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Parent Testimonials

Read our Parent Testimonials to learn more about how the Xavier London program helps students grow, introduces them to new cultures and international travel, and is a unique way to take classes. 

2019 Parent Testimonial

Our daughter Zoë loved the experience.  She really got see that this world is a really big and wonderful thing and not just the US. In addition she learned how to negotiate what she needs to do to navigate not only an international airport but also what steps need to be taken to get around the country as well as getting money, getting around the city, and seeing the sites.  She was also able to get valuable academic credit while seeing the world!  This was truly a pleasure for her and our family.

 

Russell Platt

 

2017 Parent Testimonial

 

  My wife and I wanted to drop you a note of thanks for your leadership and communication during the 2017 Xavier London study abroad. We were somewhat concerned when our daughter left due to all of the unrest in Europe and London. Your frequent emails helped us immensely. We enjoyed knowing what the students were experiencing and felt that they were safe. I was especially thankful that you even knew where the students were on their free weekends. 

   When our daughter returned from the trip she shared all of her wonderful experiences and learnings. It was a great life-changing experience for her. 

   We wanted to thank you for a wonderful trip for our daughter. 

 

   John and Debbie Meyer 

2016 Parent Testimonials

 

Professor Fiorelli -
 
I know we had already sent a few complimentary emails along the way but Terry and I wanted to personally tell you how impressed we were with the study abroad trip to London this Summer.  You thoroughness and assuredness made us feel full of confidence with our daughter, Ellie, traveling out of the country in such uncertain times.  The planning that went into the trip shows that you truly care about the students' well being and learning experience in and out of the classroom while there.  We particularly appreciated the many tips you provided for travel, sleep, safety and points of interest.  If you decide not to teach law at some point, I think you would give Rick Steves a run for his money.  
 
Ellie said it was the trip of a lifetime and we think it changed her forever.  
 
Thanks to you, a magnificent trip in so many ways.  
 
Jim and Terry Eckerle 

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My husband and I want to thank you for the daily reports you sent from London. We are the grandparents of Carmelle Wasch and our son would forward the newsflashes to us every day so we could stay up to date.  I know it couldn/t be easy to control a large group of student, especially quite a few had never been overseas before.  Anyway we really want to thank you and just let you know how much us grandparents, and I am sure we weren/t the only ones, enjoyed your daily newsreport.   Irmgard and Denzel Wasch

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Dear Professor Fiorelli,
Xavier exceeded expectations with the instructional value and life experience of the London trip.
My daughter's confidence increased ;navigating  balance of work and life exponentially evolved (as she earned the lions share of the expense on her own) and her awareness of the intrinsic global challenges we all face will be treasured for a lifetime.
Parent of Xavier Class of '18
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Professor Fiorelli,
 
Abby Radford has made it home safely.  We are listening to lots of wonderful stories. When we asked Abby what was one of the most important things she learned she responded, how to be independent.  That was one of our goals.  Mission accomplished!
Thank you for your guidance and for providing Abby with this wonderful opportunity. 
Cheers!
Katie Radford 
 

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Chris had a great flight home. He had a wonderful experience and we have had a full afternoon of debriefing! I love it.........alot of information and stories! 
 
Sorry for the delay. I just saw this email and he asked me to respond. He stayed up all night, slept on the flight and is  wide awake! 
 
We can't thank you enough for all of your efforts, planning, coordination and communication throughout this trip. It's hard to believe it's over. 
 
Thank you.....thank you! 
 
Cheers! 
 
Carolyn

2015 Parent Testimonials

 

Dear Professor Fiorelli,
 
          I wanted to wait until the excitement settled in our home and you were back in yours to thank you for making this study abroad program worth more than words can even begin to touch. From the day Rachel signed up for London, until the day she returned home, I never felt so comfortable as a parent knowing that she was in good hands with you and the other professors.  Each and every email you sent reassured me of this. Not once, did I feel the need to ask any questions because you handled everything and Rachel will tell you, I'm as thorough a person as any when it comes to safety, health and exploration in unknown territory.  I've never met you, (even though I feel as if I know you) but from what Rachel has told me, you are one of the finest professors she has had at Xavier and trust me, she is a tough critic.  Rachel has always wanted to see new places, learn as much as she can, and explore on her own and this trip accomplished all of that. As you predicted, she came home more independent and confident and loaded with stories to tell for years to come!  My husband and I are very pleased Rachel choose Xavier, but beyond everything she has done at school, this tops it all! Thank you again!
 
