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Teachers and students alike can expand their horizons this summer with these ideas for armchair travelers, city explorers, and more.


You don’t need to take an international trip this summer to develop an appreciation for other cultures, countries, and languages. These ideas will help you think globally without leaving home.

Visit an art museum

Museums can provide a window into other worlds, whether through an art form you’re unfamiliar with, a culture you’re just getting to know, or an era in history you’ve always wanted to study. Take advantage of the long summer days to explore world-class exhibitions on view across Arizona at Phoenix Art Museum, the Heard Museum, the Center for Creative Photography, the Museum of Northern Arizona, and others. Pro tip: Look for free-admission hours, as most museums waive entrance fees on a monthly or weekly basis.

Try a new cuisine

Most people will agree that the diversity of dining options in central, northern, and southern Arizona makes our state a more delicious place to live. Have you ever tried Ethiopian food? What about traditional Caribbean recipes? Make it a point to try at least one new cuisine this summer — you might just find your new favorite dish.

Learn another language

Did you know that thinking in a foreign language helps you approach problems in a more rational way? Learning another language also means opening yourself to new cultures, ideas, and people. There is a wealth of free resources online to help you get started — you can tune into a language-learning podcast while you drive, listen to music, or find a language partner (online or in-person) to practice with.

See live music

Thanks to our state’s growing arts and culture scene, cities across Arizona have become tour destinations for international musical acts. If you’re close to Phoenix, check out the Musical Instrument Museum for concerts from world-class musicians of any genre you could imagine (and some you’ve never heard of). For residents of southern Arizona, Tucson’s Rialto Theatre is a renowned venue where you can see world-class acts almost every night. If you’re in Flagstaff, the Orpheum Theater is the go-to spot for the best musicians coming through northern Arizona.

Read a new book

Reading is arguably the best way to travel without leaving your couch. Love fiction? This list of 10 international women authors you need to know will keep you turning pages all summer long. Looking to explore a particular region or country? Dive into this list from A Year of Reading the World, compiled by Ann Morgan (and while you’re at it, listen to her Ted Talk on why all stories matter).

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