Customized Travel Programs
As part of our mission, Envoys is always ready to speak with interested faculty and administrators to learn how we might assist their school to achieve global education goals. Envoys works hand-in-hand with our partner schools to design, implement, and assess travel programs around the world.
Qualified Envoys staff conduct participatory workshops for administrators, teachers, parents and/or students to discover goals and objectives for global competency and educational travel.
After accurately understanding the end outcomes and specific needs of a particular teacher, we meet with the school to discuss the possibilities. Envoys staff outline the intersections between the school’s needs and research-based, proven approaches to global education.
Based on this work, Envoys crafts a program proposal tailored to the partner school in terms of the following:
- Educational goals and objectives
- Destination country or region
- Thematic content and curricular integration
- Specific targeted skill-sets
- Assessments and student outputs
We then work hand-in-hand with our partner schools to integrate the program into the life of the school.
Envoys Communication Principles
Research has proven that there is a positive and convincing relationship between family involvement and student academic success. Similarly, the achievement of our learning outcomes requires the establishment of a collaborative and trusting relationship that includes all relevant stakeholders.
We respect the intelligence of parents considering international travel for their children, and we refuse to make ‘guarantees’ that are untenable in a complex world. Instead, we provide information about the potential risks involved with each destination and the external sources that should be consulted prior to making a decision.
Advances in communications technology are rapidly removing barriers for the flow of information from the field. This ‘new normal’ means that we have a responsibility to provide regular updates, no matter where in the world an Envoys program is located.
Envoys Communication Methods
Envoys staff make presentations to parents and students about the educational objectives, potential risks, necessary preparations, and expected communications. We answer questions, take notes for any adaptations, and provide a concrete timeline to follow. Most importantly, we establish relationships with our program participants, allowing us to create a better-tailored program.
Envoys creates a dedicated and customized website for every program, containing all necessary information for participants. From this site, parents access online portals for uploading medical forms and processing payments, while students are able to log into online courses and check their packing lists.
Envoys HQ and program staff take pride in our responsiveness with parents. We understand that many important questions arise outside of normal business hours, and so we dedicate ourselves to providing multiple means of communication at all times, including 1-800 numbers, online trip-tracking sites, customized program portals, and rapid email responses.
Along with our ‘window-into-the-adventure’ provided by our online trip-tracking system, Envoys can work with teachers to create detailed reports on each student at the conclusion of the program. These reports detail areas of strength evidenced during the program, as well as areas where improvement is needed.
“The Envoys staff were very open about sharing their first-hand experiences, which was a game-changer in terms of learning about post-apartheid South Africa. Also, having everything planned to the T made me feel very safe. I knew that I was in good hands.”— Gio H. , Student, Friends Seminary South Africa 2016
“The Envoys Staff were exceptionally committed to us and to the goals of our trip. They were thoughtful, kind, caring, friendly, with great sense of humor, yet serious in their connection to the ethos of professional development that was our trip’s purpose. I was struck over and over again by how they literally RAN to be in the right place to respond to any given situation.”— Constance , Traveling Faculty, Friends Seminary Colombia 2016
“As a parent I felt the experience was well orchestrated and managed by Envoys. As a participant my daughter loved the whole experience; it is something she will treasure for the rest of her life”— Linda T. , Parent, Hingham Japan 2015
“[Envoys] knows kids extremely well…they know how to be cool with them while still commanding authority and establishing ground rules…I was incredibly impressed with the protocols established and put in place by Envoys.”— Micah M. , Traveling Faculty, Friends Seminary Peru 2015
“Envoys carefully constructed an educational trip for students that purposefully engaged them to think, reflect, act, and enjoy. The travel logistics were always well-planned, and I had peace of mind knowing that my teen-aged daughter was in safe, responsible, and caring hands.”— Alice T. , Parent, Deerfield South Korea 2015
“Many student groups participate in ‘Voluntourism’. This trip did not attempt that, but rather funneled the collective energy of each member into meaningful, mutually beneficial cultural interactions. Thank you so much for this unforgettable and transformational experience.”— Altana , Student, Friends Seminary South Africa 2016
“I can honestly say that this was the best 10 days of my entire life. I feel as though I have grown as a person, and that I have made lifelong connections. This experience changed my life, so thank you very much to the entire Envoys staff!”— Eliza C. , Student, Hingham Japan 2015
“I was incredibly impressed by the care taken by Envoys. Before we even hit the ground, there was an emphasis on comprehending impact on our destination’s environment that I appreciated..Throughout the trip, our Envoys leaders made sure that we continued to be conscious of impact. That awareness of cause and effect is something that often gets lost when traveling, and Envoys did not allow it to. During this trip, there was never a moment I did not feel safe and cared for nor a moment where I did not feel I was learning something!”— Keylee S. , Student, Dalton South Africa 2014
“I don’t think it is possible to pull a trip like the Amazon and the many activities that you directed without the sense of purpose you have, without your drive for experiential learning for teenagers. All our experiences with the Envoys team were amazing!”— Angela , Traveling Faculty, RoundSquare Colombia 2015
“Envoys was at the top of their game from start to finish. What initially interested me was their focus on curriculum during pre-departure meetings and the program itself. Envoys cares deeply about the experience of the participants and faculty. [They] constantly ask for constructive criticism and make changes when necessary.”— Joe Vogel , Executive Director, Global Education Benchmark Group
“The Envoys staff has been amazing. I have bonded with each of them in different ways and they made the trip to Colombia nicer that I expected. Envoys helped me open myself up to interacting with the locals wherever we traveled!”— Illeana G. , Student, Deerfield Colombia 2014
“The team at Envoys did their very best to ensure that the the “i’s were dotted and the t’s were crossed.” The staff was also quick to respond to any and all questions that arose prior, during and after the trip. My husband and I greatly appreciated the time Envoys took to provide preparation tips as well the planned activity schedules to help make our child’s South African trip a safe and memorable adventure.”— Regina J. , Parent, Dalton South Africa 2014
OperationsEnvoys operations are built on the extensive infrastructure and experience of Off-Bound Adventures, our parent organization.
We take an adaptive approach to developing each program, including the following elements:
Curriculum DevelopmentThrough our online platforms, Envoys provides a wide range of curricular materials for schools to improve the quality of their global education programming.
Envoys has developed a proprietary mobile system (which functions without a data connection) to maintain a flow of documented information from the field to headquarters. Forms submitted by each device can be sent to a variety of channels, including email and cloud-based data storage.
They are intended to serve three purposes:
1. To assist chaperones to perform their responsibilities more effectively and efficiently
2. To aid decision-making processes
3. To provide documentation of operational standards in practice
These forms include open and closed-ended questions, and photographs. Forms can include geolocation and/or timestamps. The form application may be installed on either an iOS or Android device. The application does not require a data connection to function. Checklists can be completed and stored on the device, then submitted automatically when a data connection is present.
On a subscription basis, Envoys provides schools with the technological infrastructure as well as a base set of “field checklists” to guide our staff in the day-to-day conduction of field operations, including transportation management, hiking protocols, and restaurant inspections.