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Student Traveler Spotlight: Emily Pachan

January 15, 2015 Cara Marzilli No Comments
Each month we spotlight an ACIS traveler who reminds us that travel does indeed change lives. This month, we’re doing things a little differently for our chat with student Emily Pachan. Emily hasn’t traveled  with ACIS yet, but explains her experience learning about, planning, and saving for her upcoming educational tour to France and Spain.  We’ll follow-up with Emily on her experience traveling once she’s returned from her trip across the pond!

Hi Emily, thanks so much for chatting with us! Let’s dive right in: How did you hear about the ACIS trip being organized at your school?

Emily: Freshman year my teacher, Dr. Beach, held an informational meeting about a trip to Europe that would happen during our junior year. He told initially told us about the meeting one month before, and continued to remind us reminded us of it almost every day leading up to it, making sure we could all be aware of the opportunity and took time to attend. At the meeting, he explained the itinerary and how it would complement the AP European History course we would also take during the year.

So you had a lot of build up for that first meeting! When you went home afterward, what did you tell your parents about the tour?

Emily: I told them that I wanted to go, and that I would work hard to raise all of the money myself. At first, the decision was I couldn’t go on the trip. However, about a week later, my mom told me to reach into the back seat and grab a piece of paper and read it. It was the conformation that I had been registered for the trip! My parents surprised me and I was so excited  that I couldn’t stop smiling the rest of the night.

We love that your parents took the time to think it over, and then let you know with the element of surprise! Since you knew you’d be paying for the tour yourself, what did you do to fund raise? 

Emily:  I earned money by teaching swim lessons and working as a lifeguard for 16 hours a week during the school year and as many hours as I could during the summer. I also asked for money for my birthday and Christmas to save toward my trip. It took me one year and two weeks (54 weeks total!) to raise money and save for my trip.

What’s the most important thing you learned from saving up on your own?

Emily: When I decided to get a job to earn the money, I took a specific skill that I had (swimming) and turned it into a job (swim teacher). Knowing that you have to have specific skills for this job decreased the amount of people likely to apply for the job, and increased my likelihood of getting it. Instead of applying for say a retail job and competing with people who had more work experience than I had, I found a job where not as many people had the skills and experience that I did. It also allowed me to do something that I loved which made it worth it!

So what are you most looking forward to seeing or experiencing on your tour?

Emily: I’m really excited to see Versailles castle and to go horseback riding in the gardens of Provence. But, I also have the feeling that Barcelona will be amazing. Really, I’m just excited for a new experience in new places!

What advice would you give to a fellow student in your position who wants to travel and needs to fund raise?

Emily: It’s easiest to work for the money when you remember that it will all pay off during your trip. I put pictures up in my room of France and Spain so I could visualize what I was working for. Think of all the fun you will have later, it will defiantly make up for all the work you need to do.

Thanks for telling us more about your experience, Emily. We can’t wait to hear all about your trip once you’ve returned home. Bon Voyage!

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Cara Marzilli

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