University Educators

For decades, our university partners have come to us to help them globalize curriculum without adding lots of administrative work to their busy schedules! Our highly-customized approach to each university travel program puts your academic goals first, and ensures that you have a partner anywhere in the world. Explore the sections below to discover the value of our partnership through some frequently asked questions.

Questions About

Can students earn academic credit from their travel programs?

Yes! We love when students get credit for learning. This helps them get a step ahead, whether its for a college application or for a future career.

All middle programs include the opportunity to earn free high school credit. Our Perspectives programs offer high school students the opportunity to earn three free college credits. Our university programs also include the opportunity for students to earn additional college credit.

Our online courses make it easy to earn credit at a student’s own pace. WorldStrides offers coursework that has been carefully designed to combine the field experience with online assignments that demonstrate achievement of learning objectives. Acceptance of credit is always at the discretion of the receiving institution.  Click here for more information.

Or, you can contact our Curriculum & Academics Team at discovery@worldstrides.org

Do travelers need a visa?

All students traveling on a Capstone program receive an email within 24 hours of registration that details their visa needs (dependent on destination and nationality). This email will include detailed instructions for obtaining a visa, if necessary, and an application.

Thanks to our unique in-house visa team, WorldStrides may provide comprehensive visa processing services for U.S. citizens when contracted by the school. For visa questions, please email visas@worldstrides.org. Please note it is the traveler’s responsibility to obtain necessary travel documents. If you are denied entry to any country, including a country you have connected through, you are not eligible for a refund.

Do you have financial assistance and/or scholarships available for students?

Yes, WorldStrides is committed to giving every student the opportunity to travel. To support this mission, we offer several financial assistance and fundraising programs. Through these programs, thousands of students who otherwise would not have been able to afford this experience are given the opportunity to travel—and of this, we are extremely proud!

For middle and high school travel, the FLAG financial assistance programs makes nearly $2 million in financial assistance available each year to qualifying families. One simple call to WorldStrides Customer Service at 1-800-468-5899 can tell you how much assistance may be available to you. If you have questions, please contact customerservice@worldstrides.org.

For university Capstone groups, our International Financial Assistance program provides scholarships through the Foundation for International Education. To determine what scholarship you may pre-qualify for and receive your customized application, contact the Capstone team at 1-800-422-2368 or IFA@worldstrides.org.

We also make fundraising simple for parents, students, and teachers. Through the Gift of Education, students can send e-cards, letters, and share Facebook links to receive direct donations to their trip. 100% of all the money raised by the student goes directly to their account. It’s the perfect fundraiser!

For more information on FLAG, the Gift of Education, and other fundraiser and scholarship options that may be available to you, please visit fundraising.worldstrides.com.

Do you offer 24-hour emergency support?

Yes. The safety and security of our traveling teachers and students is our top priority, and one measure we take to ensure this safety, and support, is through Tour Central.

Tour Central is staffed by WorldStrides employees and is available 24/7 for all traveling groups. Tour Central is there to assist you with any questions or problems that may arise—no matter how big or how small. The staff is specially trained to monitor events domestically and around the world, and has dozens of contingency plans in place to help us jump into action when necessary.

The Tour Central number for your group is printed on the WorldStrides name badges that are given to all our travelers for easy access should you need it. This is just one of the many measures that we take to ensure that your trip really is the experience of a lifetime.

Do you work with schools that are not U.S.-based?

Yes, we work with many non-U.S.-based universities. Some groups travel to the United States for our U.S.-based programs. Others take advantage of our global reach. We have experience sourcing multilingual guides in emerging markets.

Does WorldStrides book air travel?

We have a full-time team dedicated to ticketing air travel with dozens of carriers. Though some adult groups allow students to buy their own tickets, we highly recommend group air booking for programs of 12 or more participants. This offers cost savings and flexibility, reserving a block of seats even before trip registration has begun. Including air in your program assures your group the benefit of WorldStrides’ assistance and clout should there be changes to your flight plan for any reason. If your travel program requires it, our team can also book individual air tickets for travelers.

