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Carols, Crooners, & Cheer: A History of Christmas Tunes

By the end of November, it begins. You start to hear the tinkling of bells and the swell of choral voices that marks the start of the holiday music season. While many of the more familiar classical carols were produced during the 19th century, the period from the Great Depression to the post-war 195... Read More

Rosa Parks

Standing Up for Justice: What Rosa Parks Can Teach Us

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks taught the world a valuable lesson: we can fight for our beliefs by not tolerating everyday acts of injustice and oppression. Our awareness of these injustices and our willingness to act against them may be present in our own private thoughts, in words shared with oth... Read More

Socially Distanced Cold Weather Activities

7 Ways to Enjoy Cold Weather While Social Distancing

As cold weather descends upon the Northern Hemisphere, the need to stay socially distanced is more important than ever. While it’s tempting to head inside for social time, consider some socially distanced cold weather activities to ensure that everyone stays happy, safe, and healthy this winter. P... Read More

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th & Superstitions Around the World

It’s Friday the 13th! Unlucky? Scary? Well, based on Norse lore, it possibly began when 12 gods came together for a dinner party in Valhalla. Loki, a mischievous god, crashed the party as the 13th guest, bringing all sorts of mayhem in his wake. Another thought is that the superstition comes from ... Read More

Book Lovers Day

Book Lovers Day – Interesting Facts about Books

As a travel provider focused on education, we love to celebrate books! Books are a fundamental building block for learning, creating understanding, and exploring our world and worlds from our imaginations. We hope these fun and interesting facts about books inspire you to celebrate Book Lovers Day t... Read More

Make Your Vote Count: Understanding the Electoral College

If we have learned anything as the 2020 presidential election draws nearer, it’s that your vote matters. Throughout the country, we witness long lines of early voters braving the elements to make their voices heard. Other important races this year include some seats in the US Senate and the US Hou... Read More

Noodles around the World

When you think about pasta, you probably picture a nice bowl of spaghetti—in reality, the pasta-bilities are endless! This beloved carb, with its multinational history and global presence, can be found in a variety of shapes, broths, sauces around the world. Expand your mind and palette by checkin... Read More

5 Halloween Traditions Around the World

Don’t look now…but it’s nearly Halloween! Celebrated in the U.S on October 31st, this popular holiday consists of costumes, chilling frights, and best of all, candy! With origins tracing back to the Celtic festival of Samhain, during which people who would wear costumes to ward off ghosts, Oct... Read More

8 Coffees from Around the World

The best part of any morning? A nice cup of coffee to start the day! While people all over the world wake up with this ritual, you’re likely to find a different cup of coffee in front of you depending on where you are. Americans tend to drink drip coffee with milk and sugar, but […] Read More

Pork Belly Sandwich

10 Must-Try Sandwiches around the World

The possibilities are endless when it comes to the sandwich. As simple – or as decadent – as you make it, this portable powerhouse of a food has had a long history. Our current idea of the sandwich was popularized in England back in the 1700s. John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, h... Read More

Ice Cream Cone

8 Kinds of Ice Cream Around the World

You scream, we scream, we all scream for ICE CREAM! This joy-inducing treat is a standard symbol of summer and is enjoyed around the globe. In honor of National Ice Cream Month, we’re taking our taste buds on a tour of ice creams around the world!   Mochi Ice Cream –... Read More

5 Ways to Defeat Boredom during Anti-Boredom Month

Did you know that July is Anti-Boredom Month? Now that we’re months into restricted movement and stay-at-home orders, your list of ways to stay entertained might be running low. Here are five ways you and your family can make this July one for the books! ... Read More

Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900, Texas.

Juneteenth: A Day of Independence

Though all Americans are familiar with the Fourth of July, that’s not the only holiday celebrating freedom in the U.S! On June 19, 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston Bay, Texas, which was still under confederate control. The army issued an executive decree freeing more than 250,000 enslav... Read More

First Dads: Fatherly Presidential Stories

The White House is truly a family affair – did you know all 45 U.S Presidents have been fathers? In honor of Father’s Day, we’re taking a look at some memorable stories from some of the most famous dads in the country. Like Father, Like Son In the course of our nation’s histo... Read More


Doughnuts of the World

A doughnut is a doughnut is a doughnut, right? Not quite! While most Americans envision a sugary piece of round fried dough, you’ll need another word to get something doughnut-like abroad! Berliner (Germany) This yeast-based pastry is fried and filled with jam, much like your typical jelly dou... Read More

Carnegie Hall OnStage Hero

10 African American “Firsts” at Carnegie Hall

Carnegie Hall is one of the most prestigious venues in the world for classical and popular music. Did you know that it also has a history of inclusivity? Even before other prominent stages were open to African American performers and activists, Carnegie Hall was a stage that welcomed them. Here are ... Read More

WorldStrides International Educational Travel - China

How to I Say I Love You – Around the World

Love. It’s the theme of epic legends and stories in every society across the world. And it’s in the everyday, in every language and every culture. Here are some ways people across the world express their love. Maybe these can create a spark for you! Oui? French I love you – Je t’aime Where t... Read More

Students can perform at nationally acclaimed Bowl Games like the Sugar Bowl, Orange Bowl and Holiday Bowl

Sneak Peek: Bowl Games Halftime Show Themes

It’s nearly that time of year again – College Bowl Game season! The preparation for what will happen on the field isn’t just for athletes. Every year, WorldStrides OnStage invites high school marching bands to perform across the different bowl game halftime shows. The work has alr... Read More


Tips to Travel More Sustainably

November 15 is National Recycling Day, an annual event started in 1997 to bring awareness to recycling. Also known as America Recycles Day, this event comes around each year to remind us to look inwards and see if there is more that we can do to take care of our planet. At WorldStrides, we thin... Read More

Capitol - Washington, DC

“Secret” Food Locations in Washington, D.C.

WorldStrides Course Leaders are among the most seasoned connoisseurs of our capital city. Part tour guide, part educator, part fixer-historian-planner-entertainer-leader-fun-fact-knower, they lead programs in and around our nation’s capital day after day and they have been around the block –... Read More

The Louvre - Paris, France

Best Movies for Sparking Travel Excitement

Ever seen a movie and thought, “Oh, I HAVE to go there someday”? Traveling the world vicariously through a film can be educational and inspirational! Whether you are learning about a new destinations and culture in preparation for traveling, or opening the door for new knowledge, a movie can be ... Read More

Endemic Animals Around the World

“Endemic” refers to a species that is uniquely found in one part of the world, and that part only! These types of animals are most commonly found in more isolated parts of the globe, like islands, but they can be found in other places too. Our map highlights some of these fascinating exclusive c... Read More

9 of the World’s Coolest Skyscrapers

Seeing unique and impressive architecture is just one of the many things we love about traveling the world. The world’s tallest buildings serve as both incredible sites…and also incredible places where you can look down on the sites that make their cities special! We put together a list ... Read More

Popular Foods from Each U.S. State

Warning! Do not read this if you are hungry. We recently created the most delicious map you’ll ever see, because it features all 50 states and what food each state is known for. 34 states have “official” state foods, and most of them have more than a few! So, we decided to learn a bit [&hellip... Read More

