We believe in dreaming big. It’s how our company was born, and it’s what we hope to give all the students who travel with us: confidence and big ideas for the future, based on what we can learn from our journey today. Take a walk with us and see how we began...
A middle school social studies teacher from Chicago, Phil Wendel, discovered the incredible educational experience of traveling to Washington, D.C., with his students.
He was so encouraged by the powerful effects that travel had on his students, Phil left teaching to create Lakeland Tours. His vision to make educational travel easy, fun, and safe for teachers and students came to fruition, as Lakeland Tours grew and became the leader in educational student travel.
Lakeland Tours became accredited by the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools (now the Northwest Accreditation Commission, part of AdvancED), making it the first accredited organization of its kind.
From 1998 to 2001, Lakeland Tours join forces with other leaders in the student travel field – American Student Travel, Bowl Games of America, Educational Field Studies, Heritage Festivals, and Wider Horizons – to form WorldStrides.
Classic Festivals joins WorldStrides as a member of the Performing Division.
WorldStrides’ educational mission broadens to include “a commitment to environmental stewardship,” and its Science Action and Adventure Series was born.
WorldStrides expands its university offerings to bring Accent Travel Group and its focus on MBA programs to the WorldStrides family.
WorldStrides welcomes New Century Tours and TravelMBA, further expanding the family.
WorldStrides renews its accreditation through the Northwest Accreditation Commission (now part of AdvancED) and becomes accredited by multiple regional accrediting agencies, including the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, Middle States Association Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools (now Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools), and AdvancED, the parent organization for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement and the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement.
WorldStrides welcomes Casterbridge Tours, a leading provider of art, literature, language, and history programs to Europe, Asia, and Africa.
WorldStrides begins offering short-term immersion experiences directly to students to destinations worldwide. In addition, WorldStrides welcomed NETC, adding to an already extensive repertoire of international travel programs for high schoolers.
WorldStrides goes down under, expanding into Australia. Additionally, WorldPass joins the WorldStrides family, and WorldStrides unites its programs for high school groups under a single name.
Oxbridge Academic Programs joins the WorldStrides lineup, with academically intensive programs for 8th to 12th graders, held at top universities, like Oxford, Cambridge, Columbia, and L’Academie de Paris.
A busy year of growing! Outside the U.S., WorldStrides welcomes Rhapsody Tours of Kent, England and the Center of International Business and Commerical Law (CBL) to the fold, which adds depth to its existing UK and China-based presence. Then, Excel International Sports comes on board as the leading provider of specialized international sports travel for elite club, high school, and university level sports teams. Before year’s end, WorldStrides enters the field of long-term study abroad by welcoming International Studies Abroad (ISA) to the family. This established Austin-based organization brings a global network of offices and host university partners to the team!
WorldStrides renews its accreditation as a school from AdvancED, the largest accrediting organization in the world, and receives high marks for its commitment to educational transformation for students. Additionally, Explorica joins the WorldStrides family.
WorldStrides celebrates 50 years enriching students’ lives. WorldStrides also escorts more than 6,000 students to witness the presidential inauguration. The organization re-aligns its higher education division to better leverage the teamwork of WorldStrides and ISA to focus on faculty-led and custom programs.