For international students studying abroad, going for holidays isn’t always easy.
Not only are there financial restraints for some, many students feel they need to use the breaks to either go home or do something productive like take a class or internship.
However, international students should try and travel and make the most out of their time abroad. They might never get the chance to live in a different country again, or at least the same one they’re studying in.
Plus, holidays are good for stress relief, and travelling can enrich their student experience, open up their minds to new cuisine, new sights, and maybe even new friendships.
Some students may be daunted by the prospect of travelling in a new country, especially one as big as the US.
However, there are tour companies that cater to international students specifically, understanding that there may be challenges for them that restrict their ability to travel.
One such company is Expedition America, a travel operator that first began in 2011.
In an interview with The Pie News, CEO Robert Fried said, “I had no clue what this industry was. I had a friend who was taking high school graduates seniors to Europe every year and he noticed a large amount of international students that were coming into the US. I was working in private equity in LA. He came to me one day and said we had to buy a bus.”
“Are you crazy? Why would I buy a bus? He said a school in South Beach California had tons of international students and he worked with a tour company that was outrageously priced, took them to horrible accommodation and we could do these tours so much better.”
Since then, Expedition America has grown exponentially and hordes of students have signed up for their tours.
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Source: Expedition America on Instagram
Fried told The Pie News, “In 2018 we’ve had about 40,000 unique students or just over 100,000 trips. We track how many times students come back again depending on how long they are in the US. If they are short term, they do a bunch of trips quickly and leave. For those on longer term, you want to get them out throughout their term.”
Expedition America organises tours at affordable rates, in major cities in the US such as Boston, New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and San Francisco.
Depending on the students’ interests, there are trips to theme parks, nature tours, city tours, and a weekend trip in Las Vegas.
Some examples of the tours and trips they organise are the Napa Wine Tasting tour, Disneyland trip, Niagara Falls Weekend tour, Lakers Basketball Game day trip, and Universal Studios tour.
It’s a great chance for international students to immerse themselves in American life, and check out famous attractions with a group of like-minded people.
Fried said that their biggest selling point is that you get to go with a group of students and you come home with friends.
Therefore, it’s safer and you don’t have to worry about figuring out the logistics yourself, such as accommodation, transport, and food. Plus, you get to meet new people and build potentially new friendships!
Fried said, “Our biggest competition is students who come to the US, rent a car and want to do things on their own. They don’t realise that most of the time that ends up costing more.”