“I was impressed with the ability of Global Exchange to plug us into a variety of social movements and organizations.  As an educator at a state university, I use the experience every term in a number of my courses. I am still amazed at the depth of the experience and how profoundly it has impacted my life and those who shared in the tour.”

– Paul Prew, Professor at Minnesota State University


What is unique about Global Exchange Reality Tours?

Education doesn’t have to be confined to the classroom. Reality Tours offer a unique opportunity to gain insights by engaging with actors on the ground. Students witness firsthand the social, political, and environmental issues they read about in school. Our groups stay in locally-owned lodgings, employ local program officers and guides, and always support the local host economies.

How would Reality Tours benefit professors?

Global Exchange can bridge the gap between classroom theory and real world experience through carefully tailored trips.

Can I travel with my colleagues?

Yes, we can accommodate groups of most sizes. The minimum number of participants for a custom tour is generally about 6.

Can I travel with my students?

Travel can be a valuable learning opportunity for students of all ages. Customized Reality Tours can be organized for minors with adult chaperones. In order to ensure a safe experience for your group, we strongly recommend at least a 10:1 student to adult ratio.

Global Exchange and the teacher or professor will work together to create an itinerary that incorporates your class’s interests. We will take care of all bookings, transportation, entrance fees and daily meals (depending on your preference), and provide your group with a bilingual guide. The teacher or professor is responsible for monitoring the group and confronting any interpersonal or behavioral tensions. They are also welcome to facilitate discussions and provide supplemental readings and classes as they see fit.

Can I design my trip itinerary?

Yes, in addition to offering a range of existing itineraries, you are free to work with us to design a customized delegation that examines the subject matter covered in your course work and relevant sites.

Can I earn Professional Growth credits by participating in a Reality Tour?

While Global Exchange Reality Tours are not accredited, K-12 and Community College teachers can earn graduate level credits towards professional growth credits for travel on a Reality Tour by registering for an independent course. We recommend the Dominican University of California (DU) Continuing Education Program, from which you will be eligible to earn Professional Growth credits by completing all of the trip requirements and documenting your experience. For information on how to enroll for Professional Growth credits, click here.

Can my students earn credit for participating?

In the past, Global Exchange participants have received winter term credits, service learning credits, and other academic credits for participating. Please inquire with your university’s academic advisor to determine the specific requirements.

Are Reality Tours volunteer work trips?

No. The goal of these short delegations is not to solve issues abroad, but rather to build international solidarity and understanding that could lead to impactful action down the road.  Reality Tours allow you to witness the challenges of communities abroad and learn from the strategies they employ.

Some custom delegations, however, can participate in direct service-based-learning upon request.

How can my group pay for our trip?

Due to limited funds, only some financial aid is available each year through Global Exchange. Funding and scholarships may be available from your own school. In the past, teachers have done grassroots fundraising with online campaigns, payment plans with their students, fundraising projects in their community, and have applied for grants or funding from foundations or local governments.


Please email or call us directly.

(415) 255-7296

Back to Experiential Learning Page