Best regards,
 
Jo Ann Johnson

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Father Mike (Graham), when you and I met last week, you asked how Benjamin liked the London trip with Professors Fiorelli and Yandell.  Benjamin took business law and philosophy while he was at Queen Mary University in London.  
           Benjamin returned a much more mature and confident young man.
           Benjamin allowed me to read his reflection paper after it was turned in.  I really enjoyed reading it, and it let me know how much the trip not only taught him about another culture and academic subject matter, but also really gave him confidence.  Professor Fiorelli’s b-law class gave him so much confidence that he challenged Steve and me on the lease we wrote for the condo he is leasing with two other students from us.  He told us that we had taken away some of the tenant rights through our lease.  He indicated that Professor Fiorelli taught them about leases and tenant and landlord rights.  So much for educating your children. 
           I wanted to write you a distinct and separate note rather than the very brief amount of time we gave this subject in our meeting.  I want to thank you for affording Benjamin this opportunity and to tell you how much we enjoyed it as parents.  Professor Fiorelli’s communications were reassuring, robust with details and eagerly awaited every day.  We do know now, however, how much Professor Fiorelli enjoys the culinary delights in Europe as virtually every email talked about food, as well as the experiences, behavior, decisions etc. of the students. 
          Thank you again for making this available to the Xavier students.  We would highly recommend the experience to anyone who asks.

 

Pamela Zipperer-Davis

 

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Professor Fiorelli-

 

          My husband and I would like to thank you for the experience of a lifetime that you gave to our son, Jack. From the moment he committed to the trip to the day he came home, you were always there to give trip info, advice, and support to all the participants.  Always thinking of our children's safety and overall experience,  you were there to guide them along and then set them free. 

          Not only did he learn through the plays, cooking classes, and London tours, but also through his courses, which he loved. Learning to balance the rigors of class work with all of the planned events will serve him well for a lifetime ahead. 

          He grew from a young man, a little nervous about leaving the comforts of home to an experienced traveller, comfortable in setting out for unknown destinations with a new sense of wanderlust. 

Our deep thanks for a wonderful trip. 

 

-Mary Carol and Jack Bainbridge

 

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Professor Fiorelli:

          I just wanted to thank you for being such a wonderful guide, teacher, and mentor to Corey and the rest of the Xavier class in London this summer.  Corey had a wonderful experience and speaks so highly of you.  He also really enjoyed getting to know your son and is looking forward to continuing that friendship at school.  This was a great experience for Corey both academically and personally.  He was quite nervous about going and I think it was a great step in his growth just to have traveled overseas and managing to navigate in a different environment.
          Your communication with parents was really fantastic.  Although I didn’t respond during the tip (I knew you had much to deal with), I truly appreciated the updates.  I know you have been doing this a long time.  Corey really benefited from all the trips that happened before this one – the activities, group events, classes, and even individual time was well planned and offered a really great experience for each person.
          Corey had a wonderful time and I just wanted to say thank you.  Please send my thoughts, thanks, and best wishes to others who helped on this trip that I do not know.  I hope I can meet you in person someday soon.
Best wishes for a great academic year -

Karen Shapiro 

 

2014 Parent Testimonials

 

Professor Fiorelli-

 

Words cannot express our gratitude as parents for Xavier’s sponsorship of the Xavier London study abroad program and the personal investments made by you, Drs. Whipple and Wyett.  We are grateful that Kelsey had this opportunity.

 

Suffice it to say that the “good byes” at CVG on June 28 for us represented a mound of emotions as we sent our oldest child across the pond to London.  But, as you know, for students who embrace the program – it is a life enriching and perhaps life changing experience.  From our FaceTime chats with Kelsey this was truly the trip of her young lifetime and we anticipate it will absolutely shape her future.  In our family, we preach the “work hard, play hard” philosophy and we have no doubt that Kelsey attacked the London experience with this gusto.  To your point, experiential opportunities – the combination of learning, experiencing, evolving, and expanding perspectives - are such a critical part of higher education today.  While Kelsey “took 2 classes” in London, meeting new people as part of the Xavier troupe, truly being independent, experiencing different cultures, being immersed in history, traveling to Paris with her peers, and (hopefully) making it home on Thursday will be truly differential learning experiences for her.  As the trip draws to conclusion, our only comment is WOW!

