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WorldStrides and Explorica Join Forces

January 8, 2016

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — January 8, 2016 — WorldStrides, the largest educational travel company in the United States and the leading experiential education provider, has acquired Explorica, Inc. of Boston, Ma. Explorica is one of North America’s premier student travel companies, providing innovative international travel programs for more than 35,000 U.S. and Canadian middle and high school students annually. The company is also a leader in domestic student trips for Canadian students through its Keating-Explorica division.

Founded in 2000 by Olle Olsson and a team of seasoned student travel professionals, Explorica provides educational travel programs for students that are both authentic and interactive. The company specializes in connecting teachers and students to new cultures and languages in more than 55 countries around the globe. Explorica’s combination of online tools and personalized service enables teachers to customize travel-study programs that enhance what they teach in the classroom.

“We are extremely excited about the people, programs and resources that Explorica brings to WorldStrides,” said Jim Hall, President and CEO of WorldStrides. “We have known and admired Explorica since the company’s founding, and their programs provide a perfect complement to WorldStrides.” He added, “With the addition of Explorica, we now have more than 1,300 global employees operating out of 45 offices on six continents, allowing us to continue to set new standards in experiential education for students of all ages.”

Olle Olsson, founder and Chairman of Explorica added, “Joining WorldStrides presents an ideal opportunity for Explorica to continue our mission of providing students and teachers with the highest quality educational travel programs at affordable prices. The collective resources of our companies are unmatched in our industry, and I could not be more excited for our employees and customers.” Olsson and Explorica’s management team and employees will continue with WorldStrides following the acquisition.

About WorldStrides

WorldStrides, headquartered in Charlottesville, Va., is the largest educational student travel company in the United States. The company was founded in 1967 to provide middle school travel programs to Washington, D.C., and has grown to provide educational programs for more than 400,000 students annually from more than 5,000 K12 schools and universities to over 100 countries around the world. WorldStrides is owned by management and institutional investors including The Carlyle Group. For more information on WorldStrides, visit

About The Carlyle Group

The Carlyle Group is a global alternative asset manager with more than $188 billion of assets under management across 126 funds. Founded in 1987 in Washington, D.C., Carlyle has grown into one of the world’s largest and most successful investment firms, with more than 1700 professionals operating out of 35 offices in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Australia.

Media contact:

Julia Given
Vice President of Marketing
[email protected]