How can educators earn professional development (CEUs/PDPs)?

One of the many benefits of choosing WorldStrides is that educators can earn free professional development points. Both the educator leading the trip and the educator chaperones are eligible to receive this credit. Details and number of points vary by program, so please contact your Account Manager for full details.

How can the school monitor registrations?

Each program has its own customized online registration portal where we collect all necessary information about the participants. Faculty and trip planners can access registrant information throughout the planning process. Just before travel, the trip leader receives a faculty binder with all critical information for the group, including photocopies of all student tickets, visas, emergency contact numbers, airline tickets (if booked through WorldStrides), country information, and 24/7 emergency numbers for travel assistance.

How can we protect our investments against currency fluctuation?

Budgeting for currency fluctuations is difficult for many university purchasing offices. We provide currency hedging to eliminate risks associated with changes in currency. We can hedge all market-traded currencies and hold five standing currency accounts, including the Euro, Great British Pound, Japanese Yen, Singapore Dollar, and South African Rand. Please speak to your Account Manager regarding the best currency strategy for your program.

How do I register for my program/trip?

For most programs, there are a few easy ways to register:

  • Online: Visit our online portal
  • By Phone: Some programs may be eligible for phone registration. Visit our Contact Us page to find the phone number!
  • By Mail: If you received a trip letter distributed by your program leader, complete the registration form and fax the front and back with your credit card information to the number or address provided in your letter.

Some WorldStrides programs offer incentives for early registration, so please refer to the information provided to you by your program leader for complete details.

When registering, you’ll need to use the Trip ID assigned to your program.  Each ID is unique and can also be found on the registration information provided to you by the educator leading this program.

*Note: Some groups may have special registration procedures. Please check with your program leader if you cannot find a Trip ID associated with your trip.

How do students receive a high school transcript?

Upon successful completion of coursework, WorldStrides Curriculum and Academics Department will issue a transcript directly to the student by mailing it to the address on file.

Click here to view full details on WorldStrides’ Discovery for Credit Program.

How does WorldStrides tailor the program to our curriculum?

Our approach to educational travel for higher education is immersive and customized, focused on providing hands-on experiences such as company visits, factory tours, cooking classes, or service learning experiences.

For groups learning about the economy of an area or studying in a professional field, our Global Academic Team works directly with contacts from all over the world to source executive speakers, factory tours, hands-on volunteer opportunities, embassy visits, consumer field studies, and more. Each program is assigned a Global Curriculum Coordinator who consults with faculty to customize a thematic approach to your course curriculum and align with the student’s level of education.

For programs in the humanities, social sciences, or other STEM fields, our program development team takes a collaborative and creative approach to identifying opportunities to bring your syllabus to life. Our experienced team has worked on broad themes such as art or history, and very specific themes that illuminate higher-level courses. We work closely with our local teams on the ground to organize immersive experiences including culinary or dance classes, experiments, and service opportunities, and can suggest a variety of options for your destination or accommodate special requests.

How far in advance do I need to contact you to plan my international program?

Typically, our clients will begin planning their international trips between 9 and 11 months in advance of travel. However, this all depends on your travel needs!

If your travel program is optional, a longer planning timeline helps give students time to decide if they’d like to participate and time to raise money to go. International air inventory opens approximately 11 months prior to travel; however, we can generally provide other cost components as early as 15 months prior to travel.

We also receive last-minute program requests (groups traveling in fewer than 4 months) and do our best to accommodate those requests.

How is the initial deposit protected?

WorldStrides is backed by the financial strength of The Carlyle Group, Charlesbank Capital Partners, and Silverhawk Capital Partners. In addition, through our membership in USTOA’s Traveler Assistance Program, all deposits up to $1M are protected in the unlikely event of WorldStrides insolvency. You can also purchase an additional trip interruption and/or cancellation plan (known as the Full Refund Program for high school and middle school programs). See your registration materials for details on the protection plan specific to your program.

