Announcing the Smithsonian University Travel Programs’ Global Faculty Challenge - WorldStrides

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – February 1, 2017 — Global perspective is the brass ring in higher education today. In a society that moves fast, students must be prepared for the realities of an increasingly connected world – whether studying anthropology, zoology, or any field in between.

To help college and university faculty across the U.S. meet the challenges of providing students with a global perspective, WorldStrides and the Smithsonian, through Smithsonian University Travel Programs (SUTP), are introducing the Global Faculty Challenge. This challenge aligns with WorldStrides’ commitment to the Generation Study Abroad initiative promoted by the Institute of International Education and supporting their goal to double the number of students studying abroad by 2019.

The Global Faculty Challenge, sponsored by SUTP through the financial support of WorldStrides, helps achieve the Institute of International Education’s goal by offering customized travel experiences where students can learn more about a variety of fields of studies along with a deeper understanding of the science, history, art and culture of the destinations.

The challenge is simple: Educators can lead students on a short-term travel program through SUTP that:

  • Uses the access to research sites and experts connected with the world-renowned Smithsonian in locations all over the world, including Panama, Iceland, Costa Rica, Peru to encourage students to think about their role as global citizens;
  • Aligns with a course curriculum;
  • Allows students to apply lessons learned in the classroom to the real world; and
  • Explore the world and have fun.

To be eligible, faculty leaders must work with the SUTP team to customize an SUTP travel program that departs between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2018 and that aligns with course curriculum, and recruit a group of 10 or more students to travel on the program.

Individual faculty who meet the challenge will earn $2,500 to apply to research or field study, mentorship, or to pay forward the experience of educational travel. An educational trip through SUTP will allow faculty to have a chance to represent their university or college on a custom trip and participate in a nationwide movement to see more students experience study abroad. This memorable experience will inspire students to broaden their perspective of their responsibility as a global citizen. A $100,000 fund for the 2017/2018 travel season has been set aside for the Global Faculty Challenge.


About SUTP

Smithsonian University Travel Programs is a collaboration between WorldStrides and the Smithsonian Institution in support of a collection of educational travel programs for university groups. The program itineraries are jointly crafted by WorldStrides and the Smithsonian, including the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, Smithsonian Center for Folkways and Cultural Heritage, Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian, and the National Zoo. These customized, faculty-led study abroad programs are designed to offer college credit, working through the faculty’s university or an online course through SUTP.

To begin customizing a faculty-led travel program to meet this challenge, contact the Smithsonian University Travel Programs team at 1-800-422-2368.

About WorldStrides
WorldStrides is the largest student educational travel organization in the United States and is accredited as a school by the regional accrediting bodies recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. WorldStrides provides educational travel opportunities to more than 400,000 students annually from middle school through post-graduate education. The organization has offices in 60+ locations around the world including the United Kingdom, Australia, China, and Canada. For more information on WorldStrides, visit  

Media contact:

Beth Campbell, WorldStrides Director of Marketing

Becky Haberacker, Public Affairs, Smithsonian

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