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US: WorldStrides acquired after slew of study travel purchases

Photo: WorldStrides

WorldStrides acquired International Studies Abroad last November

Metalmark and Silverhawk will aim to help WorldStrides’s organic and strategic growth, and further its domestic and global expansion.

The acquisition, which was announced last month, will see the company move from The Carlyle Group, a global alternative asset manager, as a result.

“We are excited to work alongside them as we continue our domestic and global expansion”

WorldStrides, the largest educational travel company in the US, organises student travel packages for schools.

Established in 1967, it serves around 400,000 students each year, and leads group travel programmes to over 100 different countries.

Prior to this acquisition, WorldStrides added a number of other educational travel companies to its portfolio.

It acquired International Studies Abroad last November, which coordinates undergraduate study abroad programmes as well as service learning and internship programmes for students at university.

“Our university partners will benefit from the incredible resources that WorldStrides brings to ISA,” Gustavo Artaza, founder of ISA, had said at the time.

“And we are now ideally positioned to continue improving and expanding on the educational experiences we offer students.”

In August, WorldStrides also joined forces with CBL International, an Oxford-based provider of specialised summer study programmes.

And just last month, WorldStrides also added student travel company, Explorica, to its portfolio. Explorica provides travel programmes to over 35,000 students a year at American and Canadian middle schools and high schools.

“Looking ahead, we are confident in our new partnership with Metalmark and Silverhawk and we are excited to work alongside them as we continue our domestic and global expansion,” said Jim Hall, president and chief executive officer of WorldStrides.

“My partners and I are excited to help Jim and his team realise the company’s potential”

Following the acquisition, “virtually all members” of the company’s management team, including the founder, Jim Hall, will remain in their current positions.

In addition to WorldStrides, Metalmark Capital has a number of other companies under its portfolio, primarily in the areas of energy, healthcare and industrials. Silverhawk has also invested in the business service sectors and energy/natural resources industry.

Jeffrey Siegal, managing director of Metalmark Capital, said that WorldStrides is “passionate about their mission to expose as many students as possible to the educational and cultural opportunities afforded by travel”.

“Supported by the steady momentum of the global student travel and education sectors, my partners and I are excited to help Jim and his team realise the company’s potential by supporting its organic and strategic growth and further expansion and immersion in markets around the world,” he said.

WorldStrides was previously acquired by The Carlyle Group in 2011, which has over 275 companies globally under its management.

Since its inception, WorldStrides has served over six million students, and now employs 1,300 people in 45 offices around the world.

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4 Responses to US: WorldStrides acquired after slew of study travel purchases

  1. Wow. This is huge news. The corporatization of education abroad has finally come. It will be interesting to see how US universities will view this. I guess we’ve always known that study abroad is a “business” but when you compare it to how massive, for-profit higher ed institutions are viewed (thinking of University of Phoenix) will providers that are managed by private equity interests be seen in the same light?

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