Providers & Adminstrators
Unrivaled Education Services and Faculty-Led Tours
With over 10,000 happy students and 40 university visits annually, WSA continues to set the standard for bridging cultural gaps.
"WSA will always have a place in my study abroad programs.”
Dr. Brian Smith, Purdue University
WSA believes fun and learning are not mutually exclusive. After sitting through endless hours of History classes in dark, overheated rooms, Andy Steves decided to craft his WSA tours to go hand-in-hand with these classroom lectures and textbooks. We provide students and budget travelers an alternative to party and pub crawl tours. We focus on opening students' minds to a new culture in a fun and exciting way by bringing foreign cultures alive through our team of certified, passionate local guides. Students learn more through memorable, active and immersive learning, so we've designed our tours with this objective in mind.
"I'm a professor of a study abroad program for university students in Barcelona, Spain, and I had WSA's tour guide for Barcelona, Luke Watson, lead my program on a discussion of history and culture in Barcelona and Catalunya. What a cultural expert! Luke knows Barcelona and his discussion was both knowledgeable and engaging. As much as I valued his level of knowledge on the past and present of this diverse region of Spain, I was equally impressed with his local expertise. He knows the best ways to get away from the overly-touristy façade of Barcelona and experience the area like a local. From my own personal experience as an expat, I know first-hand that achieving that type of insight takes a lot of time and experience, and Luke (and WSA) seem to have it in spades. If this is what the rest of WSA’s tour guides are like (and I have a hunch that they are), then WSA will always have a place in my study abroad programs.”
- Brian Smith, Ph.D., Purdue University
"Last weekend, Stint Ireland took our summer group of international interns on a WSA trip to Prague. Adi was an amazing tour guide. He led us on a wonderful tour of the enchanting city of Prague. We were able to see all the main attractions in Prague but Adi's local know-how proved valuable and added depth to the tour as we got to see things like a paternoster elevator. The hostel where we stayed was in a great location but it's really the wonderful Adi that made the tour special. Thanks, Adi and WSA Europe!" (TripAdvisor)
- Stint Ireland Internship Program
"I took 50 singers, ages 12 through 19 to Rome for an International Choir Festival. We were in Rome for 5 days. WSA took care of our meals, sightseeing, and guided us through the metro, bus, and tram public transportation in Rome! Our guide Elena was energetic, helpful, informative, and catered to all of our needs. She kept us informed, educated, and motivated the group. Elena accommodated us and made sure that we were first and foremost prepared for our choir performances. The WSA team catered to all of our needs, and simplified some of the logistical challenges of traveling with a large group. One of the best ideas was having our sandwiches and ice cold waters delivered to us en route - a big thank you to Giorgio, who took care of our lunch meals. This saved us a lot of time. I appreciated the way WSA heard our needs and understood the challenge of maneuvering through Rome. They understood the needs of young people, when they need a break, great dining experiences, and the priority of the choir festival. THANK YOU - WSA!" (TripAdvisor)
- Leanna K, Seattle Children's Chorus
Each year, our team presents travel workshops for over 40 universities and study abroad programs. Our school partners integrate WSA travel workshops into orientation events and safe travel talks to connect with students. We continue to empower programs with the proper tools and mindset to maximize their semester abroad.
Get in touch with us to learn more about WSA's safe travel resources, or to schedule your program's student workshop. (Availability is limited. WSA Workshops are a free service for our partner universities.)
TOP SAFETY MANAGEMENT
Travel is an icredible way to experience the world, and we've taken every possible step to ensure students' safety while exploring new and foreign cities with our local guides. We recognize that we're providing a tour service to students, but academic administrators are also stakeholders in the matter. We've found the perfect mixture of fun, history, learning and culture all done so in a safe environment. We're active in industry conferences and are vigilant in consistently evaluating and improving our safety protocol.
Safety Protocol: We've designed our trips with numerous layers of best practices. We refresh these safety protocols at our annual guide summit based on real life lessons and feedback received each season.
- Certified & Prepared: Our local guides know their home town like the back of their hand and speak the local language. They each have years of experience and in-depth training as certified guides to handle ensure safety.
- Guide's contact information provided and available at all hours, and WSA staff on-call 24/7 during tour
- Key local contacts provided: Includes US Consulate, English-speaking Hospital and Hostel.
- Travel Advisory web site monitored at http://travel.state.gov, study abroad information available at http://studentsabroad.state.gov/.
- CPR trained and certified
Corporate Risk Management: We're proud of our travel expertise and work hard to continue building the WSA brand. To ensure the highest quality tours and travel insight at our travel workshops, here's what we can guarantee:
- Fully licensed: Limited Liability Company Headquartered in Washington State, USA.
- Full Tour Operator and Student Tour Operator Liability Insurance
- Corporate Advisory Board: Includes veterans in the travel industry such as European travel guru and PBS show host Rick Steves and Chris Arrott, Founder of Adventure Travel Company.
- Experienced Staff: Team includes professionals who combined have decades of travel experience in Europe.
"Students need to be challenged to step outside their comfort zones when studying abroad - that is possibly one of the most rewarding aspects of the experience... These are undergraduates, not children. They should be challenged to be a little uncomfortable, to be a little overwhelmed. By interacting with their local environment, they should be questioning their cultural norms and perspectives and returning home more informed and unbiased about the world around them. These kinds of experiences often create the best oucomes, and will foster the confdence that young individuals need to be prepared for academic, personal and professional challenges in the future."
- Alyssa Iricarry, Forum for Education Abroad Handbook, 2012
I traveled to Prague with my friends on a weekend trip, and going there I knew absolutely nothing about the city. Signing up for WSA was the best decision ever, because not only did I learn so much about Prague but I also had SO much fun! Our tour guide Adi planned out the whole weekend for...Pauline Blatt, University of Notre Dame ~ Notre Dame Global Gateway, Rome, Summer Break 2016
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Pick a city and go! All new budget guidebook from Andy Steves, Founder and Chief Backpacker of WSA.