When you’re planning an educational tour with ACIS, your International Program Consultant is your partner. It is their job to help you choose or customize a trip, recruit a group and prepare for the amazing adventure that lies ahead. Meet Jeannie Page, one of our amazing consultants who is an expert at helping her teachers get a trip off the ground and ensuring it’s an experience they will remember always.
Tell us about yourself. What’s your role at ACIS?
I am the Regional Director for ACIS Western region. This is actually my 2nd time working for ACIS. I worked in our Boston office in my 20s and then came back years later once I had made my way to the west coast. What can I say? It’s a great company with a wonderful mission and I absolutely love what we do! Having lived all over the West Coast now, I love working with clients all over the western region.
We do have quite the boomerang club, don’t we? About that mission, why do you believe that travel changes lives?
Never having been to Europe before, when I was 20 years old, I got on a plane by myself to travel to Spain where I spent my junior year living and studying abroad. That experience completely changed my life – I saw firsthand the invaluable education that comes with immersing oneself in a different culture and seeing how other people live. Since that time I’ve been fortunate to travel to five continents, both for work and for personal vacation, and I’ve definitely got the “travel bug!” These experiences expand your mind, broaden your horizons and make you a far more tolerant person. You realize that people are people, no matter where they live or how different their culture.
Absolutely! And now you work with teachers to help them plan a tour and change their students lives. How do you help ensure they have the best trip possible?
I love working with my many clients with whom I’ve built wonderful relationships over the years. They know they can email or call me at any time and I always try to get back to them as quickly as possible. There is a lot to keep track of in the world of international travel, especially during a pandemic, so I help my clients to stay on track with regular email check-ins and also Zoom meetings for the group, both for the recruitment phase and as they prepare for departure.
Do you have a tip you always give to teachers for planning their tour?
Definitely get the group together for meetings at least three times in the planning process so that the kids can meet and get to know one another and so the group can talk through what to expect when they are overseas.
And what about a tip related to travel itself?
That the F-word, FLEXIBILITY, is by far the most important item they can teach and foster in their students. Roll with the punches and be willing to adapt and go with the flow – things happen when you travel – taking them in stride and with a sense of humor is the best way to guarantee a positive experience!
So true. And sometimes what first seems like a glitch can turn into an unexpected delight, especially at the hands of our amazing tour managers. Thanks for sharing, Jeannie.