 

Please let us know if you need parent endorsements for future London study abroad programs – we will sign up for the opportunity to crow about this wonderful opportunity for Xavier students.  Truth be told, Dan and I are jealous of Kelsey!

 

As well, thanks for the wealth of communications to families back in the United States – we really loved reading about the daily adventures from your perspective!

 

See you at CVG on Thursday-

Julie & Dan Murphy

 

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Hello Professor Fiorelli,

 

I feel like I actually know you now after all of your wonderful daily communications!  I can not thank you enough for the wonderful job you, Dr. Whipple and Dr. Wyett did on this London trip.  It was difficult enough for us to send our son (Kiernan)  all the way to Ohio (we live in Baltimore) for college, much less put him on a plane for a month in Europe.  Your daily communications eased all of our anxieties.  We knew exactly what the day's plans were and how things went.  We didn't have to worry whether or not they arrived safely in Edinburgh or Paris because we knew you would let us know.  I can't tell you how much we looked forward to your daily communications.

          And the opportunities that were provided to our son were truly amazing.  The theatre, the museums, the neighborhoods, the food all sounded completely wonderful!  I know from the times I spoke with Kiernan that he was having the adventure of a lifetime.  He actually said he had mixed feelings about coming back to America because he liked it in England so much.  We were so fortunate to be able to send him for this study abroad opportunity, and are even more fortunate that he attends a school such as Xavier that provides such a wonderful experience.  After this great experience we are excited to see where he goes to study next summer.

          I will certainly be sending a note to Fr. Graham telling him of our extreme satisfaction with this program.  Please feel free to use us a contact for future London parents if they have any concerns or questions from the parents point-of-view.

 

Cheers!

 

Denise Zumwalt

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Dear Dr. Fiorelli,

     We can’t believe the month of July is over and the London study abroad program is coming to an end.  We want to thank you for all you have done for making this study abroad program so wonderful.  We see so much growth in our daughter, Martha, since she left a month ago.  Your dedication and devotion to the students, the course work, and their overall London experience is impressive and appreciated.  We wish you and all the Londoners a safe and happy return.

 

Thank you for all the good you do!

Cheers!

Jim and Rachel Reckers

2013 Parent Testimonials

 

Dr. Fiorelli,
 
          Randi and I would like to thank you and your team for the wonderful experience that Claire and the other Xavier students were able to enjoy this summer in London. The e-mails and Skype sessions we had with Claire were reminiscent of the experience we had when Marybeth went with you and your group back in the summer of 2010.  We told Claire when she transferred from that “other” school in Cincinnati that this is something we truly thought she would enjoy and more importantly learn a lot about other country’s politics, culture and life styles. Even with the large group you had this year her experience was overwhelming.
          I hope you continue to keep this up because it is an invaluable learning experience for these students and I am sure it is both exhausting and exhilarating for you and your staff but the growth of these students is also rewarding.
          Randi and I keep talking about our first encounter with you when you spoke at the Parents Board meeting one year and your invitation to get Mary and now Claire involved in your program has been priceless in our eyes. We continue to tell incoming freshman to look at this program during our annual Xavier send off barbeques we host for Toledo area students.
 
Keep up the great work!!!!!

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Hello Professor Fiorelli,


My wife, Nancy, and I would like you to know how much we sincerely appreciated your updates throughout the trip!  It was truly amazing how well informed you kept us, and certainly provided a great deal of comfort. We were also very impressed with the number of organized functions (dinners, tours, etc.).  The trip sounded so good my wife and I might have to enroll at Xavier and make the trip next year!
 

Thanks again,
 

Mike and Nancy Leyritz 

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Professor Fiorelli

 

          I would like to thank you for the opportunity Xavier provided my son Russell Knowles to study abroad this Summer.

          I would recommend this trip to any student (and parent)!  The cost was great; but the experience was greater!  This trip will make memories that he will carry with him his entire life.

          Thanks for the updates along the way!  I anxiously awaited every single one of them. 

