Welcome to our newest member – Infinity Abroad
Interview with Wei Soong Wong, Director of Operations
Tell us your story. How did Infinity Abroad get started?
It all began with my very own J1 adventure. I joined Work & Travel USA back in 2011 with my buddy Favian, and we thought to ourselves – how can we keep the ball rolling and influence our university juniors to experience the same as we did? This was the very first seed which grew over the years into Infinity Abroad as it is today.
What makes Infinity Abroad different from your competitors?
We started off as just two fresh graduates wanting to do much more, to encourage open-mindedness and cultural diversity in youths today. Therefore, Infinity Abroad is already fundamentally unique compared to our competitors, who may be in the business as a sub-division of their travel agency, for example. I believe our main competitive advantage is being able to relate to our clientele and anticipate their needs, which lends credibility and trust.
What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
Our key achievement came in 2017, where we managed to land a partnership with the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University – two of the world’s top 20 universities, as ranked by QS World University Rankings 2018. We cooperated with these top universities to send students on the J1 Camp Counselor programme as a summer internship arrangement (Infinity Abroad being the first and only agency in both Malaysia and Singapore to offer the J1 Camp Counselor programme as well!)
What can we expect to see from Infinity Abroad in the future?
It is exciting times ahead for Infinity Abroad! We are expanding our team and extending partnerships to more universities in Malaysia, Singapore and other Southeast Asian countries. We are also exploring new overseas youth exchange opportunities for our youth travellers – thus here we are joining WYSE Travel Confederation!
Which trends do you see in educational and active youth travel?
Youths are increasingly globalised, and are very well informed given the ease of accessing information through social media, instant messaging and the World Wide Web. However, one key thing technology cannot take away is the rush and exhilaration one gets from taking the first step out of an airplane into a strange country. Increasingly, more youths these days are willing to step out of their comfort zone and explore. They may run into challenges and hiccups, but the end results we see are always memorable and life-changing.
How do you work to ensure the health and safety of young travellers involved with Infinity Abroad?
We partner with government appointed sponsors and recognised organisations for our programmes. Furthermore, we ensure that our travellers have appropriate insurance and prepare them for their arrivals during a pre-departure orientation.
What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
My motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation was to gain access to its vast network of partners and suppliers, to grow our business and offer more to young travellers in the countries in which we operate.
Have you attended a WYSE Travel Confederation event? If so, what was your experience with the event?
We participated in WYSTC Montreal in 2017 and it was a mind-blowing experience! The systematic organisation of meetings between delegates enabled us to gain the most out of our visit, and I loved the buyer tours that WYSTC organised in partnership with local tourist councils.
What is an industry challenge your organisation is facing at this time?
The challenge we face primarily is due to the lack of bilateral diplomatic relations between countries; countries in which our young travellers would like to go on working holidays or short term work exchanges. Of course, WYSETC is one unified voice from around the world advocating youth travel, thus we hope that our membership with WYSETC would enable us to open more doors to youth in Malaysia and Singapore!
Infinity Abroad was founded in 2011 by 2 past J1 participants who took upon the mission of promoting cultural awareness and creating meaningful impact among their university juniors through overseas work, internship & cultural exchange experiences. Today, Infinity Abroad has established operations in both Malaysia and Singapore, sending over 300 youth travellers abroad each year and counting.
For more information, visit their website: www.infinity-abroad.com
Membership: WYSE Travel Confederation Buyer Member
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