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The School Trip That Changed My Life by John Pinca


We’re celebrating 30 years in school travel this year, which got us thinking about our own school trips and how they shaped our lives. In this instalment, John Pinca, Hotel Contractor for our school ski trips, shares how trips to Italy led him into a career in the travel industry:

Back in the late ‘80s I took part in three exchange programmes as part of my O-Level and A-Level Italian studies. In the first and last I stayed with a family in Bologna, and in the second, a student from Bologna stayed here in the UK with my family. 



From these exchanges, I gained a fantastic insight into what life was really like in Italy. I had previously visited Sorrento and Rome, where I had family, but Bologna was much less touristy and ‘authentic’. I loved meeting people my own age and really fell for the lifestyle. 

Having grown up in the UK with an English mother (an accountant) and Italian father (a hotelier), I had envisioned staying in the UK and following my mother into accountancy. However, upon return from my final trip to Bologna I started to rethink a future in accountancy. Although I completed the first year of my mathematics degree at Sussex University, I switched the following year to study tourism at Cardiff. 

Without a doubt, school trips have the power to open your eyes to what is outside the relatively small and sheltered environment that kids grow up in. Whilst nowadays the internet does give young people the opportunity to explore what’s out there, there is still no substitute for actually going out and experiencing it. 

So often I come across children who academically or socially don’t ‘fit in’ and yet, once they go overseas and see what else is out there, are inspired to seek out something new. Often on school trips away from their school and home environment you see children suddenly becoming more confident and making new friends. These changes allow them to explore and discover things they never knew existed!

Looking to inspire your own students with a school trip? Contact our experienced and knowledgeable team of school travel specialists today to find out how!


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