Sincerely,
Denise Knowles

2012 Parent Testimonials

Dear Professor Fiorelli,
 
Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to this program.  I’m sure most parents experience some level of anxiety about sending their children so far away from home and for such a long period of time (I know we did!)  I couldn’t agree more with your comments below….Beth has always been a pretty independent person, but listening to her experiences learning to navigate the transportation system, learning how to order from a menu in Paris, and experiencing the week leading up to the Olympics are truly memories she’ll have for a lifetime.  Amazingly, she is eager to stay in this evening and finish her coursework!  Quite honestly, she hasn’t stopped talking about her trip since she arrived home on Thursday (we had to remind her to come up for air during dinner last evening!)
           We were most comfortable with this trip because of your great communication skills- including the parents on the e-mail chain certainly helps keep us “in the loop” on important details and some of the more worrisome parts of the trip (did everyone arrive in London safely, have they arrived back in the States, etc) weren’t a worry at all because you were so quick to communicate safe arrivals and give updates throughout the trip.  The use of the international phones was also a welcome relief (and of course with today’s social media, it didn’t take long to figure out what the group was doing each day simply by logging on to Facebook each morning!)  
           Much to my surprise, Beth really wasn’t homesick until it was time to come home (probably the excitement of her own bed and shower!)  This was truly the experience of a lifetime for her, and she told us that everything was extremely well organized, she enjoyed the courses, and was able to sightsee to her heart’s content.
           Our sincere thanks to your entire family for their part in making this a memorable experience for the Xavier students.  We will forward our comments and heartfelt thanks for your role in making this trip so memorable for our students along to your superiors!
 
Many thanks!
 
Debi Gerbus - 2012

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Professor Fiorelli,

          Kristen had the most educational and memorable London summer experience.  As her parents, we appreciated all of the work you put into the trip.  It was absolutely the most organized and interesting school and cultural 4 1/2 weeks in Kristen's life.  Thank you so much for your concern for the students from what they learned in the classroom to their safety off campus.  Thank you for sharing all of your expertise of the city with the students to provide them such a large range of experiences. She will be talking about this trip for many years.  Her father had a similar experience in his late teens and still remembers every detail.  Thank you for all you do preparing for and executing the wonderful London college experience for the Xavier students!  We appreciate you and Dr. Brownlee.
          You can use this for your parent testimonial because we want to promote such a marvelous trip of a life time for college students.

Kim and Chris Kennedy - 2012

 

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          The London experience for my daughter Glenna was a wonderful opportunity.  The purpose I had in mind for Glenna going to London was getting an education in the actual experience itself.  While she received very good grades on the two classes, she earned the absolute tops for becoming a savvy traveler.  Professor Fiorelli had the students on the go, forcing them to quickly pick up the vernacular and become comfortable with public transportation.  
          London was spectacular host city for the Olympics that was ready for the crowds, and Glenna was also ready.  When we came to London to spend a week with her at the end of the Xavier trip, she had us on the go just like Professor Fiorelli had them!  I was impressed with how she took over as our tour guide.  She knew the city, the sights, the Tube, the food.  The Xavier professors and all of the preparations were commendable, and the trip was a great value.

Deb McCarthy - 2012

 

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Words cannot express how much we appreciate all you did to make the London study abroad experience so perfect.  Your emails, blog entries, and pictures were reassuring, informative, and entertaining.  We knew that our son was in good hands.  He had the experience of a lifetime and repeatedly thanked us throughout his time in London and ever since his return.  Without hesitation, we recommend this very worthwhile study abroad experience to all Xavier students.  Thanks so much! 

 

Jeff and Julie Ahlers - 2012

 

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I really appreciated all the updates! My daughter Eileen had a wonderful

time and the only down side is how envious I am of her wonderful trip.

thanks again for your hard work and hours that went into this event, it

was well worth it! Hope you get some rest and are ready for next year...

Dennis Borczon - 2012

 

PS I heard from you much more often than from my daughter! It was great to

get the day by day activities!

