Talking with the Parents

This process is essential but at the same time can be difficult. Paying $5,000.00 for a 3 week trip of their kid is definitely not something every parent just jumps into, which is why I want to share some really important concepts to discuss with parents.

Every parent wants to know where there money is going and if the Program is worthy spending this kind of money on. The following things help in the process of showing parents that it is absolutely worth it.

1. The program price is All-Inclusive, which means there will never be any other fees coming the parents’ way. Think about it, the first thing any parent does when hearing the Program price is calculate: “Ok so $4,500.00 and then add another $1,000.00 for the flight and then I know my son, he always wants to spend so much time shopping and what if they offer some extra stuff my son can purchase, this thing is just going to skyrocket!!!” Be sure to express to the parents that these worries may be valid with other companies who do in fact offer extra trips and also CHARGE extra for each one of them (up to $500), but not with us. The students can technically come to our programs with no pocket money whatsoever and be just fine while getting the same experience as their host-brothers and sisters.

2. Another part of the “All-Inclusive” attribute of Universal Studies is that you do in fact get a fully packed True American Experience. This means there is no downtime ever, because we keep all participants active 24/7. To give you an example of what I mean, I have a schedule of the EF 3 Week Program, as well as the IST 3 Week Program attached below. Both companies offer ONLY local trips within the Los Angeles area unless you purchase extra trips, such as Disneyland, a San Francisco Weekend, a San Diego Weekend etc. On top of that EF expects you to spend several days just sitting at home with your host-family, which, as we know, can be a very unlucky and boring situation. Both these schedules by well-known international companies don’t even come close to the amount and the quality of the trips students get to do with us, yet they charge the same or similar prices (EF: about $5,000.00 and IST about $4,000.00) which are not even All-Inclusive since they offer extra booking options (trips, insurance, vegetarian/vegan meals etc).

As a comparison the 2018 Summer Schedule of Universal Studies:

3. One more major selling point that helped me recruit 3 students by myself last year is that parents NEVER have to worry about the well-being of their child. How? Well, as I mentioned earlier, we are one big family that is together the majority of the time and that listens to and communicates with each other 24/7. We can achieve this by keeping our programs just small enough to oversee each participants well-being on a daily basis. Aside from the included health insurance, we always keep a First-Aid Kit at arm’s length wherever we are, in the car or at home. Also, a nurse is present at the school throughout the day to ensure the best possible safety. All present staff are CPR and First-Aid certified.

4. All participants will be exposed to an environment where they can grow as a person beyond their wildest expectations. The way we achieve this is by giving them necessary tools, like the language skill, knowledge about how Americans live and converse, and, most importantly, activities such as group events or the Amazing Race during which they have to manage to travel through the entire Bay Area while finding clues, completing tasks and talking to strangers. We want students to not only learn but to apply what they learned on a daily basis, this is the key to growing, it has really changed lives in the past and it is what we stand for.

5. Last but not least, I suggest stressing everything that students receive as part of our Program: Accommodation in a comfortable, family-style home, daily trips across all of California as well as locally that include exclusive trips behind the scenes of TV productions, into Silicon Valley companies and to other events and workshops. Also included is schooling, all meals, health insurance, transportation to and from all destinations, the option to adapt the program at anytime according to each student’s individual preferences, loving and caring staff that makes sure students don’t just get everything we promise but that ensures that they can enjoy it too.

These are some of the main selling points for parents, who I really recommend talking to, because they are the ones with the doubts that need to be addressed and they are also the ones with the money. Ultimately, it doesn’t take a lot to convince a student to want to participate, the most effort will most likely have to be spent showing the parents why it is a great investment in their child’s future and I hope I could make this an easier process for you with these concepts.

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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 - - 1 (510) 469-1490

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