The most popular destinations are the UK, Ireland and Malta: interview to Roberto Vecchio Ruggeri, Viaggio & Apprendo

What are the growing trends in the education sector? Is it really important to attend fairs? What are the difficulties faced by those who work in this field?

These (and others) are the themes developed by Alessandra Martinelli (Head of International Relations for ETN Focus) during her interview with Roberto Vecchio Ruggeri, head of the Travel Agency of Milano, Viaggio e Apprendo.

Enjoy the reading!

Hello Roberto. First of all thanks a lot for your time. I guess you’re very busy so let’s start right away.

Thanks to ETN Focus for giving us this space.

What does Travel & Learning do and how long has it been active in the market?

Viaggio e Apprendo was born in 2009, so it’s its 10th birthday. Right from the start we have chosen to take care of study trips abroad focusing on a young target.

How long have you been doing this profession and what are the positive aspects of your job?

Well Alessandra, the positive side of this job is that for me it’s a sort of mission: helping, through linguistic empowerment, the new generations in their training. This is really gratifying for me, regardless of economic recognition.

When we hear that a student, after completing a language course or an internship abroad, manages to enter the company that hosted them or finds a job on after having improved their language skills, we feel really happy and gratified.

I imagine it’s not always a bed of roses in your job

To tell you the truth, the greatest difficulties are linked to the tax burden, we are always quite pressed. When you work abroad you realize that there is certainly less bureaucracy; here the real problems are at the accounting and bureaucratic level and we should be able to follow the footsteps of other European countries.

There is no real help for companies that invest in this sector; we should do more in this regard.

Which age group do you work with the most? What are the most popular destinations for those who choose to travel abroad?

We work mainly with an age group between 14 and 19 and the most popular destinations are the UK and in particular London, the request fo Ireland has grown a lot (because of the Brexit), but also Malta is among the most popular  destinations.

What is the growing trend among students?

In recent years the request for Alternanza Scuola Lavoro abroad has grown, at any time of the year, not only in summer. When I talk about ASL I talk about  1 or 2 weeks internships in a company.
For this reason I have created connections in this sense and fortunately there are schools that allow study and work.

Obviously the demand for study trips abroad is constant and demands for family accommodation have increased for various reasons: both for economic reasons (host family packages are more affordable) and for the importance it gives to the training experience.

In the past, especially for the PON projects, schools asked hotel accommodation but this way the training experience was limited; today for school groups the demand for family accommodation is growing.

As an agent, do you think it’s useful to attend fairs?

Yes if the fairs are targeted. If fairs are aimed at encouraging meetings with partners operating in the same sector, it is very useful to attend.

What are your feelings about ETN Focus?

One to one meeting are really interesting and allow us to create real partnerships.

You know, Alessandra, we had direct working experience with some of the schools present at the Naples event last year; particularly with a Spanish school that helped us with a group. They were very kind and helpful and I really think that we will work with them again because students had a great experience and gave us a positive feedback.

Thanks to ETN, important partnerships are established or existing partnerships are strengthened;

I will be happy to return to one of the upcoming ETN events and I would like to be able to meet representatives of European and extra- European schools who are available to organize internships and innovative formulas for Alternanza Scuola- Lavoro.

I am very pleased to hear you say this. I thank you once again and I greet you with a “see you soon”.

The pleasure was mine. See you soon.

Here you can find the interviews with other agents.

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