Educator profile

The personal and professional impact of educational travel with Group Leader Keeley

A portrait of Group Leader Keeley L., who uses her experiences traveling the world to share her life lessons for students.

Keeley L. invests a lot into her students and her teaching. Traveling is how she invests in herself.

Having an EF tour lined up for the end of a school year gives the English teacher and EF Group Leader from Pennsylvania something to personally look forward to. It also lets Keeley see the impact she’s made on students in a real-world setting. She’s seen travel transform her own life, which is why sharing the adventure (and the important life lessons for students that come with it) is her favorite part about teaching.

A collage of photos from Keeley's high-school exchange program to Denmark, where she first learned about travel and the life lessons for students it provides.

Keeley’s first time traveling abroad was to participate in an exchange program in Denmark as a high school student.


From the very first time she traveled abroad as a high-schooler, Keeley was hooked, to the point that it’s become core to her identity. When she was younger, it was all about getting out there, seeing everything, doing everything. As she’s grown older, though, Keeley’s approach to travel has evolved. Now, she opens her eyes wider and looks deeper during her trips to find lessons she can bring home. Her experiences traveling inform almost everything in Keeley’s life, from her parenting to her teaching.

Travel has also inspired Keeley to keep going during difficult times. When she was diagnosed with cancer in 2021, Keeley latched on to her next adventure as something to strive toward during her treatments. To keep that outlook close, she wrote “onward” on the bottom of her sneakers and wore the shoes throughout her EF trip to Switzerland and Italy in 2022, knowing the only way forward is one step at a time.

Keeley and her students on her first EF tour to Italy after her breast cancer diagnosis, where she passed along many of her life lessons for students.

Seeing the world has taught Keeley so much about herself and the way she approaches life. That’s why introducing her students to travel is so meaningful. She’s been traveling with EF since 2008, and each new trip (like her most recent tour to Thailand) fills her with excitement to watch students learn and grow from a unique experience.

“If you are going to try a food or if you are going to speak a language, the real way to do that is to be there,” Keeley says of the important life lessons for students found on every tour. “Everything that’s happening here is the foundation for a stronger future, for a stronger leader, for a stronger thinker.”

Keeley has no plans to slow down anytime soon. With each EF tour she learns something new about the world, herself, and the power of educational travel. Traveling to new destinations is one of the most valuable tools she has as a teacher, which leaves only one question: Where to next?

Keeley on an EF tour, which she says is the best way to pass along life lessons for students.

Take your own students beyond the classroom

Browse tours

Jake Minton

Jake is a copywriter at EF. His bucket list includes (but is by no means limited to) snowboarding in Japan, exploring the streets of Nairobi, and snorkeling in the Great Barrier Reef.