June 11, 2023 

Which women’s college basketball teams are taking foreign tours in 2023?

Plus, where teams will travel and what they’ll do overseas

Americans are expected to travel in record-breaking numbers this summer, especially by airplane, according to the travel and insurance organization AAA. That strong demand for travel is evident among women’s college basketball teams as well: At least 58 Division I teams will take foreign tours this summer, up from at least 18 in 2022.

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College teams can take foreign tours once every four years, but the COVID-19 pandemic canceled all tours in 2020 and deterred most teams from traveling in 2021 and 2022. That means that most teams have not traveled since at least 2019 and are eligible to do so this summer, and many are seizing the opportunity. All told, the 58 teams will visit 16 countries and territories and spend more than 550 total days out of the United States, with most trips taking place in August.

Here is a list of the teams that The Next confirmed will travel this summer, based on outreach to 13 leading tour companies and several schools’ athletic departments:

TeamDestination(s)Dates
AlabamaSpainAug. 5-15
ArkansasGreece and CroatiaAug. 5-14
AuburnFrance and SwitzerlandAug. 6-16
BaylorItaly and GreeceAug. 3-13
BelmontItalyJuly 29-Aug. 8
Boston CollegeItalyJuly 31-Aug. 10
BYUItalyAug. 14-24
ClemsonGreece and CroatiaAug. 9-19
ColgateItaly and GreeceAug. 2-12
DavidsonSpainAug. 9-18
DrexelIrelandAug. 7-17
Florida StateGreece and CroatiaAug. 5-15
George WashingtonItaly and GreeceAug. 12-22
Georgia StateGreeceAug. 7-15
Georgia TechCroatia and SpainAug. 6-16
GonzagaGreece and CroatiaAug. 13-25
Holy CrossIrelandJuly 26-Aug. 3
IndianaGreeceAug. 1-10
IowaItaly and CroatiaAug. 4-15
Iowa StateItaly and GreeceAug. 7-17
KansasItaly and GreeceAug. 6-16
Kent StateGreeceAug. 6-13
LouisianaCosta RicaAug. 8-14
MarquetteItaly and GreeceAug. 9-18
MiamiFrance and GreeceAug. 2-12
MichiganItaly and CroatiaAug. 15-24
MinnesotaGreece and CroatiaAug. 17-27
MississippiItalyJuly 30-Aug. 8
NebraskaGreeceJuly 30-Aug. 9
NevadaCanadaAug. 3-9
NorthwesternSpainAug. 20-30
Notre DameGreece and CroatiaJuly 29-Aug. 8
Oklahoma StateItaly and GreeceAug. 1-11
OregonEngland and GreeceAug. 19-28
Oregon StateItalyAug. 18-30
PacificSpainJuly 31-Aug. 9
PrincetonSpain and GreeceAug. 19-29
RutgersGreece and CroatiaAug. 7-17
SIUEItalyJune 16-26
Southern UtahAustraliaAug. 5-16
St. John’sItaly and GreeceAug. 11-20
Stephen F. AustinItalyAug. 4-14
TennesseeItaly and GreeceJune 11-22
ToledoGreeceAug. 5-15
UC DavisItalyAug. 10-20
UC IrvineGuadeloupeJuly 24-Aug. 2
UC San DiegoItalyAug. 15-25
UCLASenegal and GermanyAug. 21-31
UConnCroatia, Slovenia and ItalyAug. 14-25
UMassCroatiaAug. 11-19
Utah TechGreeceAug. 9-16
VanderbiltItalyAug. 5-16
VCUCroatia, Slovenia and ItalyAug. 7-16
Virginia TechGreeceAug. 8-17
Washington StateGreece and CroatiaAug. 5-15
Western MichiganPortugal and GreeceAug. 19-28
WisconsinItalyAug. 6-15
WoffordFranceJuly 31-Aug. 10

Foreign tours provide several benefits to participating teams. They give teams a unique opportunity to bond and to play exhibition games against foreign teams, which can be especially helpful for teams with new head coaches or an influx of transfers. Combined with the 10 extra practices teams get before departure, tours can give teams a head start on preparing for the season. At the same time, foreign tours expose players to different cultures, food and history, and coaches tout how these experiences can be life-changing for players. Some coaches even require their players to take a summer class beforehand to learn more about their destination.

“The opportunity to go on a foreign tour with our team is incredibly valuable,” Gonzaga head coach Lisa Fortier said about her team’s upcoming trip to Croatia and Greece. “The chance to spend time not just learning and seeing these amazing places, but also experiencing them together is incredible.”

Teams generally spend much of their tours visiting monuments, museums and historic sites such as the Eiffel Tower in France, the Colosseum in Italy and the Panathenaic Stadium (home of the first modern Olympics) in Greece. They do so not just on foot, but also sometimes by water taxi, gondola or bicycle. Some teams take cooking classes while abroad to further immerse themselves in the local cuisine, and Baylor’s itinerary in Italy and Greece this August will include hosting a youth basketball clinic.

These tours have been part of college athletics for decades, but one newer development is that they can also provide opportunities for international student-athletes to profit off of their name, image and likeness (NIL), which many of them cannot do while in the United States due to visa restrictions. (No student-athletes, whether domestic or international, were allowed to profit from their NIL until 2021.) One tour company representative told The Next that several teams have asked about building time for this into their trips this summer.

