Give Your Graduate an Edge – Travel Abroad Helps Build Field of Experience

ANAHEIM, Calif., April 13 /PRNewswire/ — Employers receive hundreds of resumes and interview multiple candidates for a single open position. You can give your graduate a gift that will help him or her stand out from the crowd — an eye-opening, cultural adventure abroad.

Frank Marini, president of Contiki (, a travel company serving 18 to 35 year olds, says there is a trend in giving travel as a gift for graduation and for other holidays. “More than one-third of trips booked with us are paid for by parents and grandparents,” he said. “It’s obvious parents recognize the value of giving their children the opportunity to see outside of our American borders.”

Studying or working abroad ranks highly among recruiters, but even a vacation to another country illustrates a young person’s willingness to step out of the box and show an interest in building his or her cultural competency.

“Students are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd,” said Steve Pollock, president of WetFeet, a recruiting consulting firm. “Those with extensive international travel experience can demonstrate an interest in and sensitivity to foreign cultures — both of which are relevant to employers with global operations. Moreover, it gives the student something to talk about in an interview.”

As the largest company that caters exclusively to younger travelers, Contiki offers itineraries and activities designed to suit their budgets, tastes and interests — perfect for recent graduates. Contiki’s tours allow people to meet, socialize and develop long-lasting friendships with like-minded travelers their own age. Family back home will find comfort knowing that their kids are traveling with a group led by an experienced tour manager and driver.

The company offers more than 100 different itineraries throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the United States. Each vacation package includes accommodations, many meals, coach, ferry or train transportation, and sightseeing for one low price.

“We know that travel is essential to a complete education,” said Michael Palmer, executive director of the Student and Youth Travel Association, the non-profit, professional trade association that promotes student and youth travel. “Traveling abroad teaches understanding of other people, cultures and communities, and these types of experiences offer young people a greater ability to be successful in today’s global society.”

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