South Asia Institute
South Asia Institute

Teacher Travel Abroad

Serious students pose with teachers at Myinka Village School during Summer Program in Myanmar (Burma) 2016.

The South Asia Institute (SAI) actively promotes opportunities for K-12 educators to travel abroad to build their own background knowledge and gain invaluable experience overseas that they can bring back to their classrooms to share with their students.

Short-Term Teacher Travel

To meet the demand of educators who want a quality travel experience that is tailored to the specific interests and needs of educators, SAI frequently offers shorter programs abroad. These trips combine an academic approach with a short, intense travel experience.  SAI conducts these programs during Texas's spring break (usually the second full week in March), and during the summer months. In addition to visiting sites under the guidance of an experienced, credentialed guide, groups are accompanied by an academic escort from the University of Texas who helps participants process the experience for their classrooms. We try to keep these affordable for educators and can often offer travel scholarships for teachers to offset the costs.

Upcoming Program:

Summer Program in The Maldives - July 6 - 13, 2020

The Maldives is not only the smallest Asian country -- it is the worlds lowest country with an average ground level elevation of 1.5 meters. This stunning archipelago is located atop a vast submarine mountain range in the Indian Ocean. With a population of only 330,000 inhabitants spread across more than 1,190 islands and countless atolls the Maldives face special challenges as one of the world's most geographically dispersed countries, and one that could be impacted more than any other by rising sea levels from climate change.

Explore the islands on this eight-day trip. Head underwater to witness diverse marine life and extensive coral reefs and visit with local island communities to learn about how climate change and rising seas will affect the lowest-lying country in the world. Accompanying the trip will be Rachel Meyer, Assistant Director of the South Asia Institute. She will provide guidance to teachers and help with the development of classroom activities and lesson plans that focus on confronting climate change through empowerment, action and environmental justice. Participants will also receive complementary readings and teaching materials that focus on the impact of climate change and community response in South Asia.

Anyone who signs up before September 30 will receive a 5% discount. (GEEO trip alumni will receive 8%). In order to lock in the discount and to hold your spot, you only need to put down a $250 deposit at this time. The remainder of the program fee is due 60 days prior to the trip. You may break the remaining fees into multiple payments as well to suit your budget.

Please contact if you are interested in receiving information on how to apply for a curriculum development grant to help cover the cost of the trip.

Past Programs:

Nepal trip

Prayer flags at Lumbini, birthplace of Buddha and UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Summer Program in India and Nepal (2018)

The visits to the various women-led schools and development organizations were a definite highlight of my trip. It was inspiring to see firsthand all the amazing work they are doing to empower their communities and families. UT SAI’s academic representative provided enriching background information based on her own research with women in Varanasi. There is just so much for me bring back to my students!

- 9th grade World Geography Teacher from Texarkana, Texas

Summer Program in Myanmar (Burma) 2016

Burma trip

Young students practicing recitations at nunnery outside Mandalay City.

“The culture, traditions, history and sights of Myanmar will provide an endless fount of topics for class discussion including religion’s role in people’s lives, choices governments make as they provide access to modern technologies for their people, the components needed for a consistent strong economy, and so much more.

- 6th grade World Cultures Teacher from Dallas, Texas

Summer Program in Sri Lanka 2015

Sri Lanka trip

Fishing boats in Negumobo Port.

“When I return to school equipped with new curriculum resources on Sri Lanka, I will create a lesson on its geography, both physical and political, a lesson on its 32-year civil war, a lesson on the breathtaking UNESCO World Heritage sites, on Galle Fort and the country’s colonial legacy. But the most important lesson, I will bring to my students is the one that will inspire them … to travel, to learn, and to educate themselves and make each one a better person, a more tolerant individual, an individual whose mission in this life is to serve others and make our world a better, more loving world. “

- World Geography Teacher from Laredo, Texas

Spring Break in India 2014

India trip

Window of a home in Bharatpur Village in Rajasthani.

"We departed India having learned so much about the country, its cultures and faiths, its people …  but this information sparked the beginning of a greater learning about ourselves as well."

- English Teacher, NYC

Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad

Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad (SA) provide short-term study and travel seminars abroad for U.S. educators in the social sciences and humanities for the purpose of improving their understanding and knowledge of the peoples and cultures of other countries. The South Asia Institute has organized the pre-departure orientation for the SA programs including “Sustainable Development and Social Change in India” in 2016 and “India and Sri Lanka: Ancient Civilizations in the 21st Century” and “Math and Science Teaching and Student Achievement,” both in 2008.  As part of these programs, teachers created country-specific curriculum units that are complete and ready to use in K–16 classrooms, which can be viewed here.

The U.S. Department of Education through it's Fulbright-Hays Seminars Abroad (SA) provides short-term study and travel seminars for U.S. educators in the social sciences and humanities for the purpose of improving their understanding and knowledge of the peoples and cultures of other countries. SAI Outreach organized the pre-departure orientation and now hosts the curriculum units developed by two South Asia programs: India and Sri Lanka 2008 and Seminar for India Math and Science 2008.

For more information on current programs and how to apply for a Seminar Abroad, please visit

2016: Sustainable Development and Social Change in India

2008: India and Sri Lanka: Ancient Civilizations in the 21st Century

2008: Math and Science Teaching and Student Achievement