The Non-Soccer Fan’s Guide to the Women’s World Cup

The Women’s World Cup, the world’s biggest sports event for women, begins on June 7 in France. Here at WorldStrides, the excitement is building! That’s because our favorite teams from around the world will compete on the biggest stage in sports, and because our sports division, WorldStrides Ex... Read More


Origins of Dogs Around the World

Think about how many different dog breeds there are. Now think about WHERE all these dogs originated. It seems like everyone is obsessed with learning about their ancestries these days, and we love dogs so much it got us thinking – where in the world do some of the most popular dog breeds come fro... Read More

Mount Vernon

Presidential Homes in Virginia

Though Washington, D.C. is the home of the president while in office, the history of presidential residency runs deep just south of D.C. in the state of Virginia. Did you know eight former Presidents owned homes in the Commonwealth? Furthermore, visitors are still able to tour and explore six of the... Read More

Orange Bowl Marching Band Program

A Storied Past: The Super Bowl Halftime Show

Are you looking forward to the Super Bowl Halftime show more than the actual game? You are not alone! Through ups and downs, the famous (and sometimes infamous) big show at the big game has become a cultural icon in its own right. While the halftime show is now known for its spectacle – from [&hel... Read More

Holiday Toy Throwback: Popular Gifts of the 90’s

We love history, of course, and a look at the toys of the 1990s reminds us that history isn’t always long ago. We are taking a trip down memory lane this holiday season and reminiscing on many of the most popular toys of the decade.   Beanie Babies – Need we say mor... Read More

Capitol Christmas

Interesting Christmas Traditions Around the World

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The holiday season is a time of traditions of all kinds, and we compiled a list of some of the most unique ways people all around the world celebrate Christmas. Sweden – Gavle Goat Ever seen a 40-foot-tall goat? Since 1966, a 13-meter tall Yule Goat made... Read More

TaxSlayer Bowl Dance & Cheer Program Join WorldStrides OnStage programs in sunny Jacksonville, Florida to perform in the TaxSlayer Bowl Halftime Show and Downtown TaxSlayer Bowl Parade! Instead of choosing between attending a cheer camp or convention and performing on a big stage, why not get it all? The TaxSlayer Bowl offers your cheer team an opportunity unlike any other. The game itself averages more than 70,000 fans in attendance. Squads of all levels and size are invited; take advantage of world-class cheer education and grow your program with the performance experience of a lifetime! This event is open to performers aged 7-19.

Interesting Facts About College Bowl Games

College bowl game season is here, and WorldStrides OnStage will have 102 high school marching band and cheer groups performing in 7 different bowl game halftime shows this year – that’s 5,200 students! Bowl games have been part of American tradition for almost a century now, and we are lucky eno... Read More

West Coast Science and Technology. Solar Observation.

Explore WorldStrides’ STEM Programs

Through WorldStrides’ STEM programs, students can take advantage of our relationships around the country and globe to get unique insights into the worlds of science, technology, math and engineering. Here are a few noteworthy experiences students can have while on our STEM programs. Iceland He... Read More


Santas Around the World

Most Americans tend to think of Santa Claus as a large, jolly old man with a beard in a red suit. However, this “Jolly Old Saint Nick” is only one version of the man who delivers toys and goodies to kids for Christmas. Ever wonder what Santa Claus is called in different countries around the [&he... Read More

Hey Smithsonian – How Were Dorothy’s Slippers Conserved?

We all know “there’s no place like home,” and the Smithsonian Institution is lucky enough to be home to a pair of Dorothy’s original ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz. After over a year of careful study and preservation, these special heels will return to display on October 19, 2018, so vi... Read More

Williamsburg Governor's Mansion

9 Interesting Facts About Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg is often referred to as the world’s largest living history museum, making it an obvious destination for those seeking to experience something new…or old…you know what we mean. From an educational standpoint, the appeal of visiting Williamsburg is clear. In fact, the ... Read More

Cloud rainforest wild animal sanctuary, Costa Rica

10 Interesting Facts about Costa Rica

Nestled between Nicaragua and Panama, Costa Rica offers unique travel experiences and breathtaking views, but what you don’t know about Costa Rica may surprise you! We’ve compiled a list of 10 interesting facts that will not only make you want to pack your bags, but you ma... Read More

Star Spangled Banner Flag

The Star-Spangled Banner at the Smithsonian

Is this flag the single most important artifact at the Smithsonian Institution? It just might be. In celebration of the Fourth of July, we’ll be seeing a lot of American flags this week – on mailboxes, main streets, parades, t-shirts, and even painted on faces! It got us thinking about THE flag ... Read More

Dr. Neal Sikka - WorldStrides Medical Director

What is Doctors on Call?

If you have a medical emergency during your travel program, there is nothing more comforting than having a doctor on call. WorldStrides’ industry-leading health and safety measures include access to 24/7 medical support for travelers in D.C. and around the world. This is accomplished through t... Read More

Excel Sports Soccer Tours

The Non-Soccer Fan’s Guide to the World Cup

World Cup fever is kicking in! The world’s biggest tournament begins Thursday in Russia, and whether you are watching for what’s happening on the pitch or the sidelines, there is a lot to love. If you’re still learning the rules of the game and want to sound like you know what you’re talking... Read More

Presidential Inauguration

7 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Memorial Day

Memorial Day. Maybe you think of it as the beginning of summer, and time for a barbecue. While that’s all fun and good, it’s important that we don’t forget what the holiday is all about. Here are seven facts about why we really celebrate Memorial Day. Hint: None of them involve hot dogs. The t... Read More

5 Things Teachers Can Do This Summer to Prepare for Fall

End-of-the-Year Teacher Gifts They Really Want

As a former classroom teacher, it’s so gratifying to receive end-of-the-year teacher gifts as a thank you for teaching your child. But I’m going to share a dirty little secret that your child’s teacher can’t tell you: a lot of them probably go in the trash. It’s not that we didn’t love t... Read More

Jesse Varela

Airplane in the Smithsonian

If you’ve ever been to the National Air and Space Museum, chances are you’ve wondered – how does the Smithsonian get a plane in the building? (Well, maybe you have wondered this, or maybe you haven’t.) We have been wondering and we asked them! Here’s what the Collections Department, from t... Read More

Meet 11 Founding Mothers of the United States

Do you think there are “Founding Mothers”? The birth of our nation is often attributed to men we call “Founding Fathers.” In celebration of Mother’s Day, we’d like to spotlight a few of the women who made distinct contributions that helped shape our country in its format... Read More

Spanish Spelling Bee Awards

2018 Virginia Spanish Spelling Bee

Harrisonburg City middle school student Anish Aradhey was named winner of the Virginia State Spanish Spelling Bee. The Bee was held at The University of Virginia. Anish is now gearing up to attend the National Spanish Spelling Bee this July in San Antonio, Texas. WorldStrides V.P. of Education Wendy... Read More