 

2011 Parent Testimonials

 

Dr. Fiorelli, 

     " You will never regret having spent money on travel"  someone once told me.   No truer words were spoken on my feeling for the Xavier London excursion for  2011.   With our son's first international travel experience,  naturally we wanted an itinerary that was thorough,  safe, and yet adventurous.   We hit a home run with all three.  Dr. Fiorelli has an uncanny ability to show the students the cultural highlights of London and it's surroundings, and also understands the openess to allow each student to explore areas unique to their interests.   The price tag was indeed a concern when our son first showed interest early on .  However,   as they say,  "you get what you pay for."   My wife and I are fully satisfied that the trip is cost conscious,  maximizing value,  while still allowing the necessary allowances for a full experience. 
          The  blog gives you continuous access to the group's activities.   You get a daily snapshot and real feel for the travel log of your student's experience.   Dr. Fiorelli has a tireless enthusiasm that I'm sure translates into the energy of the group as a whole.    He gets to know your student personally with preparing meals to every subgroup and naturally in the classroom itself.   His fusion of classroom teaching with touring sites brings his teaching's alive making the experience much more meaningful.   The other professors compliment their body of work in similar fashion.   
          In summary ,  I was rather impressed with the Xavier London program.   So much so , in fact,  with three daughters following our son in Jesuit education,  we are already hoping to convince them to join the program for the Summer of  2013.   I give this program a full endorsement and encourage any student considering an intro to international travel to strongly consider this great opportunity.   You won't be disappointed.   Of course,  don't take my word for it.   ( after all, I am merely a parent ! )  Talk to the students themselves.   You will no doubt get a rousing affirmation!

Sincerely,

Dr. Jim Schwieterman  ( father of Luke ) 

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Professor Fiorelli,

          Thank you again for organizing, supervising and mentoring the 2011 Xavier London trip. Jessie has been home for one week and continues to talk daily about her exciting and educational experiences.  Her trip was awesome and she will never forget one day of the adventure. Importantly, from a parent’s perspective, I would like to let you know a few of the very rewarding aspects from her participation. First, her increase in self-confidence as she negotiated a trip overseas without a parent was very striking and important for a young adult. Secondly, her experience of sharing the trip with a dozen or so, new students was very rewarding and she developed new friends and now familiar faces at Xavier. And finally, she was able to experience a perfect blend of academics, site seeing and culture. Overall when you add the shopping and fun dinners, it was a perfect mix.

          And I especially want to thank you for the very detailed and prompt information that you shared with us as parents from the first mention of the trip in the Fall of 2010 to the final “everyone is in their room” message on the last weekend. Your oversight of all these details kept us informed and comfortable that the supervision too was a perfect balance for the students. 

Thanks again,

Michelle S Howenstine MD

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          Both our son and daughter have gone on the London trip with Professor Fiorelli and each has come back with an entirely new perspective and understanding. Both are confident that they can navigate anywhere they may go in their lives and appreciate all that we as Americans have and often take for granted.  They learned because Professor Fiorelli allows students enough freedom to gain confidence without totally cutting them loose in a foreign environment.  As parents, we were grateful to be included in his updates and informative emails. In a way, he brought us along, as well.  A wonderful program, expertly led!
 
Thanks, Paul!!
Laurel (and Jeff and Ellen and Chris) 

2010 Parent Testimonials

Professor Fiorelli~

          Our sincere thanks to you, and Professors Yandell/Fairfield for your exemplary coordination of Xavier London 2010! Our daughter Allison had a wonderful experience as witnessed by the unassuming comment she gave when we asked if she had been anxious to come home at the end, and the answer was "no". After taking your class, I believe she also has a new appreciation (as a science major) for her fellow business-major classmates:-)

          Including parents on your e-mails to the students was greatly appreciated. If it didn't pertain to us, we could quickly ignore, but was most helpful in some instances as reminders to both students and busy parents of deadlines, requirements, suggestions or restrictions. We also the enjoyed the underlying humor is many of your posts.... obviously you have dealt with college students for a LONG time!   

          As you are well aware, study abroad programs are structured in many different ways. Our older daughter was selected for a non-traditional study abroad program in El Salvador during her college days at another Jesuit university. While this was an extraordinary and rewarding experience for her, I am quite certain this type of total immersion would have extended beyond Allison's comfort level. Xavier London provides a wonderful educational and cultural experience for those students(or parents) who desire a study abroad program with a little more structure and guidance while still allowing the freedom that college students crave.  It is a little difficult for science majors to study abroad for an entire school semester without getting "behind" on their path to graduate in four years. The London summer study was perfect to work into the mix, and since the courses and professors all came from XU, there is no concern that the courses will not transfer back for credit. Of course, this does add the additional expense for a summer semester, but because of your excellent coordination, we feel that is was money well spent and a good return on our investment.