How long does it take to complete online coursework?

The workload of the course is determined by the number of credits being earned. Fortunately, the majority of our course hours are satisfied in the field during travel programs, leaving a manageable portion of coursework for the online learning environment. Students are encouraged to register for and explore the coursework to anticipate their personal timeline. Upon returning from travel, all coursework must be completed within 6 months of the return date.

Click here to view full details on WorldStrides’ Discovery for Credit Program.

How much does college credit cost?

Three free college credits are included with all our Perspectives International Travel Programs.  This is a great value for students seeking to get ahead or fulfill graduation requirements. It’s also a great differentiator for students when applying to college.  For many of our other programs (non-Perspective programs), college credit is also included at varying levels.

High school students seeking college credit can refer to the Discovery for Credit section of MyTrip for exact details on the credits available for your specific travel program and any applicable fees. All college credit transcripts are issued through our university partner, University of California – San Diego. Please note, students traveling on a non-science based international program need to call 800-468-5899 or email discovery@worldstrides.org for academic credit information.

College students—please refer to your online registration website for additional information on what is included in your program.

Is there a standard code of conduct for trip participants?

To ensure the safety of all our travelers, WorldStrides has a Behavior Code of Conduct that each student must agree to follow. In some cases, the trip Program Leader will add their own personal requirements and those of the school or college where applicable.

Our school has stringent risk regulations for travel. Can you meet them?

We are confident we can meet even the most stringent risk regulations for travel. WorldStrides has an unmatched safety record, the largest liability insurance policy in the industry, and $1 million in consumer protection. All travel programs includes significant medical and medical evacuation insurance for the traveler as well as access to our 24/7 Doctors on Call and Tour Central office. WorldStrides is also registered with all state seller of travel offices.

Our reputation for preparedness is matched by a strong history of successful management of crisis situations. Click below to read about our responses to several situations that impacted student travel.

Emergency Medical Evacuation, May 2012

Japan Earthquake Response, March 2011

Arab Spring Protests, January 2011

H1N1 Response, March 2009

Bangkok Political Protests, January 2014

 

Please contact us with any additional questions about our risk management profile.

What does it mean that WorldStrides is “accredited”?

Being accredited means that WorldStrides has been evaluated and approved by external educational agencies. In fact, WorldStrides is accredited by multiple agencies including AdvancED, MSA-CESS, and WASC. These are the same accrediting bodies that evaluate traditional brick-and-mortar schools like yours. We were the first organization of our kind to achieve this accreditation.

Our voluntary participation in the accreditation process demonstrates our unrivaled commitment to the learning experience of our travelers. Every program is custom built to meet students’ age-appropriate needs and standards-based goals of the curriculum. Our accreditation allows us to issue academic credit for students and professional development for educators.

What if a student has a medical emergency while the group is traveling?

The safety of our travelers is our top priority. In the event of an emergency, WorldStrides Tour Central office is available 24 hours a day. This office is the gateway to our Doctors on Call Program. Doctors on Call is an exclusive partnership we have with the George Washington University Department of Emergency Medicine. Through this partnership, doctors provide consultation by phone for international participants and even in-person visits in Washington, D.C. Doctors on Call is just one of the many steps we take to ensure every detail is covered to provide a safe, and worry free, experience for our teachers, students, and parents.

What if travel to our destination becomes impossible or unsafe?

For large-scale disruptions such as natural disasters, flight delays, or more serious world events, our team is equipped with extensive contingency plans and decades of experience in evaluating risks, and sometimes rerouting and evacuating groups. Safety is our first priority, but rest assured we are also committed to providing you as much of the experience you are expecting as possible. As a result of our experience and global reach, more of our programs are able to continue with alternative arrangements than single-market operators who lack this breadth. In the event of a serious situation such as a natural disaster, families will get regular updates from WorldStrides (directly or via your school).

What is the educator’s responsibility for credit offered?

