Alternative study abroad attracts student travelers with low costs

Education First College Study Tours present affordable, exciting opportunities for college-age travelers as an alternative to typical university study abroad trips.

Sophomore Sarah Regner serves as Geneseo's campus manager for the company. She said that the trips are designed for "people who want to travel, but unfortunately do not have either the time or money to study abroad."

With trips available over winter break, mid-spring, or most popularly summer, the group caters to student availability and provides a bounty of exotic trips from which to choose.

EF College Study Tours enable students to decide if they want to travel alone, so they can meet new people, or with friends. "All attendees are students aged between 18 and 26, so there is no reason to feel uncomfortable about meeting people outside of the typical college age," Regner said.

The trips are also reasonably priced, especially relative to university study abroad costs, considering there is no tuition involved. Prices range from about $1,500 to $3,000 per trip, which, according to Regner, includes airfare, transportation, hotels, a 24-hour tour guide and breakfast everyday.

The voyages range from eight to 30 days and go all over the world. Currently, the Web site offers trips to Costa Rica, Ireland, Thailand, tours all around Europe and a myriad of other tempting locales.

"You have the choice of being either on your own for the day or with the tour guide, which opens up the door to individual exploration and the chance to do your own thing, but only if that's what you want," Regner said.

Each trip has spots for 40 college students, but Regner warned that they fill up fast. Summer 2009 prices have just been dropped about $200, but there are limited spaces available. "Now is really the best time to book for 2010," said Regner.

Regner said she went on a trip through EF College Study Tours in her senior year of high school. "I went to Paris with my class," she said. "It was a blast! Now, as a young adult, is the best time to travel, and [traveling] is so important because it exposes you to new cultures and experiences. This is the perfect time to go."

As far as safety is concerned, Regner said she "felt extremely safe, thanks to the tour guide. If your plan is to go off on your own, they give you a sheet of the best sites to visit and certainly do not guide anyone to tourist traps or dangerous neighborhoods."

According to Regner, students can save $50 at the time of registration by using the campus manager code, "Regner6120." Contact with any questions, or consult the Web site at