Hi, I'm Rick Steves.
For the past 30 years, whenever I've been asked to state my occupation at a border crossing, I've said, "Teacher."
People may find my TV shows to be entertaining or my guidebooks practical, but my passion has always been to teach. And whether it's about art, culture, or practical travel skills, I've been an evangelist for a more fundamental cause: good travel teaches people to better understand the world they live in. It plants the seeds for a global perspective and then nurtures it.
My "wonder years"—when travel experiences fed and shaped my core values about the world and my place in it—were in high school and college. I wasn't lucky enough to be in a foreign study program, learning instead from my own "traveler's school of hard knocks" (with the blessing of parents who wanted their son to be a citizen of the world).
As my own kids grew up, their mother and I tried to enrich their lives through family trips, and we were delighted when both Andy and Jackie eagerly sought out foreign study experiences. (Andy spent a university semester abroad in Rome, and Jackie spent a month living in a Moroccan village during high school.) Seeing how these experiences have helped to shape our kids' knowledge and values as they move into adulthood is a wonderful thing.
I wish every parent could have this thrill.
This is why I've created Rick Steves for Teachers — a special initiative to help inspire, prepare and equip educators and students alike to have meaningful international experiences (both in the classroom and on the road).
I have no ambition to run student travel or foreign study programs — but I have resources that can help others achieve success:
- I've written books to help students and educators prepare for international travel (e.g., Travel as a Political Act, Europe Through the Back Door, and Europe 101: History and Art for the Traveler) — and I am making these available to teachers and study abroad programs for 50% off.
- I've produced DVDs (and free web versions) of my Rick Steves' Europe TV shows — a hundred episodes that introduce students and educators to history, cultures and contemporary issues from Ireland to Istanbul.
- I've produced Rick Steves' Audio Europe — a free app that organizes hundreds of self-guided audio tours and radio interviews into country-specific playlists.
- Along with producing my TV series and weekly public radio program about the value of travel, I am lecturing around the country on the value of international education.
Professors all over the country are already using my Travel as a Political Act book in their teaching. On this website — which is only in its infancy — we've enlisted the support of one such professor, Al Forsyth, to create resources for teachers. From a journal of his experience teaching with Travel as a Political Act to discussion questions and a glossary of terms, we hope this website will help you incorporate my materials into your teaching.
Thanks for your interest in international education. I look forward to being a helpful partner in your endeavor to give our young generation a global perspective. Together, we can help build a future where the USA fits more comfortably with the other 96 percent of humanity.