Welcome to our new member – Santral
Interview with Demet Bağ, Educational Programs Coordinator
Tell us your story. How did Santral get started?
We started our business in 2017, after 12 years work experience in the sector. During these years we’ve had the opportunity to meet with lots of different types of travellers, including their types of requests and challenges. We wanted to share this experience with our new customers from our perspective. Me and my partner have seen thousands of students and experienced every problem possible. We guarantee our students that we will find a quick solution to any issue that may arise. At the end of the day, we support them until their return to their home country. This support gives our students self-confidence and builds a strong relationship between them and us. We believe that this is the key to our success.
What makes Santral different from your competitors?
We have a TURSAB accreditation to sell flight tickets, accommodation and to answer the travel requirements of our customers, which gives us a strong advantage over other agencies.
We can also assist our students with their visa applications as we have experience with the various visa processes of different countries.
What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
We used to work in one of the biggest agencies in Turkey. We could have continued to work with them but we decided we wanted to offer an improved service for our students. So we took the risk and decided to start our own business. Now with over 10 years’ experience in the sector we are receiving positive visa results for all student profiles. We are even receiving visa applications from some of our competition!
As we are not a limited company, we don’t have any commercial concern. All we want is to help students have the best experience abroad with the right programs. We always put their interests above our business goals.
What can we expect to see from Santral in the future?
Our main goal is to promote all programs that are the subject of overseas education. We would like to provide our services nation-wide and open new branches. In our opinion, all young people can benefit from spending time living, learning and working abroad.
Which trends do you see in educational and active youth travel?
Language courses are always popular for Turkish students. The Work and Travel program also receives a lot of inquiries. According to the latest trends, Turkish youth travellers would like to gain work experience and practice their foreign language at the same time – all the while sharing their experience on social media. This is the best way to find inspiration for their next adventure and to show their experiences to others.
What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
We would like to have the chance to meet lots of companies from all over the world and share our experiences with other agencies. It is a great opportunity to make new contacts with other peers in the sector.
Have you attended a WYSE Travel Confederation event?
I have attended WYSTC twice. The youth travel industry is huge, and WYSTC facilitates making new business connections and finding new partners in one go.
What is an industry challenge your organisation is facing currently?
Our two main difficulties are the fluctuating exchange rates and and visa refusals.
Santral Overseas Education and Travel Services was established in 2017, built on its founders’ 10 years of experience in the sector. Based in Bakirkoy Istanbul. with another office in Bursa, Santral provides guidance to students who wish to study in the USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia, Malta, China, Germany, Italy, Spain and a selection of other Schengen countries.
Membership: WYSE Travel Confederation Buyer Member
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