Byodo-in Temple. Kyoto

12 Interesting Facts about Japan

The land that brought you sushi, bonsai, and the bright lights of Tokyo is ripe with fascinating tidbits. Get to know Japan (which—by the way—is the site of our brand new premier International Teacher Convention) with these 12 interesting facts. Japan consists of 6,852 islands. The islands were ... Read More

Washington DC cherry blossoms

6 Things to Know Before Cherry Blossoms Peak

Spring has finally sprung in Washington, D.C. and that means it won’t be long before the cherry blossoms are in full bloom. It is one of the most beautiful times of year in the nation’s capitol. Here are some important things you should know before venturing out to see the flowers: The f... Read More

Smithsonian Castle

Did You Know: The Smithsonian Logo

The next time you’re at one of the amazing Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C. – or reading Smithsonian Magazine, or, really, doing anything with our friends at Smithsonian– take a few minutes to pay some extra attention to the Smithsonian logo. It’s this one:   Simple enough, right... Read More

Olympic Rings

9 Facts About The Olympic Games Past and Present

If you’re like us, you’re glued to the 2018 Winter Olympics. We can’t get enough of the daring snowboarding runs, dazzling figure skating, intense skiing, and, of course the Norwegian curling team’s pants. With our Olympic fever high, we pulled together 9 facts about the Olympic Games past a... Read More

Valentine's Day Chocolate

7 Countries That Make The Best Chocolate

The stores are full of boxes of chocolates and confectionery goodies in honor of Valentine’s Day, but we don’t need an excuse to reach for a piece of the sweet treat. Sampling the local chocolate is part of the travel experience! Here are seven countries that make the best chocolate. Belgium You... Read More

Arsenal Soccer Stadium, Highbury, North London

5 Haunted Soccer Stadiums in England

A number of soccer venues carry a spooky aura around their history. In England especially, some of the most well-known stadiums have a haunted past. From experiencing supernatural phenomena to encountering ghosts around a venue, here are 5 haunted soccer stadiums in England. Highbury Stadium – Ars... Read More

Palais Garnier, Opera Paris

5 Haunted Performance Venues Around the Globe

We’re in the spirit of the Halloween season at WorldStrides, and have already shared haunted performance venues in North America. Now, we’re going global! Here are five haunted performance venues from around the world that famously boast a specter or two. Huguang Guild Hall – Beijing ... Read More

Excel Sports Soccer

9 Soccer Superstitions in England, Spain, and Italy

From animals on the field to clothing selections and video game covers, superstitions in sports have a deep-rooted history. In the global sport of soccer, superstitions are abound. Here are 9 soccer superstitions that players in three of our most popular destinations swear by. England One of the mos... Read More

FC Edmonton Excel Soccer

Performance Technology in Sports

The sports industry has smartened up to the idea of incorporating new and emerging forms of technology into the framework of the industry. Adding new innovations to maximize player performance has spring boarded the sports industry forward into the modern age for players and teams, a trend we’... Read More

Cliffs of Moher, Ireland

9 Interesting St. Patrick’s Day Facts

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Every March 17, countries around the world celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in observance of the death of St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland credited for bringing Christianity to the country. Initially a religious feast day in the 17th century, St. Patrick’s Day has ... Read More

Locks in Verona

6 Valentine’s Day Traditions Around the World

Across the United States and around the world, February 14 marks a day of celebration of St. Valentine. The legend of St. Valentine is shrouded in mystery. The Catholic Church recognizes at least three saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend says Valentine was a ... Read More

Cafe the Chocolat, Paris France

9 Winter Weather Folklore Sayings

Today, December 21, marks the first day of winter in the northern hemisphere! While it’s clear and cool at the WorldStrides headquarters in Charlottesville for now, we decided to have some fun and look up winter weather folklore to see if we can predict the winter ahead. We’re going to rely on o... Read More


11 Traditional Holiday Dishes From Around The World

No matter where you are in the world, food is an important part of holiday celebrations. From potato cakes to fish, cookies to hot chocolate, here are 11 traditional holiday dishes from around the world. Israel – Latkes Latkes, a potato cake fried until its golden and crispy, is a traditional food... Read More

View of Reykjavik - Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland’s 13 Yule Lads

Every country has their unique holiday traditions. In Iceland, children get a visit from not one, but thirteen Yule Lads, mischievous little fellows who take turns visiting children on the thirteen nights leading up to Christmas. Each night beginning on December12, children place a shoe on the windo... Read More

Pearl Harbor Battleship

Remembering Pearl Harbor

Today marks the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor. At 7:55 AM on December 7, 1941, Japanese fighter pilots set their sights on Pearl Harbor, an American naval base in Oahu, Hawaii. Two hours later, 2,400 Americas were dead, another 1,200 wounded, and nearly 20 naval vessels and more than 300 airplan... Read More

Why WorldStrides

How To Say “Hello” In 18 Languages For World Hello Day

November 21 marks the 43rd annual World Hello Day! World Hello Day was created in response to conflicts between Egypt and Israel in the 1970s. The peace discussion at the end of the war was the first time that Arab and Israeli officials met for direct public discussion in 25 years. World Hello Day w... Read More

Performing tour of Western Canada British Columbia Alberta

How To Combat Stage Fright

You’re preparing for your festival, but your students – maybe even you! – are starting to feel the effects of stage fright! Simply put, stage fright is performance anxiety. Those with performance anxiety will often focus on the worst case scenarios, worry about failure, and engage in social co... Read More

Eyjafjallajokull Volcano - Reykjavik, Iceland

Meet Smithsonian Expert Dr. Stephanie Grocke

Can scientists predict volcanic eruptions? Not yet, but Stephanie Grocke is working hard toward that goal. The volcanologist just finished her postdoctoral fellowship at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and will spend the next year researching volcanoes in Iceland. Dr. Groc... Read More

Toledo Street View. Toledo, Spain

How Traveling In High School Helped Shape My Future

Alex traveled with WorldStrides in March of 2014 to Spain and France. She and her classmates visited Madrid, Toledo, Barcelona, Carcassonne, Nimes, and Paris. Now a sophomore at Murray State University, Alex was inspired to double major in history education and Spanish education after her trip with... Read More

Social Sarah: 4 New Social Media Trends

School is back in session – or will be soon! – and teachers, students, and parents alike are gearing up for a year of learning. It’s almost certain that social media will play a part in your classrooms, whether you’re embracing it as a teaching aide, or trying to hold students’ attention w... Read More

Inauguration festival

Meet Smithsonian Expert Chris Wilson

The story of our democracy is written everyday by citizens – and especially by young people –  who help to shape our future with their decisions. This pivotal Inauguration will be one of those seminal moments. Chris Wilson, director of the African American History Program at Smiths... Read More

OnStage - Drummer band student

7 Tips For Building A Successful Music or Band Program

Summer is a time for teachers to relax – and to reflect on the previous year. How successful was your year? We know music directors are always looking for ways to encourage their programs to thrive. With that in mind, we asked accomplished WorldStrides OnStage music directors with experiences rang... Read More

Darth Vader

Should Darth Vader Have Been A Conductor?