WorldStrides’ Curriculum & Academics team is fully credentialed and responsible for all aspects of the online coursework of Discovery for Credit. Program Leaders are not required to grade, write curriculum, or collect assignments related to credit issued by WorldStrides. Program Leaders are encouraged to introduce the opportunity to earn credit as a valuable element of the program they are leading.

What kinds of hotels will we stay in?

WorldStrides takes pride in providing safe, quality accomodations for all programs. Hotels are licensed by local authorities, inspected by WorldStrides staff and partners for cleanliness, quality, and location, and rated by Program Leaders on an ongoing basis. All of our domestic hotels are nationally recognized chain hotels including Marriott, Hilton, Sheraton, Holiday Inn, and Hampton Inn.

For international travel, WorldStrides generally uses centrally located 3- and 4-star hotels that have excellent access to sites and transportation. Some graduate programs may use 5-star properties. Please note students on some programs may participate in activities such as camping in tents or cabins, per the itinerary.

What liability protection is in place for our school?

WorldStrides’ liability insurance is the largest in the industry at $50 million. This insurance coverage extends to cover certain individuals acting on behalf of WorldStrides as tour directors, program leaders, chaperones, and volunteer speakers. Your school can be named as additionally insured, if desired.

What should travelers pack for an international program?

A packing list is included in each program’s online registration portal. Click the tab that says “Packing List.” Don’t forget trip-specific items such as business clothes for professional meetings, comfortable shoes for touring, and an electricity converter if necessary.

Also note that students receive a travel folder with all kinds of goodies prior to the trip. This information includes destination-specific travel letters detailing currency, weather, electricity, etc. In addition, travelers receive a country-specific guidebook with etiquette advice and country customs.

What type of insurance does WorldStrides provide and why?

Though you probably have insurance of your own, all of our programs include additional medical, dental, and accident coverage to ensure you are fully covered while traveling. This is particularly important if you are traveling abroad and some schools even require this additional insurance. Terms and conditions of this insurance are controlled by our provider, AIG. If you need to claim this insurance benefit, you can file your claim directly with AIG.

 

What’s included in a program?

Your program is completely customized for your group and may vary depending on the needs of your school, your subject matter, and the age of students traveling. A typical program includes an international flight, ground transportation (motorcoach and/or public transport), hotel accommodations, breakfasts and some other meals, a daily guide, sightseeing activities, and immersive educational content (such as meetings with local companies or experts).

All programs also include embedded medical insurance and risk management support for all participants. Our team has decades of experience in the undergrad and graduate markets and understands the unique travel expectations of each age group.

Optional services include visa processing, trip cancellation insurance, pre- and post-program hotel services, and more.

Who develops and grades coursework when students get credit through WorldStrides?

The Curriculum & Academics team is comprised of highly credentialed educators with years of classroom and field teaching experience. Our  Director of Curriculum & Academics, Wendy Amato, holds a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Virginia. All courses are designed to meet the specific developmental and educational needs of the learners on the travel programs. Coursework is evaluated by the WorldStrides team with personalized feedback, differentiated assignments, a range of product options, and a mastery learning approach to assessment.

Click here to view full details on the WorldStrides Discovery for Credit Program.

Who does WorldStrides work with to ensure safety?

Our internal risk and operations teams are staffed by executives with decades of experience in contingency planning. Additionally, our partnership with the George Washington University Department of Emergency Medicine allows travelers access to expert medical care while on tour. Lastly, our team works closely with the U.S. State Department, International SOS, and iJET to evaluate global conditions and advise clients when substantive issues arise.

Will all schools accept WorldStrides’ credit?

The good news is our status as an accredited educational travel organization and our partnerships with colleges and universities allows us to issue credit directly to participants in our programs. Acceptance of credit at any institution is always at the discretion of the receiving school.

Click here to view full details on the WorldStrides Discovery for Credit Program.

Will students share a room?

WorldStrides will work with the educator planning each university’s program to determine appropriate accommodations for the group. On most programs, students have the option to purchase a single accommodation for an extra fee.