Graduation Photo

About Us

Sharing our world with you...

Our beginnings started in the exchange year of our founders Patrick and Tim. Tim, the young embodiment of Bavarian village life and Patrick, his host father, representing the hustle and bustle of the Californian way of life had a once-in-a-lifetime experience together for 10 months. It allowed them both to learn about new cultures, explore California and widen their horizons in many ways.

 

Their time together left them wanting to share their experience with other people because they were convinced that if every person on the planet had such an objective experience, the world would truly be a more open-minded and understanding place. So they embarked on the journey of sharing their beliefs with other people through the power of travel, bringing two Taiwanese teenagers to the San Francisco Bay Area for a 4-week summer program.

 

From the beginning this program had the goal of conveying the same great growth experiences as Patrick and Tim had through daily activities, quality family-time and exposure to new ways of thinking and living. Long story short: They achieved their goal... In fact, right at this moment one of these two boys is actually pursuing a college degree in California. It is this kind of difference we are able to make in people’s lives that keeps us going more than anything else.

Our founders Patrick and Tim several years ago

Our first large group at Universal Studios Hollywood

Our first Summer Program 

Driven by a Mission

...to open up a whole new world to you.

Organizing regular activities & programs for groups and individuals has been our passion ever since, allowing us to open up to new kinds of groups, like High School classes, businessmen, university students and anybody else willing to have an experience of a lifetime. 

 

We believe that a successful time abroad is one during which you experience a radically new environment in all its various facets and structures. Doing so allows you to put everything you knew up to that point into perspective and to thus gain a more complete understanding of the world around you. Beyond this, you will also get to know totally new sides of yourself that you may not have known existed. What we would say makes us unique in this goal is that you are at the center of it. We are doing this for the long-term change it conveys to individuals of all ages and walks of life. Because of this, we will not settle for anything less than that. 

 

We do this by making sure we understand your goals and desires in coming to America and helping you achieve them by selecting or creating the right program. We are by your side throughout your entire time abroad, ready to help you grow the same way we and our past participants have.

Inclusivity

You’ll know what expenses are coming your way & won’t be faced with any unexpected fees or booking options ever.

Personability

By joining, you become part of our family and are treated as such. We are there to help you with anything at any time.

Individuality

We cater to your individual needs by creating programs for you or adapting our base programs to fit your needs.

Locality

We are local in the Bay Area & will always help you find your way around and even meet with you when necessary.

Testimonials

Alex & Sylvia Kain

Parents of Max Kain, Summer Program participant, Germany

“Our son Max participated in the 2017 Universal Studies Summer Program in San Francisco - and we as parents are still deeply awed about how everything transpired.

These feelings begin with the understandably uneasy decision to let your child go to a place so far away from home for a comparably long timeframe of 3 weeks - combined with the skepticism whether everything from airport pick-up to accommodation to the support would work out properly and smoothly. Long story short: It was perfect.

The concept of not merely placing the students in random host families (which by all accounts is a game of luck), but to instead over time and together with the supervisors allow them to grow into a family worked out perfectly. As parents this made us feel in very safe hands. The kids were never left alone, yet still had the chance to go out and explore by themselves.

An excellent solution Universal Studies found for a typical problem we have as parents: There is no need to feel like a helicopter parent by, with time difference and distance, wanting to contact your child daily to be assured that they are doing okay. Being a helicopter parent while your child is away will only end up being counterproductive in the long run because the children are supposed to use this time away from home to discover the great wide world on their own two feet for the first time in their lives and to become more independent rather than being kept on a short leash.

To alleviate this situation, Universal Studies posted tons of photos and videos of the group and what they were up to across many different Social Media forums every single day - Studying, cooking, excursions, sitting together and other events. So without direct contact we were still with the kids and felt very involved every day of their experience. Optimal! This way there wasn’t even the need to make use of the chaperones’ offer to still be reached out to 24/7.

Universal Studies’ fundamental structure of going to school Monday through Thursday morning, to then at close range exploring the country and the people in the afternoons and to finally spending Friday through Sunday going on longer and further away trips is by far second to none: The mixture of nature and attractions, imparting knowledge and getting-a-feel-for-the-californian-lifestyle was perfect.

These mere 3 weeks were enough to convey to Max a multitude of new impressions, a new perspective on the world, tons of additional self-confidence, new international friends and last but not least significantly improved English skills, all of which with long-lasting effects.

Finally: We are to this day still impressed and have not regretted the decision for Universal Studies for even just a second.”

Ingrid from Denmark

Teacher at Silkeborg High School, High School Program participant

“It was six months before our trip to California that we contacted you. We asked for your help for the high school visit. […] We ended up having an absolutely fantastic day at Leadership High School in San Francisco! Wonderful staff and nice and open-minded students. And a lot of time for the students to get to know each other. It sure was a worth-while experience. It all went exactly as we wanted it and had wished for.“

Kevin from Taiwan

San Francisco Intensive Program participant

“At first I was very scared of speaking English all the time but we talk so much together and there was always such strong support from the coordinators and the other participants that it was a lot of fun to speak and improve English. Even though I was in America with my Taiwanese friend, we always spoke English. Now I have even moved to the USA and go to college here! I really improved in lots of areas!“

Seojeong from South Korea

Summer Program participant

“It was very useful experience to me. I could widen my mental vision and had good thinking time about my future and mind.“

Conny from Germany

Summer Program participant

“Yes, I would [return to the USA]. Especially because I want to show my german friends all the beautiful places you showed me!I really enjoyed it! Thank you for everything!“

Max from Germany
Summer Program participant

“Everything was perfect! I hope we meet again! As soon as possible!“

 
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Universal Studies is a member of the International Education Consultants Association (IECA)

Driven by a Mission

Our Mission is to provide high quality study abroad programs and tours that allow exchange students to improve their English, have great experiences and grow in character, open-mindedness and confidence. We choose to do this in the San Francisco Bay Area, because it is our home and it is close to many great ESL schools as well as attractions, such as the Silicon Valley, Napa, Yosemite National Park, Santa Cruz, Lake Tahoe and many more. We also offer internships, corporate training programs and high school trips.

 

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Universal Studies - 430 Merritt Ave. - 94610 Oakland, CA - info@us-tours.net - 1 (510) 469-1490

© 2019 Universal Studies