How long has ASTA been sending students abroad?
40 years! American Student Travel Abroad (ASTA) was founded by the late Robert Bianchi-Rossi in 1974. Conducting his first group to Mexico later that Summer.
Why should we choose ASTA?
American Student Travel Abroad is proud to be a pioneer in educational tours for teachers and students. It was 40 years ago when our first family’s program to Mexico took place. Today, we are excited to continue to offer landmark destinations in Europe and Latin America. From start to finish, the staff at American Student Travel Abroad works to create and implement the ideal program for you, the Organizing Teacher, and your STUDENTS. Our professional staff is focused on providing quality service and programs that will help you to “expand the walls of your classroom” so that your students can experience first hand the cultures they, until now, have only read about.
While traveling, our experienced tour coordinators are available to assist you with every detail allowing you and your students the opportunity to enjoy a worry free cultural experience. You can rest assured that our first concern is always your students’ welfare. Because of this point of view, our company has a sparkling reputation.
What is included on a ASTA tour?
ASTA’s Fully Customized All-Inclusive tour packages are designed by the teacher, for the student and depending on where the tour is located, can include a multitude of options and activities. However, you have to start somewhere, right? You’ll be happy to know that ASTA takes pride in including the following services in every one if its tours:
Round-trip air transportation on regularly-scheduled flights on major U.S. an international airlines.
Accommodations in well-located superior tourist-class and first-class hotels.
All meals as described in your itinerary.
All land transportation including motor-coach, ferries, trains & intra-tour flights described in itinerary.
Services of expert guides who conduct in-depth city sightseeing tours
All sightseeing excursions, visits and entrances as described in the itinerary
ASTA’s Pre-Departure materials & services (informational letter & itineraries, travel guides, airline & train tickets, and luggage tags)
ASTA’s standard Travel Protection Plan coverage (Additional optional insurance available upon registration.)
Does ASTA have a minimum group size?
No. Even if your group is small (say, under 15 students), ASTA will NOT automatically combine your group with travelers from other schools. There is no minimum requirement to operate a tour group. However, to help keep prices down, ASTA can search for and combine your group with another group traveling on similar itineraries per your request.
Who will accompany you on your tour?
Depending on your custom itinerary and group size, an ASTA Tour Ambassador will meet your group when you arrive at the airport and will stay with you throughout your entire trip and accompany you on all scheduled activities & assist your travelers whenever they need help or advice. Your Tour Ambassador will be a knowledgeable professional, possessing many years of experience in leading travel groups, and will speak English as well as a variety of other foreign languages.
My daughter/son has little or no travel experience; will this be an issue?
An ASTA tour is designed to be one of the most memorable experiences in a young student’s life. For most travelers, this is their first time traveling to another country. The staff & guides at ASTA are with our groups every step of the way from greeting them at the airport when they arrive, checking them in to hotels, as well as instructing, educating and guiding them through one of our exciting countries. The level of attention provided assures a smooth transition to life overseas for all of our participants.
What do we do in the event of an emergency?
The ASTA team of Professional Tour Ambassadors on-site as well as our highly trained staff at our home office here in the United States is equipped to handle all emergencies for our students. The ASTA Travel Protection Package is a comprehensive insurance plan that covers our participants in the event of medical emergency, evacuation and program cancellation. Detailed information regarding the insurance coverage can be found at www.travelasta.com/insurance.
What should my daughter/son pack?
A detailed packing list is provided to all students by the organizing teacher in advance of their departure.
How much extra money do you recommend for to take along for spending money?
Budgeting is very personal. However, prior to departure, the organizing teacher will thoroughly go through your son’s/daughter’s itinerary and outline what activities are included and what activities are optional (if any) and recommend an amount of spending money for your son or daughter.
What is the best method for students to access money while abroad?
Students can access their bank accounts through ATMs abroad with their debit card. Contact your bank to notify them the card will be used overseas and inquire about any fees they might charge.
Does ASTA provide liability insurance?
Yes. Teachers and travelers are covered by the best liability insurance available in the educational travel field—up to ten million dollars per individual and per occurrence. This coverage, along with our Ten-Million Dollar Umbrella Insurance Coverage, offers travelers total peace of mind.
What do you recommend we do during free time?
This is completely up to your organizing teacher. Optional excursions such as sightseeing activities, serve as a supplement to the sightseeing already included on our tour and are usually scheduled during free time. These excursions function as a valuable addition to your overall ASTA tour experience. Travelers may select from a list of optional excursions selected by the organizing teacher. These are not included in the cost of the tour and must be purchased separately.
What I am responsible for as an Organizing Teacher?
As an Organizing Teacher, you are the main liaison between ASTA and your student travelers. You are responsible for registering your students and distributing any important information sent to you which include: registration forms, insurance and emergency information, travel itineraries, airline tickets, bag tags, and identification wristbands. During your tour, you are responsible for the chaperoning and supervision of your students according to ASTA’s Student Trip Guidelines.
What about passports and visas?
A valid passport is required in order to register for an ASTA tour. It is the responsibility of each traveler to obtain a valid passport and any necessary visas prior to registering. For students under the age of 18 traveling to Mexico, special documentation will be required in advance of their trip.
It is essential that all non-U.S. citizens contact the embassy or consulate of their destination countries as soon as possible for specific entry requirements as these do change frequently. Be sure to consult your itinerary carefully to determine all the countries you will visit or pass through during your tour. Transit visas may be required since not all air itineraries use direct flights between the U.S. and your destination countries.
What if one of my travelers has to cancel their trip?
Organizing and facilitating a successful International student tour takes many months of planning and commitment. The suppliers that ASTA works with require deposits in advance of travel in order to secure our low rates as well as the itinerary you want. With this in mind, it is very important to familiarize yourself (as the Organizing Teacher) with our tour cancellation and refund policies which are outlined in ASTA’s Official Trip Terms & Conditions section located on each student’s registration form. Please make sure each of your travelers reads this carefully before registering as it details the penalties for cancellation prior to departure.