WorldStrides Announces Re-alignment of Higher Education Division | WorldStrides

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.—WorldStrides has announced a re-alignment of its higher education division, with departments now focused separately on study abroad and faculty-led travel programs.

WorldStrides ISA Custom Programs, led by Senior Vice President and General Manager Michael Smith, will focus on faculty-led and short-term programs. The group will include team members from WorldStrides headquarters in Charlottesville and from International Studies Abroad in Austin, bringing together two groups that previously operated on their own. This partnership will offer the widest and deepest capabilities in faculty-led and custom programs with opportunities for travel programs in more than 105 countries in a wide variety of program formats and lengths with flexible academic and logistical components.

“Universities are growing their portfolio of faculty-led programs in an effort to engage the broader campus and to diversify/grow the types of student participants.  We know how important it is to deliver rich and meaningful academic and cross-cultural experiences in these shorter, more intensive programs,” said Michael Smith. “Operating together, we’re well-positioned to help universities achieve these goals.”

International Studies Abroad (ISA) will make up the other half of the higher education division, offering individual students study abroad opportunities all over the world, with campus-based study abroad, internships, and service-learning. The Austin-based company will operate under its own brand name as part of the WorldStrides family.

WorldStrides’ has also invited Cynthia Banks, an experienced educator and thought leader in international and higher education, to join the team as a consultant and strategic advisor. She will work closely with senior leadership to continue developing the organization’s strategy. Banks has over 25 years of experience in higher education as the Founder and CEO of GlobaLinks Learning Abroad (formerly known as AustraLearn). She started her own consulting practice when GlobaLinks Learning Abroad was sold to International Studies Abroad (ISA) in 2014.

Banks will also be a featured presenter at a one-day workshop on best practices in faculty-led programs in Denver, Co. on November 4, 2017. Banks is a frequent speaker and trainer at international education conferences and recently co-founded the Global Leadership League for Women.

“Cynthia brings a wealth of experience and expertise in international education, particularly in higher education,” said WorldStrides CEO Jim Hall. “She is a tremendous addition to the WorldStrides team and we look forward to working closely together.”



About WorldStrides

WorldStrides, headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., is the largest educational student travel company and study abroad organization in the United States. The company was founded in 1967 to provide middle school travel programs to Washington, D.C., and has grown to provide educational programs for more than 400,000 students annually from more than 7,000 universities and K12 schools to over 100 countries around the world. The organization’s full suite of programs are tuned to learners at stages from elementary through post-graduate levels, and feature specializations like performing arts, sports and travel study abroad. For more information on WorldStrides, visit



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