Teams from 20 conferences will take foreign tours this summer. The Big Ten has the most teams traveling with eight, the ACC has seven and the SEC has six teams traveling. A list of teams, sorted by conference, that are traveling is available at the end of this article.

Europe is by far the most popular continent for foreign tours, as 54 of the 58 teams traveling this summer — 93% — will spend all or part of their time there. A few teams will travel internationally in North America, Africa and Australia.

Thirty of the teams traveling this summer will spend their entire trip in one country, while 26 will visit two countries. Greece and Italy are the most popular destinations, and several teams will make stops in both countries. Twenty-eight teams will spend all or part of their trips in Greece, and 24 will do the same in Italy. Croatia is the only other country that will host double-digit teams, with 14 slated to visit this summer.

Note: Teams that visit multiple countries in the same trip are counted once for each country. Graph by Jenn Hatfield based on information from tour companies and athletic departments.

Whereas Greece and Italy were similarly popular with teams in 2022 as they are this summer, Croatia has become much more popular this summer. No teams went to Croatia in 2022, but its visitors this summer will include some of the sport’s biggest names. Iowa, the national runner-up in 2022, will visit Italy and Croatia in early August and play three exhibition games. UConn will also head to Croatia later in the month, starting in senior guard Nika Mühl’s hometown of Zagreb before visiting Samobor, Croatia; Slovenia; and Italy. (UConn and VCU are the only teams that will visit more than two countries this summer.)

Iowa and UConn are two of eight teams traveling that played in the Sweet 16 last season. That list also includes Elite Eight participant Miami, which will head to France and Greece from Aug. 2-12, and Final Four participant Virginia Tech, which will tour Greece from Aug. 8-17.

Two more Sweet 16 teams bookend the calendar: Tennessee will be the first team to travel, departing on June 11 for Italy and Greece. UCLA will wait the longest — the Bruins won’t leave for Senegal and Germany until Aug. 21.

“We’re about to spend … 11 straight days together, and you’re gonna learn a lot about people when you’re in that close quarters for that long,” Tennessee head coach Kellie Harper told reporters on June 8. “… I think it’s great to be able to see new things [and] experience new things together because while you’re doing that, you get to learn even more about one another. I think it’ll be great for our chemistry. I think it’s a great way to start the summer to be able to spend that time together.”

Here are some additional facts to know about the teams taking foreign tours this summer and their itineraries:

  • Nevada will stay relatively close to home when it visits Vancouver and Whistler, Canada, in early August. In contrast, Southern Utah will travel roughly 8,000 miles to visit Melbourne and Sydney, Australia, a few days later.
  • Nevada’s trip is also the shortest at six days long, whereas Gonzaga and Oregon State have the longest trips at 12 days. (The median length is 10 days.)
  • UCLA’s tour of Senegal and Germany is the only one this summer that spans multiple continents.
  • Most teams that take foreign tours work with a tour company that handles the logistics. UC Irvine is an exception, as its staff is planning the team’s trip to the Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe in late July and early August.
  • Davidson will take its first foreign tour in more than 20 years when it visits Barcelona and Valencia, Spain, in August.
  • As with UConn and Mühl, Holy Cross’ trip to Ireland in late July and early August will be a homecoming for an international player. The trip will begin in Dublin, the hometown of senior guard Bronagh Power-Cassidy, and continue on to Cork and Galway.

Teams traveling in 2023 by conference:

ConferenceNumber TravelingTeams Traveling
Big Ten8Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Rutgers, Wisconsin
ACC7Boston College, Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Miami, Notre Dame, Virginia Tech
SEC6Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
Big 125Baylor, BYU, Iowa State, Kansas, Oklahoma State
Pac-124Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, Washington State
A-104Davidson, George Washington, UMass, VCU
BIG EAST3Marquette, St. John’s, UConn
Big West3UC Davis, UC Irvine, UC San Diego
WAC3Stephen F. Austin, Utah Tech, Western Michigan
MAC2Kent State, Toledo
Patriot League2Colgate, Holy Cross
Sun Belt2Georgia State, Louisiana
WCC2Gonzaga, Pacific
Big Sky1Southern Utah
CAA1Drexel
Ivy League1Princeton
Missouri Valley1Belmont
Mountain West1Nevada
OVC1SIUE
Southern1Wofford

Note: This story was updated on July 19 to include one additional team taking a foreign tour in summer 2023.

To learn more about foreign tours, check out these articles from past summers:

Written by Jenn Hatfield

Jenn Hatfield has been a contributor to The Next since December 2018 and is currently the site's managing editor, Washington Mystics beat reporter and Ivy League beat reporter. Her work has also appeared at FiveThirtyEight, Her Hoop Stats, FanSided, Power Plays and Princeton Alumni Weekly.

2 Comments

  1. Benjamin on July 22, 2023 at 10:15 pm

    Have a daughter playing on this tour. Is there anyway to watch games in Greece in August?

    Thx!

    • Avatar photo Jenn Hatfield on July 22, 2023 at 10:47 pm

      Typically, these games are not televised or streamed anywhere, but I would double check with the sports information director for your daughter’s team.

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