          Again, thank you so much for your coordination of Xavier London 2010. You obviously enjoy your profession and that has been a gift to all the students lucky enough to travel with you on this journey.

Our best wishes to you as the new school year begins at Xavier....... my husband says he would like to take you for beer and burgers next time we are in Cincinnati!

Regards~

Jane & Jerry Lubert

Knoxville TN  

 

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Professor Fiorelli- 

 

          This was the best experience Mary has had to date. Of our 3 daughters, she was the one who was not going to do Study Abroad.  We are on the Parent's Board, and after your presentation at last fall's meeting, we encouraged Mary to take a class with you.  When this opportunity came up, we (and her roommate Sam Bodner) convinced her it could NOT be missed. 

          Both the length of the trip and the opportunities to really immerse them in the culture were perfect. Mary had Study Abroad students from other programs tell her they were jealous of the side trips and excursions available to our Musketeers, that their program got them to London, but they just "went to class & hung out at the pubs."  Our students truly experienced what it was like to live and study in London.  By the end of the trip Mary was comfortable with transportation, (She & Sam went back to Bath to view a showing of Lady Diana's gowns) and ventured to Paris for one of their free weekends.  Mary & John went cross-town to purchase tickets for and then attended  football matches for Arsenal & Man United. We find this remarkable because the last city larger than Cincinnati where Mary had traveled was Chicago.  She was 8 years old & we only experienced cabs, so for her to feel comfortable maneuvering multiple travel options was HUGE.  We have you, and this trip to thank for that.

          I could go on and on, but I feel the combination of your guidance and planning with the location were a complete success and we could NOT endorse this experience highly enough to do it justice. We also felt it was a great value. With other kids in college, study abroad is NOT something we could just take out of "petty cash" and I'm sure cost is an issue for most families. We told Mary we would get her to London, but once there, her expenses and adventures, would come out of her pocket.  The advance information made planning easier and setting her goals reasonably, Mary went with enough money to make the trip enjoyable, had enough to take on the "surprise" baggage fee on the return and not totally leave cobwebs in her savings account.  I know we feel it was money well spent, as does Mary.

          Thanks to you and the other professors for all the work planning an excursion such as this takes, for taking just enough care of our students to help them feel both comfortable AND adventurous, and for the WONDERFUL daily blog information, it almost made us feel we were enjoying London right along with you!

Randi & Mike Monaghan

 

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          Professor Fiorelli- We would be glad to post our feelings regarding the London summer abroad adventure. As parents, we were very impressed with the parent participation factor. As our son had never travelled abroad before, we felt confident that someone was  watching out for our children’s  safety, while at the same time teaching them the ropes regarding international travel so they could become independent and grow. We also greatly appreciated the blog as we could follow the great adventures of the kids, not only with pictures, but also a narrative summarizing the highlights of the trip. Professor Fiorelli could not have been more organized. He prepared parents and families for what they needed to plan for and expect during this trip. In summary - the opportunities the kids were given were top notch . They were able to experience as much culture as possible and take in as much as you could imagine!!!  Our son didn’t want to come home - he wanted to stay longer and continue to enjoy life in London!  We would recommend this trip to all parents and students! Take the plunge and allow your kids to experience London.! A fabulous summer opportunity! Thank you Professor Fiorelli!!! 

The Fitch Family

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          Awesome experience for John! Having never travelled abroad ourselves we were somewhat apprehensive about John going. Our fears were soon put rest. All our questions were answered before we asked! Even though it was a substantial financial  commitment we feel he really got "a bang for his buck" as the trip was packed full. The cell phones were a great idea and we thoroughly enjoyed the e-mails and blog as we followed his trip. Thanks for all your organization. I'm sure it is a trip John will cherish forever!

 

Betty Carol Barber

 

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Professor Fiorelli:

          I very much liked being included on the emails, both before and during the trip.  I liked the blog, but I found the emails easier to access for up to date information.  I also liked the fact that several of them contained information to soothe the concerned parent (eg "all are back from their trips and safe in their rooms").

          You have obviously done this trip before and have made year over year improvements and I thank you for the experience that made this so enjoyable for Deb.

 

Marian Schuda