Information for Parents
Trustworthy. Experienced. Qualified.
While WSA delivers amazing tours for students and young backpackers abroad in Europe, we also recognize that parents need some peace of mind, too! Here's what we can guarantee with every WSA experience. You can also find that our student reviews have earned us a five-star rating on TripAdvisor.
1. Safety: WSA's top priority
Europe is a safe place. Statiscally, it's safer in just about every aspect than the USA. That's not to say worries are unfounded, so we've taken every precaution possible to ensure the safety of all our tours members throughout their travel with WSA.
- Local and Responsible Tour Guides: Every one of our tours is led by a professional, passionate local guide who speaks the language and knows these cities like the back of her hand.
- Three WSA Contacts On Call 24/7: Include Tour Guide, Local Contact Back-Up and the WSA Office staff.
- Key Local Address and Contact Information: Each WSA tour handout includes information for the US Consulate, closest English speaking Hospital and the group's Hostel address and info.
- Travel Advisory web site monitored here, and study abroad information available here
- CPR Training: WSA guides are encouraged to be certified.
- We re-evaluate and improve our safety measures at our annual guide summit where all our local guides come in and share tips on the lessons and tips they learned during the previous season.
2. Educational & Immersive tours
Students often tell us they learn a ton on our trips and have a blast while doing it. Our trips help students learn more than they could ever expect about the cities they are visiting. We break through the checklist mentality and get students beyond snapping pictures of the Eiffel Tower or the Colosseum to really teach them about the history, culture and important events in each of these cities. WSA trips are structured to pack in a ton of experiences yet at a relaxed pace.
WSA and Local Culture: WSA plunges our students into the local culture encouraging them to try new cuisine, covering current events and important topics, and getting students off the beaten track to truly experience of these world-class cities. We've found that connecting to culture is the richest, most rewarding part of any travel experience, so we've made it a priority to get students knee deep in it!
WSA is fortunate to benefit from the over 20 years of travel experience that Andy Steves brings to the table. His background of traveling, working and studying in Europe gives WSA crucial expertise and important connections in every single destination. For a number of years, Andy has uploaded his blogs on his dad's site at RickSteves.com and also worked as a tour guide for Rick's company, Europe Through the Back Door.
WSA helps parents sit back, relax and enjoy their student's adventures by living vicariously through photo albums, blog entries, tour videos and more. Parents of students who enjoy our trips gain peace of mind knowing their loved ones are traveling with organized, responsible and knowledgeable staff from an insured and licensed tour company.
We're excited to continue opening young minds to the world around them:
"I think education abroad is necessary and important. It broadens horizons, teaches cultural tolerance, and opens young minds to a big world filled with infinite possibilities. Working to enhance and improve all aspects of study abroad opporunities for future generations of students is a worthy cause."
- Lauren Gerbach (from the handbook of Forum for Education Abroad, Denver 2012)
4. Like Father, Like Son
After traveling every summer while growing up with his family, Andy then began traveling, working and studying independently across Europe to develop his own unique style and travel philosophy. Check out his father's philosophy here, and Andy's here.
WSA Gift Cards
Enhance your student's semester abroad with a WSA Trip in any of our destinations! Gifts come in increments of trip prices:
Guarantee peace of mind, quality and unique cultural experiences for your students with a WSA gift card! Learn more by getting in touch with us here.
I definitely have WSA to thank for my exceptional experience in Amsterdam. One would think 4 days isn't enough to tour a city but WSA facilitated an optimum weekend full of sightseeing and fun. Amsterdam may have a notorious reputation for its lax drug and sex culture but there’s so much more to the city. Luckily, our tour guide, Arthur, native to the Netherlands, steered us away from the tourist traps and showed us around his beloved city, highlighting all of its gems. I'd definitely like to try other WSA trips in the future. It's hassle free traveling with an awesome itinerary - nice that the tour guides are flexible with the schedule and willing to cater the itinerary to the group's interest! Highly recommend WSA to any student with only a weekend to see a city.Lauren Wallender, Elon University ~ Fall 2014
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Pick a city and go! All new budget guidebook from Andy Steves, Founder and Chief Backpacker of WSA.