June 22, 2024 

Which women’s college basketball teams are taking foreign tours in 2024?

LSU, Stanford headline the jetsetters

After a busy summer 2023 that saw at least 58 Division I women’s basketball teams — about one in every six teams — take foreign tours, the skies appear to be somewhat quieter this summer.

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At least 32 Division I teams are traveling this summer, according to information provided to The Next by 12 leading tour companies and several schools’ athletic departments. (Additional tour companies did not respond to multiple requests by email and phone. This story will be updated if more information becomes available.)

AkronPuerto RicoJune 25-30
CharlotteGreece and ItalyAug. 5-15
Coastal CarolinaGreeceAug. 3-12
CreightonGreece and SpainAug. 4-13
FordhamGreeceAug. 10-18
FurmanGreeceAug. 10-19
HawaiiJapanJune 4-13
IllinoisCroatia and ItalyAug. 2-12
Loyola MarylandSpainJune 27-July 5
LSUCroatia and GreeceJuly 31-Aug. 11
MaineAustraliaMay 12-22
MarshallItalyAug. 11-17
MarylandCroatia and MontenegroJune 24-July 4
North Carolina A&TBahamasAug. 6-11
PennCroatia and ItalyAug. 9-20
PortlandCroatia and GreeceAug. 10-22
ProvidenceCroatia and GreeceAug. 5-15
PurduePortugal and SpainAug. 5-15
Purdue Fort WayneItalyJuly 28-Aug. 5
RichmondSpainAug. 4-13
Saint Joseph’sCroatia and ItalyAug. 3-11
Saint Mary’sItalyJune 24-July 4
SienaIrelandAug. 5-14
SMUCroatia and GreeceAug. 3-13
South Carolina StateCanadaAug. 3-8
StanfordItalyAug. 18-28
Tennessee TechPortugalAug. 3-11
TroyCosta RicaJuly 18-25
USC UpstateGreeceAug. 6-16
Wake ForestCroatia and GreeceAug. 8-18
West VirginiaCroatia and ItalyJuly 29-Aug. 8
Wichita StateU.S. Virgin IslandsJuly 28-Aug. 2
Note: This table includes Division I women’s basketball teams only.

NCAA rules allow teams to take foreign tours once every four years. Nearly 80 teams traveled in 2022 or 2023, making them unable to travel this summer. Still, more teams are traveling this summer than in 2022, when the COVID-19 pandemic prompted some teams to postpone their tours another year.

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Foreign tours provide clear benefits on the court for teams that travel. Teams play exhibition games while they’re abroad, and the NCAA allows them to have 10 extra practices before they depart. This benefit can be especially valuable for teams that have new head coaches or that have had lots of roster turnover due to transfers or graduation.

Maryland is a prime example of this, welcoming 10 newcomers for the 2024-25 season. The Terrapins leave for a tour of Croatia and Montenegro on Monday.

“That is invaluable to be able to have those 10 [extra] practices and be able to take your team over and get some games under your belt,” Maryland head coach Brenda Frese told The Next’s Howard Megdal on an episode of Locked On Women’s Basketball in May. “And [it] couldn’t have worked out [better]. I never thought we’d have this many new players coming in and here we are. So the timing is absolutely perfect to be able to have this summer and the access we’re going to be able to have.”

For many coaches, though, the basketball benefits are secondary to all that players learn about the culture and history of their destinations. They visit monuments, museums and historic sites; eat (and sometimes learn to cook) local cuisine; and shop at local markets. During Maine women’s basketball’s trip to Australia in May, the itinerary included the Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, an Australian football game and a wildlife sanctuary called Hartley’s Crocodile Adventures.

Some coaches require players to learn about where they’re going ahead of time. For example, before Hawaii women’s basketball left for Japan on June 4, the players took a class from the Honolulu Japanese Chamber of Commerce on Japanese customs and etiquette.

“The obvious reason for the trip is for the team building and team bonding experience for these young women,” Hawaii head coach Laura Beeman said in a press release. “The less obvious reason is the experience they’re going to get in a different culture in a beautiful place like Japan, and also spreading the aloha spirit to Japan.”

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At least nine teams that made the 2024 NCAA Tournament are taking foreign tours this summer, including Elite Eight participant LSU and Sweet 16 participant Stanford. LSU will visit Croatia and Greece from July 31 to Aug. 11, and Stanford will head to Italy from Aug. 18 to 28.

In addition, Saint Mary’s will take the first foreign tour in program history when it heads to Italy on Monday. Purdue Fort Wayne will also take its first-ever tour a little later in the summer, as the Mastodons will travel to Italy on July 28.

Nineteen of the 32 teams known to be traveling this summer will visit one country, while 13 will visit two countries.

Europe is by far the most popular continent for foreign tours, but teams are also traveling to destinations in Asia, Australia, Central America and North America. Greece (at least 11 teams visiting), Croatia (10) and Italy (nine) are the most popular countries, just as they were in 2023.

Maine traveled the farthest for its tour of Australia. The first leg of the trip, from Orono, Maine, to Sydney, Australia, took the Black Bears 31 hours. In contrast, North Carolina A&T won’t even change time zones to go to the Bahamas in August. Wichita State will also stay relatively close to home when it visits the U.S. Virgin Islands in July and August.

However close or far teams go, many players will get an experience unlike any other in their college careers this summer. Stay tuned to see how it benefits them on and off the court.

Note: This story has been updated multiple times, most recently on June 29, to include a total of three additional teams taking foreign tours in summer 2024.

To learn more about teams’ recent experiences with foreign tours, check out:

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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.

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