Parent perspective

Briscilla and Shanii: How student travel helped both a mother and daughter grow


One trip. Two changed lives.

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.

Collage image featuring 16-year-old Shanii and her mom, Briscilla, sharing their story of student travel and mother-daughter love

Left: Shanii, a 16-year-old from Texas who jumped at the opportunity to travel to China with her classmates. Right: Briscilla, her amazing mom, who supported her every step of the way.

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.

When you go out in the world and you’re able to talk to new people, change is inevitable. You evolve and grow. And I saw that change in her.

Students learning tai chi class in Beijing, an experience Shanii may have had on her trip supported by her mom, Briscilla, in an example of mother-daughter love

/ 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 of mother-daughter love. Then, share this open letter to parents, written by an experienced Group Leader who understands all the ways EF puts students first.

Read the letter

Nataly Baez

Nataly is a copywriter at EF Education First. She’s written for universities around the country and about countries around the world. On her off time, you can catch this Florida native riding her alligator through the cobblestone streets of Boston.

Hundreds of destinations.
Endless possibilities.

Contact us Browse tours