Your first order of scallion pancakes. Finally using some of the Chinese you’ve picked up. Feeling small on the Great Wall. The excitement of tour is big, but for some students and parents, the nervousness is, too. Just ask student traveler Shanii and her mom, Briscilla. The pair went on a (figurative) journey together—only Shanii actually traveled—and as a result, strengthened their sense of mother-daughter love.
A few years ago, Shanii was a 16-year-old from Texas with a minor fear of change and major affinity for Asian culture. And Briscilla was a parent trying to let go. Then Shanii went on an EF tour to China and everything changed, including the strength of their bond.
We’ll let them take it from here:
Shanii: When I found out EF was going to China, I was like, “I’m never, ever going to have the chance to go to China again. I have to go.”
Briscilla: It was an experience that I wanted her to have, but I was totally scared about it because she was going to be so far away. But I trusted her teachers and I know my daughter. You have to trust your kids, too.
Shanii: The tour was a great mix of education and culture. Like, see how these people live, look at what this country is like, but also have fun.
Briscilla: I think educational travel is a benefit. Not just for schools, or for your family, but also for society. Soon those students are going to be adults, and that experience is going to make them think differently about the world.
Shanii: I think going to China made me think that I could handle going across the country for college. I was like, “Well, I went to China. How hard can Boston be? It’s not that far.” So I thought, “Yeah, I got this.”
Briscilla: It was challenging but also encouraging. When she was leaving, she was like, “Hey, I can do this.”
Shanii: It was awesome to go to China and see something completely different than what I’m used to. Now I just want to go to other countries to see what it’s like there.
Know a parent who’s interested in EF Tours, but perhaps a little nervous? Tell them about Briscilla’s story. Then, share this open letter to parents, written by an experienced Group Leader who understands all the ways EF puts students first.
Editor’s note (2021): This piece has been updated for clarity, accuracy, and relevance.