Written by Carrie Fediuk (left), Manager of Alumni Travel and Education.
When traveling on alumni trips, Erica and I often get asked all kinds of questions about our travel program. One that is asked most often is how we choose a host? This is a great question and one we thought was worth discussing.
Sending a host is one of the hallmarks of our program, but it is not an easy task! In a University of this size, there are many faculty and staff from which to choose. For those interested in hosting, there are several ways to get on the radar. We rely mainly on word of mouth and recommendations from past hosts, as well as receiving submissions on the Faculty Host and University Representative Volunteer Form housed on our webpage. Trying to meet, interview and find the right trip is just the beginning. Factor in things like teaching and meeting schedules, research commitments, book deadlines and things can get crazy!
Over the past 50 years we have been in business, we have found many great faculty representatives that have received high praise from our travelers.
Passion for travel
This may seem silly but not everyone has a desire to travel the world. We look for those who truly believe traveling is a great way to learn, in depth, about a particular destination and its people.
Desire to share knowledge and expertise at each destination
While all our trips have great on-site guides and local experts, having a U-M faculty member or University representative along to share his or her insight during lectures or discussions only enhances the experience.
Ambassador for the Association and University
We provide quality travel experiences for alumni that create opportunities for camaraderie, lifelong learning and global awareness. Having a University representative ensures that the trip runs smoothly and all elements of the trip are delivered as promised.
Flexibility and positive attitude
Let’s face it … travel can be stressful and things can change at a moment’s notice. Anyone who travels needs to be flexible and have a go-with-the-flow attitude, especially when it comes to air travel, to assist our travelers, if needed.
A dynamic personality, superb people skills, great problem solving ability are important, too. The Alumni Travel program has been offering approximately 50 trips to over 35 countries around the world for the past 50 years. We find these criteria have produced successful results that have our travelers coming back year-after-year to travel with us.
Michigan alumni know that learning never ends. There is nothing better than extending your classroom or campus experience by having your own faculty member on your adventure. We hope to see you out on a trip in the future!