The process of finding the right tour provider or operator for your study abroad can seem daunting, even more so if it is your first time organizing a student program abroad. Find out the main steps you'll take to select the tour operator that fits your specific program and sets both you and your students up for success during their time abroad.
1. Determine Your Program Needs
The first step in selecting a tour operator is to first define what your program needs are, as well as your wish list items. There is a difference between what you need for your program and what you would like for your program based on both time and financial constraints.
A few examples of needs and wants to brainstorm about before moving onto step two:
- Specific Length of Time
- Academic Components
2. Research Your Options
Next, once you have a better idea of what you would like your program to look like, it's time to start researching your options. How can you go about researching tour providers that fit your expectations?
Recommended ways to research tour operators:
- Recommendations from colleagues or study abroad contacts
- Search engines
- Study abroad databases and websites
After you've done some preliminary research, you should have been able to find a few providers that you can put on your short list as potential partners for your program.
3. Contact The Providers
Once you've narrowed down your options, it's time to start contacting the providers. These organization's should be willing and able to speak with you at no cost – extra bonus points if they will give you a free quote for your desired program too. When speaking with tour providers and operators, be sure to keep your needs and wants list in mind and confirm the information you discovered during your research, while finding out additional information you might have missed.
If you're unsure what are the most important questions to ask, check out our free guide The 7 Best Questions To Ask When Choosing a Tour Provider.
4. Choose Your Provider
Finally, after careful and thorough research you can choose your tour provider for your study abroad program! Be sure to check all the agreed-upon details and ensure that you and your selected provider are on the same page regarding all aspects of your program. The more information that can be finalized up front will result in less back and forth, and potential road bumps in the future.
7 Best Questions To Ask When Choosing a Tour Provider
If you’ve decided to start planning your study abroad program and search for a tour provider but don’t know the questions to ask potential providers, we’ve got you covered. Based on 15 years of experience, we have compiled our list of the 7 best and most necessary questions to ask during your process of selecting a tour provider for your program.