1. Tell us your story. How did Wanderlust get started?
My sister Nathaly García founded Wanderlust when she was very young, only 21 years old, with the purpose of helping recent high school graduates achieve their dreams. Since both she and I had a hard time studying abroad, we decided to make it easier for them and giving them the opportunity to obtain a very high quality education that cannot be found in Ecuador.
2. What makes Wanderlust different from your competitors?
We are very young, active team and most importantly, we understand the situation of students who leave their home for the first time to study abroad and we can predict possible difficult scenarios that they may face. We provide a service that accommodates and provides all the tools that may be necessary for the student to be prepared, safe and calm so that their only concern is education.
3. What is your favourite success story from your organisation?
After 3 years of operation we created the profile of workers that we would be interested in employing and in a period of 1 year we became the largest agency in Ecuador dedicated to education abroad. The employees we hired had the same vision as us; they had all recently obtained their degree and this was their first job. With an average age of 22 across the organization, the amount of energy and creativity was overwhelming. These ideas were executed and materialized in: a great marketing and audiovisual production campaign, the most intimate academic follow-up, Nathaly and I were in charge of receiving people at their destination, opening the company in Peru and Colombia and collecting new destinations with different and more interesting programs. All this in the same year.
4. What can we expect to see from Wanderlust in the future?
We are trying to launch our most ambitious project so far, which is to build student residences in our most popular destination, which is Argentina. That way we will be able to provide a complete service and ensure that students have a very comfortable and very affordable place of residence and we will have the opportunity to follow up even more closely and encourage them to graduate from their chosen careers.
5. Which trends do you see in educational and active youth travel?
In this region, Latin America, where the economy has not been successful, the most attractive destinations tend to be those where education is free and life is not very expensive. However, there has been a growing demand for programs that offer the possibility of working, such as: Working Holiday, Study and Travel (Australia), Au pair, Trainee and the already very popular Work and Travel.
6. How do you work to ensure the health and safety of young travellers involved with Wanderlust?
We design our programs and we ourselves receive all our participants at their destinations, arranging our calendars based on the registration period of the universities.
7. What was your motivation to join WYSE Travel Confederation?
The desire to belong to an organization that serves the same purpose as us and to get involved in all types of activities that can contribute to achieving a great business association.
8. Have you attended a WYSE Travel Confederation event (WYSTC, STAY WYSE, WETM-IAC)? If so, what was your experience with the event?
Sadly, I haven’t yet. But definitely I will be at one.
9. What is an industry challenge that your organisation is facing currently?
We have been looking for a Work and Travel USA program provider, but it has been really challenging. I have contacted over 50 organizations in different ways but it seems they are all at full capacity. We have over 100 students per year in each of the countries we operate in who are waiting for this program. Unfortunately we still cannot close one of these agreements.
Wanderlust, established 7 years ago, specializes in facilitating educational and cultural opportunities for students seeking to study abroad. We have forged strong ties with prominent universities in Australia, New Zealand, Russia, Argentina, Czech Republic, and Canada. Over the years, we’ve hosted educational fairs in key cities across Ecuador and Colombia, connecting thousands of students with top-tier academic institutions. While our primary focus has been university placement for undergraduate and postgraduate programs, we are broadening our scope towards “Work and Travel” programs to offer enriching cultural experiences to our clientele. Beyond our educational sector expertise, Wanderlust S.A.S. takes pride in its robust digital marketing strategy, which has been pivotal in our success and growth. As we seek new challenges and opportunities, our mission remains consistent: to provide students with the tools and opportunities to transform their lives through education and cultural experiences.
Membership type: Associate Member