Teaching Traveling: Curious about funded teacher travel through the NEA Global learning fellowship? Let’s hear from educational grants expert, Andi Webb about the details for this opportunity to see the world while learning!
Andi: Are you a teacher who would love to travel but you’re, well, on a teacher salary? Did you know there are many opportunities for teachers to travel completely for FREE? Yes, you heard that correctly! Keep reading and find out more about one specific opportunity that I recommend.
My name is Andi Webb. I am an elementary teacher from North Carolina. I recently moved to Virginia to change roles in my career.
In May 2022, I graduated with my doctorate and in about a ten-year time span, have secured approximately half a million dollars in teacher travel grant and fellowship funding. You can too with a little work and elbow grease! Okay, maybe not elbow grease, literally, but simply some time spent on your computer completing an application to none other than… the NEA Global Learning Fellowship!
TT: Tell us more about the NEA Global Learning Fellowship.
A: The NEA Global Learning Fellowship application is typically open each spring. For 2024, the field study takes NEA Global Learning Fellows to none other than the beautiful, tropical Costa Rica. Thankfully, traveling to Costa Rica is not an April Fool’s joke, despite the application deadline for 2023 being April 1!
The NEA Foundation is a national nonprofit and philanthropic organization founded by educators in 1969, and each year this funded study tour travels to a different location. The photos I’ve included here are from when I did the NEA Global Learning Fellowship, which took place in Peru in 2022.
TT: What is the time-frame of this educational travel fellowship?
A: With the NEA Global Learning Fellowship, fellows spend a year immersing themselves in online coursework, webinars, readings, and reflections. At the outset of the fellowship, fellows join together in a two-day professional workshop in Washington, DC.
The culminating event of the fellowship is an international field study of summer travel in June or July. Throughout the year-long fellowship, teachers learn strategies to give their students a global perspective and connect with other educators from across the United States.
While participating in the international field study, fellows learn about the historical and cultural context of the country they are traveling to (which in 2024 is Costa Rica), learn about its education system, and meet other teachers, students, and administrators.
TT: Who can apply to the NEA Global Learning Fellowship?
A: You may be wondering if you are eligible for the NEA Global Learning Fellowship! Are you a public K-12 teacher? If so, you meet that eligibility requirement. You must have minimally three years of teaching experience to apply.
Educators with travel experience and those who have never left the country are both eligible to apply. The overarching eligibility requirement is that you have a deep-seated passion for advancing global competency and preparing students to thrive in the interconnected global age, especially those who are early in their global competency journey.
You do need to be a member of the National Education Association to apply but if you are not, it’s not too late to join! If you are interested in applying for the fellowship, please read more at NEA Global Learning Fellowship.
TT: What was YOUR experience doing this travel fellowship?
A: As an NEA Global Learning Fellow, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to Peru and spend time with other educators learning about the culture of the country. We spent time in Peruvian schools, learned from our guides, and even hiked Machu Picchu. My photos here show glimpses of how fantastic the experience was.
Several of my friends from other states were selected as fellows and it was truly an amazing experience to visit Peru, spend time with friends, and learn about Peruvian culture from a firsthand perspective. I even was able to extend my time to participate in another fellowship I will share more about soon! Keep checking back on the Teaching Traveling blog to learn more.
TT: How can we learn more about the NEA Global Learning Fellowship?
Do you have specific questions? Having been an NEA Global Learning Fellow myself, I am happy to share my perspective. For those who want specific help on which grants and fellowships may be right for you, I am available for hire as a personal teacher grant/travel consultant — just reach out to me at teachandtraveltheworld at gmail dot com.
And, please don’t forget — applications for the NEA Global Learning Fellowship with an international field study are due exactly by the stated date — no later (ex: April 1, 2023). If this year may not be the year you are interested, check back each spring to learn more about this amazing opportunity shared through NEA. Who knows which country they will travel to next?
TT: Thanks so much, Andi! Readers, what questions or comments do you have?
Want more? Browse the full Teacher Travel Grants and Scholarships section of this site!
The author, Lillie Marshall, is a 6-foot-tall National Board Certified Teacher of English from Boston who has been a public school educator since 2003. She launched TeachingTraveling.com in 2010 to share expert global education resources, and over 1.6 million readers have visited over the past decade. Lillie also runs AroundTheWorld L.com Travel and Life Blog, and DrawingsOf.com for educational art. Do stay in touch via subscribing to her monthly newsletter, and following @WorldLillie on social media!
Saturday 4th of March 2023
hello dear, I am interested too, looking forward
Monday 27th of February 2023
I am interested! When is the actual trip?!
Tuesday 28th of February 2023
Hi Holly! For the program with the application due April 1, 2023, the trip to Costa Rica is during a 10-day visit in June and July of 2024. Subsequent years will likely have similar structures, with the applications due in spring, and the international travel happening in the summer of the following year.