We are thrilled to provide students the opportunity to work with some of the highest caliber music professionals. But there’s one guy we’ve not had the pleasure of working with… One name missing from our adjudicator list? Darth Vader. Hear us out. Darth Vader may have been a conduc... Read More

Jökulsárlón, Iceland

Meet Smithsonian Expert Jim Zimbelman

The story of our universe can be told by its plateaus, volcanoes, crevices, and canyons. This is the work of a planetary geologist, and Dr. Jim Zimbelman does it for Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum. His research in Iceland helped to inform our rich itinerary for faculty-led programs Sm... Read More

Service-Learning Tours in Peru – Peru Service-Learning tours

Meet Smithsonian Expert Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez

  The art of Peruvian weaving dates back over 2000 years. It is integral to Inca culture, and, too often, it disappears with the elderly artisans who once mastered it. When you travel on our Smithsonian University Travel Program to Peru, you’ll meet Nilda Callañaupa Alvarez. Her organization... Read More

Mount Vernon's Gardens

Q&A With Mount Vernon Director of Horticulture, Dean Norton

When students travel with us to Washington, D.C., or other east coast destinations, they often visit George Washington’s Mount Vernon. The historic home on the Potomac is an iconic American landmark and its grounds provide almost as much history as the home itself. While at Mount Vernon, students ... Read More


Meet Smithsonian Expert Dr. Shirley Anne Warshaw

Shirley Anne Warshaw is Professor of Political Science at Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and holds an endowed chair, the Harold G. Evans Chair of Eisenhower Leadership Studies. Her research focuses on the domestic and international policy implications of decision structures in the Whit... Read More

International Collegiate Theatre Festival. Edinburgh international student travel and performance opportunities. Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Want to perform at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

At WorldStrides, when we think of a stage, we think of all the players—the cast, crew, writers, directors and audience—coming together to create an unforgettable moment in time. That’s what our theatre performing opportunities are designed to create—a lasting memory. We offer two unique opp... Read More

Chinese New Year

7 things to know about Chinese New Year

Today marks the first day of Chinese New Year and the beginning of the Year of the Pig. Also known as the Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, Chinese New Year festivities last for 15 days and is a time for families to come together for cultural traditions, prepare for the good fortune to [&hellip... Read More

Groundhog Day

The history of Groundhog Day

Punxsutawney Phil is arguably the most famous groundhog around the world. On February 2, Groundhog Day, crowds wait anxiously for Phil to emerge from his burrow. If he sees his shadow, there will be six more weeks of winter. If he doesn’t see his shadow, an early spring can be expected. Groundhog ... Read More

Jeff Golden, Statue of Liberty, New York City

A visit to the Statue of Liberty

When one thinks of New York, many images may come to mind: Broadway, the Empire State Building, the Brooklyn Bridge, Radio City Music Hall. Another iconic symbol of the Big Apple? The Statue of Liberty. Most groups that travel to New York City with WorldStrides visit the Statue of Liberty. Lady Libe... Read More

Christian Travel - MLK Memorial

Interesting facts about the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

One of the sites students often visit when traveling with us to Washington, D.C., is the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Dr. King dreamed of a world with equality for all, and his memorial between the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials on the National Mall stands as a tribute to his legacy. Opened 48... Read More

Thomas Jefferson's Monticello

Touring Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello by night

When looking out of certain windows or enjoying lunch on the rooftop patio at WorldStrides, employees can see Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, sitting high atop its mountain. Last month, I took advantage of our proximity. Every December, Monticello opens its doors after hours for a look at how the J... Read More

Conductor Making Music

Top 10 signs of a conductor

At this season’s conferences, you’ll be surrounded by other music educators. In day-to-day life, however, it can be tough to spot your fellow directors. Here’s a list of key indicators that you’re in the presence of another conductor. Serious hair game   Talks with his or her hands. &nb... Read More

Giant Pandas

Meet Smithsonian expert Dr. Copper Aitken-Palmer

Dr. Copper Aitken-Palmer is the chief veterinarian of the Department of Conservation Medicine at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, in Front Royal, Virginia. She earned her Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and a Master of Science (MS) degree in clinical sciences, both from Kansas ... Read More

Sydney, Australia New Year's

New Year’s Eve around the world

Happy (almost!) New Year! As we prepare to welcome 2016, we thought we would look at how cities around the world bring in the New Year. Many of them include impressive firework displays, along with local festivals and traditions. But first, a couple of fun facts about the New Year. Who will be ... Read More

December Holidays

December Holidays around the World

Few months present as many multicultural celebrations as December. From Christmas to Omisoka, the last month of the year is a “world of holidays.” Let’s take a look at some of December’s holidays around the world. Christmas In the Christian faith, Christmas is the historical celebration of t... Read More

Performing Arts

A few of a music director’s favorite things (in winter)

Winter concert season is upon us! During the back-to-back performances that make up a director’s holiday season, we hope you’re able to take a breath and remember some of your favorite things about being a music teacher. Here is a list of a few of a music director’s favorite things: Raindr... Read More

Faith-based concert tours

5 tips for a successful holiday concert

So you’ve got a holiday concert on the horizon. You’re not alone! This time of year, cities and town across the country are treated to the voices and instruments guided by dedicated music directors just like you. As you put the final touches on your preparations, don’t forget about these simpl... Read More

Orchestra Programs

Watch: How Not To Rehearse an Orchestra

As conductors, we like things to go our way. (I’m attempting to avoid calling us, however affectionately, “control freaks.”) Especially in a high-stakes situation, it can be difficult for us to remember that, in rehearsal and performances, we only have control over what we’re doing on the po... Read More


5 Haunted Places in The United States

October is the spookiest month of year, full of ghosts, goblins, haunted houses, and scary stories. If you like scary stories, here are 5 haunted places in the United States – and WorldStrides visits them all!   The White House, Washington, D.C. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C., i... Read More


Halloween Around The World

Halloween is one of the world’s oldest holidays. It is believed to have originated with the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, when the Celts, who lived 2,000 years ago in the area that is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France,  would light bonfires and wear costumes to ward off r... Read More

Ford's Theater

5 Haunted Performance Venues Across North America

Happy Halloween from WorldStrides Onstage! Hopefully, you don’t have any ghouls in your ensembles this fall; however, spooks can be found at any time of year in haunted performance venues. Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN Touted as one of the most famous haunted sites in the United States, Ryman... Read More

Dr. Aaron Smith, U.S. Naval Academy Glee Club

Meet Dr. Aaron Smith of the United States Naval Academy

Students performing at our Annapolis Exhibition Music Festival are in for a special treat. They will receive tickets to a concert at the United States Naval Academy. Dr. Aaron Smith, Director of Musical Activities at the USNA, is an accomplished musician in his own right, and was kind enough to answ... Read More

Orchestra Programs

Enjoy The People With Whom You Are Making Music

Welcome to a new school year! As you find yourselves embroiled in preparations for yet another year of performances (in addition to all of the other stressors in your work and personal lives), it’s easy to lose sight of what it is you’re actually trying to accomplish in the classroom. I lost sig... Read More

