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Our family used Susan to plan our daughter’s gap year travels (between sophomore and junior year in college) in South America. It was a wonderful experience working with Susan. She is knowledgeable and super friendly. Easy to talk with and a good listener; she gave us some really fine program suggestions. Her vast experience traveling in South America is evident. Her follow-up was quick and she kept my daughter on task about visa, vaccines, etc. I would definitely work with Susan again.
Jane in Ecuador
We are unequivocally happy about Robert’s gap year experience!
My experience getting to talk with Susan last September before I embarked on my three-month journey and still talking with her today has been great. Susan not only talked me through the different program options, but she took plenty of time to sit down with me and list out the pros and cons for each one. She asked me great questions like what I wanted to get out of a program and how long I would wish to be away from home. I loved every single minute of my trip. I know I chose the right program for me and I couldn’t have done that without her help. I have one more thing I’d like to add. Susan and I still talk to this day and catch up with each other occasionally. This goes to show that following up with people, even after they return home, is a great quality of hers. If you read this, I highly recommend using Susan Staley as your gap year coordinator!
From a young age, my parents always instilled in me and my siblings the importance of traveling. They said traveling opens your mind to new ideas and creates a greater appreciation for other cultures and sometimes even your own. You will meet so many interesting people in places you would have never imagined. You will learn to try new things and be spontaneous. Most importantly you learn a lot about yourself and those you are traveling with. Seven and half weeks later, eleven countries, twelve cities and I can honestly say traveling has done all these things for me and more. I have opened my mind to new cultures, met awesome people, tried a lot of new things, and learned way more than I ever expected about myself.
Angela in Switzerland
Susan was an excellent guide who diligently prepared our schedules for each location and distributed any necessary information well in advance to have our days run smoothly. As a soon to be business school graduate, I appreciated Susan’s attention to detail, time management, concern for safety, and her approachable demeanor during our two and a half months together. This trip was truly an experience of a lifetime that I will never forget. Each day was an adventure filled with historic tours, unique activities, or culinary treats that I would have had much difficulty finding if attempting to plan on my own. I hope to one day be a participant of a second Free to Roam traveling excursion because I cannot wait to explore more of the world!
I learned a valuable lesson that has hopefully forever changed my perspective on life. — Money isn’t everything. Working your life away is not the only way. It was eye-opening to be in all of these different countries, to see their standards of living and their work-life balance. This experience has changed my mind about what I want to do after graduation and how I want to live the rest of my life. I did things that I never imagined I would and I grew into a person who I am proud of. I came home with a new self-confidence and a burning passion to live the life I want to live.
I have learned more in one semester of traveling with Free to Roam through Europe than I ever have before. I would absolutely recommend this program to anyone interested in traveling and adventuring, or learning about different cultural perspectives and international business, or anything in between!
My semester traveling with Free to Roam changed my very being — my perception and my attitude. Take the chance, we don’t get a chance like this many times in our lives, and when we get older we might not get the chance, so get out there. See what the world has to offer!
Working with Susan was an amazing experience. When I made the decision to take a year off from school I was really nervous and unsure about what I wanted to do. When I found Susan and started working with her I felt so much relief. She takes the time to get to know you, and what you are interested in so that she can help organize a gap year experience that will be just right for you. She takes everything you mention into consideration when she is making a plan for you. She is so knowledgeable about what there is available, and when she offers suggestions she provides pros and cons to the choice. She puts real time, effort, and thoughtfulness into what she will suggest for you. She has also traveled a lot herself so she is an amazing resource for advice on how to handle nerves and how to push yourself outside of your comfort zone in order to grow and learn.The gap year experience that Susan helped me organize was really amazing. There were definitely ups and downs throughout the entire experience, but I know that I grew so much as a person, and Susan helped me consider so many different options. She was always very good about checking in with me during my travels as well, just to see how everything was going. And when I had a pretty low period, Susan was there to talk to me and help me plan out a better schedule for myself and get through my emotions and the doubt that I had. I really don’t think I could have done it all without her. I highly recommend working with Susan on any gap year plans you may have.
Nick in Peru
More than anything this trip has given me the opportunity to find a different side of who I am and discover what is important to me. My experience abroad has been truly invaluable thanks to Free To Roam.
Susan, our primary contact, was very thorough and efficient in all aspects of pre-planning and management of the program. In particular, her past experience related to participation, leadership, and planning of similar study abroad programs was a huge plus as she had a very well-rounded perspective on managing all aspects of the program. The various faculty members, students, and administrators involved in the program all enjoyed their experience. I have no reservation in strongly recommending the services of Free to Roam Adventures.
Not wanting to miss out on college life, not knowing if I would be able to emotionally handle 10 weeks away, and all of the other obstacles seem so silly now. This semester has helped me develop a bravery that I’ve never known existed. Having the bravery to live everyday like it’s the most important day ever, as well as to try new things and talk to new people. Pushing through these fears has taught me so much about myself.
Katie in Iceland
I learned that if you push yourself out of your comfort zone you can find and see amazing things. Climbing a glacier was something I would have never dreamed of doing in my life, but it will probably be one of the most memorable parts of the trip when I look back at it years from now. Learning to step out of my comfort zone opened the door for so many amazing experiences on the trip, like trying new foods, cliff jumping, horseback riding in the mountains and hiking to see amazing waterfalls.
With perfection, Free to Roam incorporated our academic curriculum into each city we visited and the sites we saw and experienced. The way this trip was set up was well organized and very carefully developed. Our schedule throughout this trip was jam packed, but there was never an overwhelming feeling thanks to Free to Roam’s precise scheduling.