the group leader's role

From selecting your itinerary, to promoting your program, to recruiting your travelers, you have a variety of responsibilities as a Group Leader. You’ll also prepare your travelers for their time abroad, making sure they know what to expect.

Choose your EF College Study Tours program
Your Program Coordinator is your best resource to help you select a program based on your area of study and your group’s needs and interests, including which destinations complement your curriculum and will support an academically valuable program. Your Program Coordinator will help determine which program length, pace, price and travel model (combining or private) will be best for your group.

Understand group consolidation and flexible travel options
One way we keep our programs affordable is by combining groups that are traveling on the same itinerary during popular travel times (late December/January, March and May). If you choose to combine with another group, we require departure date flexibility to ensure we can best match your group. For programs in late December/January and March, standard date flexibility is two days before and after your requested date. For programs departing in May, standard date flexibility is four days before and after your requested date. If no other groups have requested the same itinerary, your Program Coordinator will discuss options for alternate destinations.

Promote your program and recruit travelers
The next step is to get students excited about traveling with you—be it online, in your school or in your community. Host information meetings for students to let them know about this unique opportunity and then set an enrollment deadline for your program.

Maintain contact with your group
You are your students’ main connection to EF. Log in to your account to easily manage and maintain email communication with your group about enrollment and departure details. Hold regularly-scheduled meetings throughout the program-planning process where you can share information including final itineraries, payment deadlines, packing suggestions and more. Keep your students excited about your program by having potluck lunches featuring food from the countries you’ll be visiting, or watch movies that take place in the cities you’ll be exploring.

Prepare your group
We ask that you prepare your travelers for their experience abroad using resources like our Help Center and other tools that your Program Coordinator will discuss with you over the phone. Make sure travelers understand that group travel requires flexibility and cooperation. Explain that accommodations and meals abroad might differ from what they are accustomed to at home. For more tips on setting expectations for your travelers, please contact your Program Coordinator.

Participate in new Group Leader training 
When you take your students abroad, you should feel confident, prepared and ready for anything. So we’ll train you—for free—with a Group Leader training in Paris or Barcelona or via webinars you can take part in from home. Space is limited; talk to a Program Coordinator for details.

Supervise your group at all times while abroad
The Group Leader must accompany the group at all times, including during meals, sightseeing excursions and optional excursions while abroad. For more information on the Group Leader's role in safety on a program, read our Group Leader Responsibilities article