Meet WorldStrides Composer Carl Strommen

Band directors traveling with us to a bowl game or parade event get an extra perk each year. Recently, WorldStrides began commissioning an original concert band piece with renowned composer and arranger Carl Strommen to be given to band directors each year. The first original piece, “Kivgik,”... Read More

Lincoln Memorial

This Week In History: February 8-14

This Week in History… February 8, 1922: President Warren Harding has the White House’s first radio installed. On June 14 of the same year, Harding became the first president to have his voice transmitted to the American public by radio. His speech, however, was not radio-specific; rather it was ... Read More

Costa Rica student trip

Science Fun Facts: February 1-7

Science Fun Facts for the week of February 1-7: Did you know? Costa Rica is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire and has more than 200 identifiable volcanoes dating back over 65 million years. One of Costa Rica’s tallest and most visited volcanoes, Poas Volcano is home to the world’s largest and mos... Read More


Flying Is Hard Work

Did you know? No matter how simple Superman makes it look, flying is hard work! Even if you strapped on giant wings, you could never fly like a bird because there is not enough muscle mass in your arms and chest to provide the necessary power. Additionally, the human heart can’t pump blood quickly... Read More

Franklin Delano Roosevelt

This Week In History: January 11-17

This Week in History… January 12, 1932: Hattie Wyatt Caraway becomes the first woman elected to the United States Senate. Hattie Carraway was initially appointed to fill her husband’s Senate seat when he passed away in 1931 but went on to win the seat in her own right in 1932 and served two term... Read More

George Washington Swearing In

History Fun Facts: January 4-10

This Week in History… January 7, 1789: The first presidential election in the United States takes place. When George Washington was first elected, the Senate proposed that he be called by the official title “His Highness the President of the United States of America and the Protector of Their Li... Read More

Thanksgiving Turkey

This Week In History: November 23-29

This Week in History… November 24, 1932: The FBI Laboratory opens in Washington, D.C. Originally called the Criminology Laboratory, the FBI’s crime lab started with only one full time employee and performed 963 examinations in its first year of operation. By the 1990s, it was processing nearly 2... Read More

JFK in Dallas

This Week in History: November 16-22

This Week in History… November 19, 1831: President James Garfield is born in Orange, Ohio. James Garfield was shot by an angry constituent on July 2, 1881, just four months after his inauguration. Garfield initially survived the assassination attempt, but his condition worsened as doctors spent mo... Read More

Happy Birthday Mr. President

Two Presidents Are Born on The Same Day

There have been five sets of presidents that have been born in the same year, but only two presidents that have been born on the same date (November 2): James Polk (1795) and Warren Harding (1865). Despite sharing the same birthday, the two have little else in common. Actually, in a lot of ways the... Read More


How Much Do You Have In Common With A Banana?

Sure, we don’t LOOK like a banana or even resemble one, so it may seem odd, but you would be absolutely right if you said that humans and bananas share 45% of their DNA! In reality, it shouldn’t be too shocking because when living things are broken down, we find that we all sharethe same [&helli... Read More

New York/Boston Student Trip

President Cleveland Dedicates the Statue of Liberty

Did you know that Lady Liberty would wear a size 879 shoe if she was a real person? What about the fact that it cost $500,000 (or over $10 million in today’s money) to build the Statue? In honor of the Statue being dedicated this week in 1886, here are some fun facts about the […] Read More

Teddy Roosevelt

Happy Birthday Teddy Roosevelt!

Growing up, “Teddie” was a sickly child who suffered from asthma. His father, who wanted a rugged son, was completely disappointed. Teddie decided that he would “make his body” and enrolled in gymnastics and weightlighting classes to help develop him into more of a rugged man. Over time, he ... Read More

United Nations

The United Nations is Formally Established

The first organization of countries was the League of Nations, which was founded in 1919 under the Treaty of Versailles. Its main goal was “to promote international cooperation and to achieve peace and security,” but just a few years after its founding, World War II broke out. The Allies propose... Read More

An Australian Musical Adventure

Why Aren’t There Any Volcanoes in Australia?

The land down under is known for many things – beautiful coastlines, surfing paradise, and punchy kangaroos to name just a few – but what the mainland is not known for are active volcanoes, which can also be categorized as dormant or extinct. Even though Australia is home to nearly 150 volcanoes... Read More

Louisiana Purchase

The U.S. Senate Ratifies The Louisiana Purchase

When Thomas Jefferson became president, one of his top priorities was to purchase the port of New Orleans, located at the mouth of the Mississippi River on the Gulf of Mexico. He wanted to own this land so that American farmers could easily transport their goods to market via the river. So, he decid... Read More

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower is Born in Texas

Did you know there has been the same number of presidents born in Texas as in North Carolina? How about the fact that more presidents have been born in Virginia than any other state? Surprisingly, the number of states that U.S. presidents have been born in is actually quite high, especially given th... Read More

Check For Alaska

The United States Gains Possession of Alaska

Russia was more than willing to sell off its Alaska territory to the United States because it was nervous of losing it in war, particularly to Great Britain. The state was difficult to defend and very sparsely populated. So, when Secretary of State William H. Seward began negotiating with the Russia... Read More

White House Washington, D.C.

The White House Cornerstone is Laid

Even though President Washington chose the site of the president’s home, he never had the chance to live in it. In 1800, President Adams was the first person to live in the “White House,” which received its name because its white color stood out against the nearby buildings’ red bricks. The ... Read More

Chicago Cloud Gate at Millennium Park

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871

Historians are unsure of what exactly caused the Great Chicago Fire of 1871, but legend says that it was a cow. The blaze started in the barn of Mr. and Mrs. Patrick and Catherine O’Leary, a poor Chicago family of seven. Mr. O’Leary worked as a laborer and Mrs. O’Leary sold milk from her cows.... Read More

The White House - Washington, D.C.

The First of Six Presidents Born In October Is Born

More United States presidents were born in October than any other month—and none of them were born on the same day. Can you name all of them? Here are a few hints about each of the six: 1. He was a peanut farmer. 2. This president was the first to use a telephone while in […] Read More

Thanksgiving Proclamation

President Lincoln Proclaims A National Thanksgiving

Two presidents, Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt (FDR), were involved in making Thanksgiving a formal holiday, but George Washington was actually the first president to proclaim a day of thanksgiving—ironically issued exactly 74 years (to the day) before Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving Proc... Read More

Bill of Rights

Congress Passes The Bill of Rights

During the Constitutional Convention of 1787, delegates Elbridge Gerry and George Mason proposed adding a bill of rights to preface the U.S. Constitution, but this idea was unanimously rejected by the State delegations. Due to this rejection, both refused to sign the U.S. Constitution. Over time, nu... Read More


FDR Approves First Peace-Time Draft

While the United States was not yet involved in the Second World War, President Franklin D. Roosevelt thought it was important to begin training American men for military service just in case his country was pulled into war. At the time, he thought Great Britain was likely to be the next target and ... Read More

The White House - Washington, D.C.

