9 Great International Travel Scholarships for U.S. Teachers

To which magical places will travel take you?
To which magical places will travel take you?

During Boston Teaching Traveling Inspiration Night on March 31, 2011, fantastically useful handouts flew left and right, giving aspiring Teacher-Travelers the tools to see the world cheaply.

And through these articles, you, too, can see these handouts and learn of these resources!

In a previous article, we listed 100 Ways to Finally Start Traveling, ranging from structured to un-structured programs, with and without students.

What this new article will give you is specific links to prestigious, highly established programs for which you often must apply up to a year in advance.  But despite the long planning-ahead time, the payoffs are worth it! In fact, all opportunities on this list are sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA), U.S. Department of State, or US Department of Education.

Most of the deadlines for this year’s travel have passed, but simply click the link to find the dates for next year’s applications, or Google the name if the link is redirecting to the previous year. Do enjoy the accompanying photos from the exceptional Chihuly exhibit at Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts.

Without further ado, we give you:


1.) Distinguished Fulbright Awards in Teaching Program: Administered by the Academy for Educational Development, this program is open to elementary and secondary teachers.

What crazy things will travel help you see?
What crazy things will travel help you see?

Program dates: Three- to six-month programs.

Application deadline: December.

2.) Educational Seminars for Teachers: Administered by the American Councils for International Education.  Programs in Thailand and Uruguay are open to elementary and secondary educators.  Programs in India, Italy and Greece are for secondary educators.

Program dates: three-to-eight week programs in summer.

Application deadline: deadlines vary.

3.) Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange Program: Administered by the Academy for Educational Development, this program is open to elementary and secondary teachers.

Program dates: Fall semester, or academic year.

Application deadline: October.

4.) Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad- Bilateral Projects: This is a short term travel study abroad program for US educators in the social sciences and humanities for the purpose of improving their understanding and knowledge of other peoples and countries.

Program dates: 4- 6 weeks in the summer.

Travel is a boat to new possibilities.
Travel is a boat to new possibilities.

Application deadline: October.

5.) Fulbright-Hays – Group Projects Abroad: This program provides grants to support overseas projects in training, research and curriculum development in modern foreign languages and area studies for teachers, students, and faculty engaged in a common endeavor. Projects may include short-term seminars, curriculum development, group research or study, or advanced intensive language programs.

Program dates: short to long term projects.

Application deadline: October.

6.) Intensive Summer Language Institutes: Administered by American Councils for International Education, this program is for teachers of Mandarin and Arabic including elementary and secondary teachers, community college instructors, and those enrolled in teacher certification programs.

Are you trapped in a forest of work, now?
Are you trapped in a forest of work, now?

Program dates: Late June through early August.

Application deadline: March.

7.) Teaching Excellence and Achievement Award: Administered by the International Research and Exchange Board (IREX), this program is open to secondary teachers.

Program dates: Two week international programs in Spring/Summer with pre- and post- program professional development online and in Washington D.C.

Application deadline: TBA.   For updates on deadlines, please register on the IREX website.

8.) American Councils Exchanges, Training and Study Abroad: American Councils administers a variety of cultural exchange, study abroad, and research programs on behalf of both public and private funders.  Participation in these programs is through an open, merit-based competition, and facilitates mutual understanding between the United States and Eurasia, Southeast Europe, and South Asia.

Adventure out into the colorful world, fully funded!
Adventure out into the colorful world, fully funded!

9.) Teachers to Teachers:  Language, Technology, Math Science Exchange: Through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) of the U.S. Department of State, American Councils for International Education administers Teachers to Teachers: Language, Technology, Math, and Science Exchange Program (LTMS). With support from the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, Uchitelskaya Gazeta, and local education departments, the program aims to recognize the excellence and commitment of secondary school teachers and teacher-trainers in a broad range of subjects by providing U.S. based professional development seminars, practical classroom-learning opportunities, and preparation to conduct post-program professional development workshops for colleagues in Russia. Professional development seminars will be offered in teaching methodologies, curriculum development, and workshop design and implementation.


