist guides. learn about this astounding natural phenomenon while witnessing millions of monarchs gathering at their winter roosting sites in Central Mexico’s forested highlands.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Research, EARTH Program

Recognizing the need to educate the public about the value of research and help them understand scientific methodology, this MBARI/Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA) collaboration allows us to test new ideas for public outreach and education. One of MBARI’s joint projects with MBA, Education and Research: Testing Hypotheses (EARTH) lays new groundwork, providing teachers with a means for integrating real-time data with existing educational standards and tested curriculum in an interactive and engaging way.

Lloyd Bridges Scholarship, Roatan Field Survey

The scholarship, awarded annually, enables a qualified educator to participate in an educational scuba diving trip. CEDAM will cover the full cost of the field trip, including an allowance for meals and reimburse up to $1,200 for air transportation. REEF Field Surveys are led by REEF staff or expert volunteers; participants have the opportunity to collect data, participate in daily talks, and interact with REEF members, staff, and local partner organizations. This is a hands-on experience during which participants have the opportunity for experiential learning in and out of the water.

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