Three Presidents In One Year

Only two times in American history have there been three presidents that served in the same year. The first time was in 1841 and the second was in 1881. The 1881 year started with Rutherford B. Hayes as president, then he relinquished the office to James A. Garfield in March. Later, Charles J. Guite... Read More

9/11 Memorial New York City

The United States Is Shaken by Four Terrorist Attacks

Over the course of the day, four airplanes were hijacked mid-flight by 19 members of the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda. Two planes crashed into the upper floors of the North and South towers (the Twin Towers) of the World Trade Center and one into the Pentagon. Passengers on the fourth plane (Fli... Read More

Uncle Sam

The U.S. Receives The Nickname ‘Uncle Sam’

During the War of 1812, the United States Army received supplies from a variety of organizations and individuals, one of which was Samuel Wilson, a meat packer from Troy, New York. He labeled his barrels of beef with “U.S.” to indicate U.S. government property, but soldiers referred to the “U.... Read More

Capstone in Mozambique

Executive MBA Trip to Mozambique Changes Lives

In each destination the Daniels College of Business at the University of Denver visits on a WorldStrides Capstone program, our travel team partners with the school to select a community engagement project that enhances the students’ global studies. These projects are intended to build social capit... Read More

Panorama of quiet, beautiful Playa Conchal and the azure waters of the Pacific Ocean in Guanacaste, Costa RIca

Science Fun Facts: August 30-September 5

Science Fun Facts for the week of August 30-September 5: Did you know?  While there is only one global ocean, the vast body of water that covers 71 percent of Earth is geographically divided into distinct regions. The U.S. recognizes five named oceans: Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Souther... Read More

Banksy’s Sweeping it Under the Carpet

A Smooth Introduction to London Street Art and Artists

Being an arty person, I am attracted to all manner of artistic expression – the bolder and blunter the piece is, the more it catches my attention and admiration. This is very probably the reason I am so drawn to London street art, and especially to the style of Banksy – the most ubiquitous name ... Read More

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress

This month in 1800, President John Adams approved legislation purchasing “such books as may be necessary for the use of Congress.” The newly established Library of Congress first housed in the Capitol, listed only 964 volumes and nine maps by 1802. Today, the Library contains over 17 million vol... Read More

Thomas Paine Common Sense

Common Sense

In January 1776, Thomas Paine published the 48-page pamphlet Common Sense. The pamphlet, which advocated for American independence in plain English, caused an immediate sensation in the colonies. At the time, the issue of American independence was very much undecided—many colonists identified them... Read More

Travel Journal Keepsake

Keepsakes: An Account Manager’s Reflection on Travel

Life is filled with incredible experiences, but if we don’t take the time to find a way to capture these memories, they’re often forgotten. From pictures to ticket stubs, the opportunities are endless. The only difficult part is figuring out where to begin! For WorldStrides Account Manager Noree... Read More

Art and Travel

Art and Travel

As artists, we are constantly looking for inspiration and our surrounding environments so often influence our work. Travel is an eye-opening experience that allows us to gain a fresh outlook and draw on new cultures and surroundings to push ourselves and our art to a new level. Travel to countless d... Read More

WorldStrides Tour Naples

Take A Peek Into WorldStrides Tours

Want to know what it’s like to travel with WorldStrides? Well it’s your lucky day! We post photos from our tours regularly on our Facebook page courtesy of our awesome Tour Directors. Check out some of the photos from this season so far:   Students stand in the fumes of Solfatara volcano in... Read More

Been There done That

Been There. Done That?

When I was younger and would use poor grammar, my father used to correct me with the exasperating phrase “Ouch- that hurt my ears!” As frustrating as it was to have to stop in mid-sentence, correct myself, and then continue, it was, in fact, effective. As an adult, I have silently struggled with... Read More

Travel Changes Lives

Travel Changes Lives

I often write about the intrinsic benefits of traveling: How lives can be changed forever by the sole act of visiting a new country or culture, how discovering a new place is also an act of self-discovery, how travel can be so inspiring, it literally transforms us. I say and write these words so oft... Read More

Bouchon Lyonnais

Lyon, France: Gastronomic Capital of the World?

“We are the Gastronomic capital of the world you know” – I was proudly informed by my new colleagues when I arrived to start a new teaching placement in Lyon, France’s second city which sits in the Eastern corner of the country. I had to admit that I had barely heard anything about ... Read More


Where I’d Rather Be – Warm Weather Winter Travel

As the temperatures teeter between ridiculously cold and seasonably cold and the snow continues to pile on down, I find my mind wandering to far-off destinations. While traveling in winter months has its challenges (I’m talking about you, airports!) it might just be worth the potential headaches t... Read More

Benefits of Travel

Top 10 Benefits Students Gain From Traveling

Aside from having the time of their life and gaining memories that last forever, there are a number of important advantages that students achieve on a trip abroad. We’ve created a list of our top 10 benefits that students gain when they travel: 1. Compassion Exposure to the problems and perks of o... Read More

WorldStrides Accredited School

Why WorldStrides is the Coolest School

At WorldStrides, we tout ourselves as the number one educational student travel company, offering a variety of exciting hands-on learning experiences all around the world. But did you know that we are also an independently accredited school and we offer the opportunity for students to earn high scho... Read More

Los Días de los muertos

Los Días de los Muertos – A Time to Remember

Sra. Ronetta S. Bough High School Spanish Teacher, Indiana The Day of the Dead is one of the most fascinating holidays in Hispanic culture.  Los Días de los muertos, the Days of the Dead, are celebrated on November 1st and 2nd.  The pre-Hispanic holiday coincides with the religious holidays All ... Read More


I Know You Are, But Who Am I?

So there you are. You’ve made it to Europe or South America or Africa or Australia or Asia, and you’re visiting the sites to see. Perhaps you’re at a museum or a castle or a fortress or a bridge or a plaza or a circus, and you’re learning about the people that have a history […] Read More

Travel While You're Young

Travel When You’re Young

I work in student travel, in educational travel, and with great enthusiasm for it. But my path to being here did not begin with my traveling when I was a student. My path may have been influenced by my leading student trips myself during my dozen years of teaching. But it began, oddly, by NOT [&hell... Read More

Cancelled Tour

WorldStrides Steps In To Rescue Cancelled Tour

After raising more than $120,000 for a trip to Italy, nearly two dozen students and parents from a San Francisco high school were shocked to find out that the small tour operator they’d hired was closing up and liquidating its assets. On May 17, just two weeks before their trip was set to depart, ... Read More

Back To School

Do You Prefer – Back to School Ice Breakers

It’s already mid-August and I know most of you are gearing up for back to school. When your students enter on day one, bleary eyed from the lack of sun and glaring up at you moodily for ending their amazing summer, how do you get them excited and interested? A lot of the LEAP activities our Wor... Read More

Tour de France

Tour de France

Vive le Tour! 21 days. 2,128 miles. Two wheels. Recently there has been no shortage of controversy surrounding the sport of cycling. However, in my eyes, the Tour de France remains the pinnacle of athletic achievement and one of the most inspiring events on the planet. Admittedly, an amateur cyclist... Read More

