Resources & training

Leading your first tour? Lean on experienced Group Leaders like Jessica.

At EF, we build a team around every teacher who travels with us. And from day one, you can lean on them for the kind of one-to-one support that’ll make a huge difference in your group’s travel experience. Today, we’re putting a spotlight on one of the most important members of your team: your personal Global Education Ambassador. This hometown hero is an experienced Group Leader who lives and works in your area, and is excited to give tricks and tips for first-time travelers on how to lead their first tour.

To learn more, we spoke with Jessica T., a Global Education Ambassador from Texas. She’s led 17(!) tours herself and has helped even more get off the ground by supporting other first-time Group Leaders.

With every new Group Leader I work with, I let them know that I’m there as their resource—they can use me as much or as little as they want.

For some, that means a few phone calls and emails to exchange helpful words of advice. Other new Group Leaders prefer a more hands-on approach, and ask Jessica to attend their informational parent meeting to help answer questions. “My attitude is, ‘Call me anytime.’ I want first-time travelers and teachers to know I’m there in their back pocket,” Jessica says. Whether that means helping with school administration questions or finding creative ways to keep students excited about the tour after they’ve signed up, Jessica is always ready to lend a hand.

And while Group Leaders can always lean on their EF Tour Consultant for help with these same things, Jessica thinks it’s vitally important that Group Leaders feel support from fellow teachers who live in their same area. “We speak the same language,” she explains. She can understand a teacher’s specific concerns, and explain how she navigated them herself.

I know where the potholes are, so to speak,” she says. “I know how to avoid them, and make sure new teachers have the best experience for themselves and their students.

Jessica is committed to helping as many people as possible travel, because she knows how much it broadens students’ horizons. “We have to expand their minds,” Jessica says definitively. “That’s why travel’s important.” As she explains, if students never get out and learn this for themselves, they’ll never truly understand all of the options and possibilities that exist for them outside of their own bubble. Thanks to Jessica, along with her tricks and tips for first-time travelers, students from all across her county get to break out of their bubbles and explore the world every year.


Editor’s note (2021): This piece has been updated for clarity, accuracy, and relevance.

Sarah McLaughlin

Sarah is a senior copywriter at EF Education First. When she isn’t writing, you can find her browsing through bookshops, trying to cook, or going to improv class (which is basically just an excuse for adults to play make-believe).

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