GoAbroad Interview

Alistair Taylor - Product Executive

Alistair Taylor - Product Executive

As BUNAC’s product executive, Alistair is an expert on BUNAC’s volunteer and intern abroad programs. He has traveled to Vietnam, Cambodia, Iceland, the U.S., and most of Europe; in fact, he recently got back from a road trip in Switzerland. If he had his pick of a BUNAC program, he would love to participate in the Work America program that allows UK students to take up casual hospitality work in the U.S. But at the end of the day, Alistair loves having the opportunity to build life-changing experiences through his work at BUNAC.

What BUNAC programs do you contribute to?

Working in the product team at BUNAC has me looking after a number of programmes all over the world, which is really exciting!

Canyoning in Switzerland

Canyoning in Switzerland - I went on a road trip through Central Europe and we stopped here for some adventure sports.

How did you get involved with BUNAC?

I’ve always known about BUNAC, so when I was lucky enough to be given the opportunity to work with them, I snapped at the chance. Fortunately I had a background in travel, which was a big help!

How do you use your own travel experiences in your work? 

It’s really easy to get passionate about places you have visited, and having a lot of experiences myself that definitely helps. People invest in stories, and when you have your own stories to share, then that is a great way to inspire someone to follow in your footsteps.

Brooklyn Bridge, New York City, USA

Brooklyn Bridge - just me ticking off a must see landmark in New York City

What makes BUNAC’s programs and locations unique?

All of our programmes and locations are interesting because they all offer something different. The great thing about our programme selection is that there is something for everyone, no matter which amazing country you decide to head to.

How does BUNAC prepare participants for arrival in their new home?

From handbooks and the nitty gritty, right through to group chats, we make sure all of our participants are in the loop and ready for their life-changing experience.

What is a typical orientation like?

Orientations are a really important aspect to any trip, and usually take place when you land and drop off your bags. You’ll learn all about cultural do’s and don’ts, how your programme is going to work, as well as introductions to your new team!

What kind of support does BUNAC provide to participants? 

From the moment our participants book to the moment they return home, we provide continuous support. That’s what makes our trips so great for first time travellers or those looking to go away for long periods of time, as they will always have help wherever they are in the world.

Cliff jumping in the UK

Adventure Tour in the UK

How do participants truly experience the local culture through BUNAC’s programs?

We have lots of programmes that give our participants the chance to stay in local home stays, teach within the community, or contribute to the economy. What’s more is our participants get plenty of hands of opportunities to go out and experience culture first hand for themselves with all their new friends.

What is the best thing about participating in a BUNAC program? 

The great thing about all of our programmes is that you always come back having had a beneficial experience. Whether that’s growing in independence on a gap year, giving back to a local community on a volunteer trip, or taking up an internship in Hong kong, you’ll always have something positive to put on your CV.

What is the most rewarding part about your job?

Definitely having an impact on someone’s future. I’ve met kids that have never heard of the opportunities that are out there for them, and then after introducing them to our programmes, I’ve then watched them book, fly, have an incredible time abroad, and come back to tell us all about it. It’s great to see the full journey someone goes through when they choose to take part in a new experience.

Coastal view in Vik, Iceland

Out at sea in Vik, a southern town in Iceland famous for its black beaches and awesome coastline!

In one sentence, why is international education valuable?

Taking part in a program or traveling somewhere that inspires you gives you knew experiences to draw from and apply to your own goals in life. 

Why are BUNAC’s programs valuable?

We promote amazing, life changing experiences, and we believe these experiences can have a huge impact on a young person and what they decide to do with their own lives. We see new experiences as the opportunity to build knowledge, whether that’s about culture or about yourself. Either way, these are beneficial learnings outside of the classroom and offer a irreplaceable return on investment. 

Is there anything new we can look forward to in 2016 from BUNAC?

We are always looking for new, inventive ways to improve our programmes, so watch this space!

What makes traveling abroad with BUNAC extraordinary?  

We offer brilliant packages that support you from the moment you sign up to the moment you get home. With group flights to help get you on your feet, amazing welcome tours, bullet proof orientations, and a once in a lifetime experience, BUNAC is the way to go!