Scottish Dancers

A Wee Guide to Scottish Slang

Scotland is proud of being different, and when you visit on a trip to Scotland, you will hear it immediately in the accent, and the unusual words and expressions Scots use every day. Some words are easy enough to understand. For example, any words ending in -n’t are transformed into Scottish slang... Read More

Jackie Robinson

Just Jackie: Jackie Robinson Facts

This week, 66 years ago, Jackie Robinson broke the baseball color barrier to become the first African American to play on a major sports team by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers. Aside from Robinson’s obvious cultural impact, he was an exceptionally talented baseball player. Here are some interesting ... Read More

Graffiti in Spain

Graffiti in Spain

Many visitors to the larger Spanish, and indeed European, cities have remarked upon the graffiti there: Is it legal? What does it say? Who does it and how do they get to some of those seemingly inaccessible places anyway!? The word graffiti stems from the Italian word graffiato meaning scratched w... Read More


The Sky’s The Limit: A Pilot’s Career Path

When you think about things that fly, you probably think about birds – or maybe even airplanes! But do you ever think about the person that flies the airplanes? Joe Ratterree rarely did – until he went on to graduate from the United States Air Force Academy in 2006 as an Air Force pilot. He [&he... Read More

Foreign Language Assistant

In The Deep End: Becoming a Foreign Language Assistant

For a language learner, spending time in a country where that language is spoken is a truly amazing experience. All that you have been studying suddenly becomes real, and these strange words and sounds now allow you to actually communicate with other people. Of course, even better than just visiting... Read More

Hotel Room with Card Security

Travel Tip – Any Card Will Do!

You know those systems in hotels where you need your hotel key card to enable the lights? My first run in with one of those was a scary one. I guess not as scary as my more recent experience — where the lights did not work at all without the card. The first system gave you […] Read More

Bull Fighting in Spain

The Controversial Bullfighting in Spain

The ritual, the show, the dance, or the sport… surprisingly, one of the most representative facets of the Spanish culture is at the same time, one of the most controversial spectacles in the world! A bullfighting show is usually on the top 10 list of traditional Spanish activities, along with the ... Read More

Tim Gearheart

Career Feature: The Sweet Life of A Chocolatier

There are many ways a career can be a rewarding adventure, but few are as sweet as a job spent around chocolate. This Valentine’s Day, WorldStrides caught up with chocolatier Tim Gearhart to get a taste of how sweet his job really is. Tim Gearhart didn’t start his career in the food industry mak... Read More

Pedro Vilá

A Day in the Life of a Contemporary Artist

Pedro Vilá is a painter from Murcia in the Southeast of Spain. He makes a living by selling the art and jewelry he makes at his craft stall at the beach. Morning: I usually work on my paintings in the morning. The light is better and I don’t get so easily distracted. After a good breakfast I [&... Read More

Tree Frog

Rarest Tree Frog In The World Found in Costa Rica

The tree frog Isthmohyla rivularis is among the rarest animals in the world, spotted just once in the last 25 years and officially categorized as “critically endangered.” But it seems this tiny amphibian has been located again – this time in the foothills of the Turrialba Volcano in central Co... Read More


Where Do Allergies Come From?

Allergies affect millions of people around the world, but do you know what causes them? Read these facts to learn about their causes and symptoms. Allergy attacks have increased in the United States despite the fact that our outdoor air quality has improved. Some researchers think these problems hav... Read More

Kennedy Nixon Debate

The First Kennedy-Nixon Debate Airs

Not only did the Kennedy-Nixon debates change the outcome of the 1960 election, but it also started a new era in which crafting a public image was essential to executing a successful political campaign. On September 26, 1960, John F. Kennedy (JFK) and Richard Nixon met in a Chicago studio to debate ... Read More

Happy Students Traveling

What Do You Know About Worms?

Don’t think worms are exciting? Take a look at these facts about earthworms and all that they do for us! There are 4,400 different species of worms – and 2,700 different kinds of earthworms to be exact. In one acre of land, there can be more than a million earthworms. Earthworms have five hearts... Read More

St. Patrick's Day, Ireland

Fun Facts for St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! As you pull on your green “Kiss me I’m Irish” t-shirt, prepare for a parade or cook up some corned beef and cabbage, check out these fun facts I’ve gathered about the holiday: Do you know that the color traditionally associated with St. Patrick was blue, notgreen? ... Read More


Helpful Jellyfish

Jellyfish usually bring up painful memories, and for good reason! Jellyfish sting about 150 million people around the world each year. Their tentacles can sting even after a jellyfish has died. One species of jellyfish, known as the Box Jellyfish, has enough venom to kill 60 people! So, do these see... Read More

Improv in France

Improv in France

When you think of the cultural differences between countries, you might immediately think of food, language, music, or holidays. But cultural differences can infuse every part of life, even improv comedy. The worldwide improv scene is divided into the Anglophone style and the francophone style. Fran... Read More

Emancipation Proclamation

Lincoln Issues His Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation

More than 150 years ago this week, Lincoln formally signed his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which warned Confederate states that he wanted to free all persons held as slaves within the rebellious states. This came as a surprise to many people because it presented a huge shift in the purpos... Read More

Declaration of Independence

Two Declarations in 1776

The Declaration of Independence is one of the most important and influential documents in American history. But, did you know that there was also a “Declaration of Dependence”? In 1776, the same year that the Declaration of Independence was signed by 56 Americans, over 200 colonial New Yorkers s... Read More


Is Rugby Dethroning Soccer?

Traditionally, France is associated with soccer and it is true that it is one of the most important and most popular sports in France if not THE most  popular sport. But lately, it seems that teenagers are becoming more interested in rugby! Rugby was already very popular in the southwest of France ... Read More

Spanish Art

New Spanish Art and Design

Spanish Young Art: The New Generation provides a unique and fresh vision of Spanish contemporary art with a selection of works in different mediums, such as video, photographs, paintings, drawings and industrial design. The result is an exceptional exhibition that captures the essence of today’s... Read More

Prom Around the World

Prom Around the World

 While perusing Neil’s Facebook page I couldn’t help but notice all of the prom pictures! Whether you are chaperoning or attending, prom is such a fun event. Students get all gussied up and teachers get to watch them age five to ten years before their very eyes. After scrolling through the vari... Read More


What is the Diamond Jubilee?

Did you see the Oscar winning film, “The King’s Speech”? Well if you haven’t, you definitely should, Colin Firth gives an amazing performance as the bumbling King George VI. If you have, then you would have seen the portrayal of a young Queen Elizabeth. At first it didn’t occur to me that ... Read More


Let the Summer Games Begin – Pétanque!

Happy Memorial Day! My guess is that you are all spending today out in the beautiful weather enjoying some outdoor games with friends and family. I don’t know about you, but I’m bored of the prospect of the same old games. Horse shoes (yawn), volleyball (I’m too short) and croquet (dangerous).... Read More

Palacio del Flamenco in Barcelona

Zapateando por la Vida

Post contributed by Yinka Graves I started flamenco as a hobby at University. Little did I know that it would take over my life and I would literally find myself “Zapateando por la vida.” Zapatear (the footwork in flamenco), is an integral rhythmical component. What from afar might look like lou... Read More

The White House, Washington D.C.

