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World Class Programs

About

World Class Programs offers high school students the opportunity to study abroad and experience cultures from around the world. We hope to prepare students for an ever more globalized world while allowing them independence and exciting experiences abroad. Through our Experiential Learning Method students use hands on learning and immerse themselves in different cultures for the summer of a lifetime.

Founded
2016

Reviews

Default avatar
Fili
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Great Experience!

I enjoyed this program! Derek and his team were always willing to help and keep everyone engaged during our 3 weeks. I definitely recommend this program for anyone that enjoys traveling and making new friends.

All the staff were extremely nice and understanding. We traveled a lot more than I expected and seeing Rome, Cinque Terre, Luca, and Sienna was super fun and each place was very unique in their own way. I enjoyed trying different foods and learning more about the history of Italy.

Pros
  • Fun
  • Enjoyable
  • Lively
Default avatar
Robert
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Exceptional Experience!

World Class Programs greatly exceeded our expectations. Derek and his Team are extremely professional, organized and demonstrate they truly care. We greatly appreciated the weekly updates and photos when our daughter was in Italy. Our daughter loved the experience, it was a great “test run” for her upcoming college experience. We feel it was an exceptional value. Our daughter hasn't stopped talking about it! We couldn’t be happier or asked for more and would highly recommend to anyone considering for their child!

Default avatar
Josephine
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

The trip of a lifetime!

Arranging a program such as this, in the age of COVID-19, is no mean feat. Our 17 year old travelled on his own from Australia and met the group World Class Programs group in Florence. Needless to say as parents we many questions & concerns prior to the program. Unequivocally, every concern/question was addressed by Derek and his exemplary team and we felt true peace of mind sending him to join the program.

We were so impressed with the level of organisation on every level from academic, social, security, accommodation and cultural immersion aspects.

Our communication prior to, throughout and after the program has been exceptional.

Our family cannot thank Derek, Vieri, Abby, Elizabeth and the World Class Program team enough.

We were so thoroughly impressed that we will be sending our younger child on the program too!

Thank you World Class Programs from us all!

Read Less

Pros
  • Comprehensive
  • Excellent planning and safety
  • Fun!
Default avatar
Emily
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Senior Week Abroad

Last winter my child came to me proposing that instead of a traditional post graduation senior week at the beach she would like do do an educational tour abroad. She and a friend did their own research and felt that World Class Programs offered an option that seemed to be the perfect balance of education and tourism, free time and structure. We read reviews online like this one and since the organization is relatively new, we called and spoke with the director as well before applying. From the beginning of our interactions with the staff of the program we got the sense that their passion is planning the perfect travel experiences for students (rather than making a profit), and they have been top notch in terms of responsiveness and communication. As a parent I especially liked that we had a parent/child Zoom planning meeting before the trip, and during the trip the Director sent us detailed updates as to what the group was up to. My daughter checked in frequently and was just loving everything about the trip every time she called or texted. I wanted to take the time to write a review so that future parents researching programs can hear about our experience and have confidence in this newer organization.

Pros
  • Combination of learning and touring
  • Good communication with parents
Cons
  • A little touch and go with Covid and not knowing if the program would run
Default avatar
Alanna
5/5
Yes, I recommend this program

Paris!!!

I had only a few things on my bucket list for this trip (watch the 1am sparkle of the Eiffel tower, have crepes from a crepe stand, see the works in the Louvre, do some shopping, and walk along the seine like mamma mia) and as I look back on it I can say that I truly accomplished everything on it and much more. I came into this program thinking it would be like other programs, overly chaperoned, too structured, and little to no free time. I was very pleasantly surprised when I arrived and I got much more free time than anticipated and when I was in class or with the group I was always learning something while also very much enjoying my time here. The trip was well timed and I never felt like we were too busy or had to little to do. The classes that we took were relaxed while also helping us learn about culture in paris. The program staff were flexible when we wanted free time or if we wanted to learn something different in our classes! I would definitely recommend this program to someone who is looking to get into studying abroad before college and it would be good for anyone no matter how comfortable they are with traveling. I came with a friend which helped me get to know people but there were others who came not knowing anyone and we all became friends quickly and will remain friends even after the trip!

Pros
  • flexible
  • safe
  • shopping

Programs

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Staff Interviews

These are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Jaclyn Tano

Job Title
Program Director
My name is Jaclyn Tano and I have been traveling my entire life! I have been with World Class Programs since the first program, and originally joined the World Class team fueled by my passion to educate students from around the world through the Experiential Learning Method! The only passion that can compete with my love of travel, would have to be my love of teaching! I am a licensed teacher, and currently hold a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Concordia University, St. Paul. When I'm not traveling the world, I enjoy reading, and spending time with my family. I can't wait to meet you on one of our upcoming programs!
Jaclyn Tano on a beach smiling wearing a dress with dark hair and glasses

What is your favorite travel memory?

Although there are too many wonderful memories to count, my favorite travel memory would have to be the first time I ordered gelato in Italian in Florence, Italy. On my first trip with World Class Programs, I was confident in my Italian, but once it became time to test it out with a local, I was nervous! After I gained the courage to order, he treated me like a local, and it gave me the confidence to step outside of my comfort zone and continue to join the incredible culture surrounding me! I take that experience with me, and encourage my students so that they can feel confident enough to do the same!

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

I have always been interested in kinesthetic and visual learning during my time teaching in a traditional classroom. However, since I started working for World Class Programs, it took my interest in hands-on learning to the next level! Instead of creating pseudo-scenarios, though the use of textbooks and videos to show my students new skills and concepts, I am able to bring them into the cities where those skills can be practiced first-hand!

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

My favorite story I've heard from a return student was all centered around how their entire world-view had been shifted in a positive way after experiencing the program. They said that they not only started to view the world in a broader way, but they also began to understand themselves more. This story stands out to me the most because of how powerful their words were when they expressed this to me.

If you could go on any program that your company offers, which one would you choose and why?

This is a difficult question for me because all of the programs have something unique to offer that sets them apart from each other in the best ways! That is why I will instead talk about my favorite unique parts of the programs I have attended already! The raw history woven in every place we visit in Italy is breathtaking. The rich art history that brings France to life is unforgettable. Lastly, the innovation and food that Japan has to offer makes it an uncommon and exclusive gem.

What makes your company unique? When were you especially proud of your team?

Every year I am proud of my team! These past years pushing through with the new COVID-19 measures that needed to take place really showed that we were all in it together, and still were able to make incredible programs just as memorable for students, while still maintaining the safety of everyone. I couldn't be more proud of my team, but these past couple of years have really showed our tenacity to stick together and keep the students' in the forefront of our priorities!

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

The biggest factor in being a successful company all comes down to the community and environment that is created. If staff are not happy, then the students will not be happy. The staff at World Class Programs all love what they do, and come from different backgrounds, so they all bring something unique and valued to the company. That is what makes me proud to come to work everyday, because I don't consider it "work" in the slightest.