  1. says

    Hello my friends! I am from Kyrgyz Republic. Teacher of English
    and russian languages.Would like to have some experience
    abroad, so that to learn more, enhance and also too see other
    culture. I can also speak french. Will be very grateful if doneone can
    advise me. Thank you s much !!!

    Have a nice day))

  2. Jeannette C. says

    I am a Kindergarten teacher from NC. I am looking for any short term study abroad opportunities during the Summer. Any suggestions will be appreciated.

  3. Winnie says

    I’m Winnie from Tanzania and I am a Swahili and History Teacher in a public school, I would like to improve my English as a second language and the best way to learn a second language is by living with a native societies. So is there any possibility for me to get a chance in US or Canada to teach swahili while I am learning English? And can I get a scholarship?
    Thank you!!

  4. T. Jones. says

    Hi my name is T. Jones and I am an ESOL teacher from Georgia. I am looking for a summer language immersion program in Mexico. I am also seeking funding, can you point me in the right direction of what is available out there?

    • says

      What a great goal! There are many resources out there, but I couldn’t recommend a particular one. When I did language immersion in Mexico (and later in Guatemala) it was actually quite affordable (cheaper than being at home!) so consider how you could do small fundraising and rearrange your daily budget. All these things add up, and you will be SO HAPPY once you go. It will be worth it!

  5. says

    Working through a local Vermont non-profit organization and the center for education at Vermont State University at Castleton, we are building an exchange program between an elementary school and high school in Vermont and an elementary school and High School in Awassa Ethiopia. We hope to pilot next year and alternate US teachers going there for two weeks and then the next year Ethiopian teachers coming to VT for two weeks, alternating residencies for ten years. We think we might be able to use district PD funds to pay for American teachers going there…but we are looking for funds to bring the Ethiopian teachers here. We’re looking for any ideas that people have of who might fund such an exchange?

  6. mike kioko says

    I am a kenyan secondary school teacher of english and literature. I would like to

    take part in international conferences and trainings for teachers.

    Somebody advise me. I will be very grateful.

    Thank you.


  7. joanne lau says


    I just got accepted into the IUP Intense summer mandarin program in Beijing and I am currently an elementary school teacher who will be teaching in Bilingual Mandarin Classes in California soon. Are there any grants or scholarships still available?

    Thank you.

  8. Daudi says

    Hi,I’ Daudi from Tanzania i teach Swahili here in Tanzania.I would like to learn more English.i understand that the best way of learning a second language is by living in a society that speak the language.I want to improve my English. Is there any opportunity for Swahili teacher to teach in Us for short period of time?

    • says

      Hi Daudi! Great to hear from you. Unfortunately, these scholarships are for U.S. teachers, BUT I KNOW there exist some scholarships out there for great foreign teachers like you to study in the U.S. for a short period. Good luck searching, and let us know what you find!

    • Ashley says

      Daudi: Where in Tanzania are you from?? I was in Tanzania (near Arusha… Tengeru to be specific) in 2005. I am now teaching students from other countries in the US and thought we could maybe help each other out. I am also interested in coming back to Tanzania at some point to teach and/or visit. Please e-mail me and we could talk about this and perhaps find some programs for each other! :) -Ashley

  9. says

    Hi! I’m Marlon D. Lopez from Philippines, an Elementary Teacher for 7 years. I’m so interested about the scholarship you offered but the problem is how can I avail it? Our system of education here is completely different from yours. At my age, I want to learn more and enhance my skills in teaching and I know that through your scholarship, it will help me a lot especially in teaching learning process. I hope through this comment, you will help me to get a scholarship program. Thank you and more power!

    • teachingtravel says

      Marlon, thanks for your comment, and that is wonderful that you are seeking a scholarship to travel. To be clear, these are not scholarships that I run (I am just a teacher and website designer!) but rather a list of scholarships the U.S. Government offers. You make a wise point that there is a very different process for teachers from other countries to get funding… But opportunities exist for you if you keep looking. For example, the Fullbright scholarship does have money and programs for international teachers to come to the U.S. if you can make it through the looong application process. Good luck and let us know what you find!

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