Fun Facts About President William Taft

William Taft, our 27th president, is known for many things, but being an effective president is not one of them. President Taft attended Yale and climbed the political ladder through his knowledge of the law. Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt appointed him to political positions that eventually led ... Read More


What You Didn’t Know About Starfish

Starfish, also commonly known as sea stars, are among the most visibly recognized sea creatures, but did you know that a starfish is not actually a fish? Here are more interesting facts about starfish. There are more than 2,000 different species of starfish. Starfish lack some of the main defining ... Read More

The White House - Washington, D.C.

Who Named The White House?

Each president leaves his own unique mark on our country. Theodore Roosevelt, our 26th president, made his mark in several ways throughout his eight years of presidency. He was well known for his friendly and outgoing personality, leadership skills, and his wide variety of hobbies and interests. How... Read More

Q & A with WorldStrides Medical Director Dr. Christopher Lang

Dr. Christopher Lang, an emergency room physician at the George Washington University Department of Emergency Medicine, is WorldStrides’ Medical Director. He manages our exclusive Doctors on Call Program, and recently shared his advice on preparing for international travel. Are hospitals safe ... Read More

Only 1% of Students Study Abroad

The world of higher education has made great strides in the last 20 years in recognizing the increasing importance of globalization, and in preparing students for a new and dynamic world. In 1990, just 60,000 students were studying abroad. Ten years ago, that number was approximately 143,590. Now, t... Read More


Fun Facts: A Botanical Holiday Edition

Poinsettia, holly, mistletoe–there are a lot of plants associated with the holiday season! Here is a special botanical holiday edition of fun facts. Did you know: The poinsettia plant was originally cultivated by the Aztecs, who called the plantCuetlaxochitl or “flower which wilts.” They used ... Read More

White House Christmas Tree

Fun Facts: A Historical Holiday Edition

We thought we’d celebrate the upcoming holidays by sharing some things you may not know about the history of this season! Because it was considered a British custom, many people in early America spurned the idea of celebrating Christmas at all. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789... Read More

Butterfly Taste Buds

Butterfly Taste Buds

Have you ever wondered about butterfly taste buds? Butterflies don’t really have mouths, much less taste buds, to help them decide if food tastes good or bad. Instead, they use their feet! To eat, a butterfly unwinds a long, skinny part of its body called a proboscis, and sucks up liquids like nec... Read More

Sail Fish

Faster Than a Speeding Sailfish

The cheetah is the fastest animal on earth, right? Well, it’s true that the quick cat is the fastest animal on land, but in the water, the sailfish takes the prize. Scientists estimate it can leap out of the water at 68 miles per hour, as fast as a cheetah can run! The secret to […] Read More

Dia de los Muertos

Dia de los Muertos – Mexico’s Day of the Dead

Dia de los Muertos is an important holiday in Mexican heritage, and although it’s called Day of the Dead, it is a celebration of life. It is said that from Oct 31st through November 2nd, the spirits of the dead visit their living family members. Therefore, celebration and prayer take place, and th... Read More

Pablo Picasso

Happy Birthday Pablo Picasso!

Pablo Picasso was born today in 1881. Picasso is indisputably the most famous artist of the 20th century. Picasso was a painter, a sculptor, ceramicist, stage designer and a printmaker who once said: “Art is a lie that makes us realize truth.” Below are eight statements. Some are truths about P... Read More

Free Travel for Teachers

WorldStrides Helps Educators Escape To Two Unique Destinations

Every summer, WorldStrides honors our most active and enthusiastic Program Leaders with a well- deserved reward – an exciting “escape” filled with fun, sightseeing, and networking with their peers. This year’s Educators Escape destinations included Seattle, WA, and Riviera Maya, Mexico! Over... Read More

Business meeting in Athens

Career Feature: Pursuing A Career In Pharmacy

Many students who contemplate a career in medicine may only consider the possibility of becoming a doctor. Betsy Conway knew from an early age that she wanted to pursue a career in medicine, but she didn’t want to be a doctor. “I don’t have a strong stomach, so I knew being a physician was out... Read More

costa rica

Winter Festival Season Arrives in Costa Rica

Travelers to Costa Rica may have noticed that it is a country with a dual existence: a growing nation, setting a global standard for ecological appreciation and preservation, and an easy, peaceful society with an emphasis on tradition and heritage. During the month of December, citizens enjoy a dive... Read More

Supreme Court

Supreme-ly Interesting Supreme Court Trivia

Elena Kagan was sworn in as the country’s 112th Supreme Court justice after being confirmed by the Senate with a vote of 63-37 last week. This is the first time three female Supreme Court justices have served at the same time, as Kagan joins Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg for the... Read More

Florida Programs

Plant A Tree For Arbor Day

Arbor Day was founded in 1872 by J. Sterling Morton in Nebraska City, Nebraska. The customary observance of the holiday is to plant a tree. On the first Arbor Day, April 10, 1872, an estimated one million trees were planted. Here are a few ideas of how you can celebrate Arbor Day: Organize a beautif... Read More

Kennedy Space Center - Brevard County, Florida

Florida Science Program With A History Twist

Fred Yerzy is a first-time Program Leader from California whose unique WorldStrides program – focused on both science and history – just returned from our Florida science program. He believes that teaching both subjects “adds flavor and balance to the trip, and will keep students engaged the w... Read More

Kamikaze Iguanas Fall From Trees During Cold Florida winter

Residents in Florida saw a phenomenon that most travelers on a WorldStrides program to Florida will never experience.  During extremely cold periods in South Florida (which don’t happen often), news agencies as far away as the United Kingdom are reporting the raining of “kamikaze” iguanas. ... Read More

Kamikaze Iguanas Fall From Trees During Cold Florida winter

Recently, residents in Florida have seen a phenomenon that most travelers on a WorldStrides science program to Florida will never experience. After record cold in South Florida this winter, news agencies as far away as the United Kingdom are reporting the raining of “kamikaze” iguanas. That’s... Read More

Ellis Island - New Jersey

A Parent Program Leader’s Perspective

Nicolai Kreger isn’t your average Program Leader. As a parent volunteer she is excited to take students to Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Gettysburg, and New York City, a learning experience usually reserved for teachers. Why do you believe that educational travel is so important? I believe th... Read More

Baby Turtles - Tortuguero National Park, Costa Rica

The Turtle Girls: Never Too Young To Make A Difference

Chuck Nelson, a Program Leader from California, believes in the power of educational travel. Each year, he takes his students on a hands-on science adventure because he finds that it brings the real world into the classroom. His passion for travel and the environment has been translated to three o... Read More

London, England

Valentine’s Day Celebrations Around the World

Men & women across the US are swapping Hallmark cards, red roses, boxed chocolates and teddy bears today in celebration of Valentine’s Day. But how does the rest of the world celebrate this love-ly holiday? Here’s a look at a few countries around the world with their own interesting traditio... Read More


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