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Tuesday, February 3, 2004
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Student-run travel agency allows for hands-on experience

By Breana Krotz

With the cold weather biting through the lagging winter months, who isn't dreaming about the warm breezes of a tropical island paradise, your feet buried in the sand as you lazily watch the sailboats dance on the water? Now imagine escaping regularly to white sandy beaches and island getaways or at least planning these imaginative vacations.

Ohio University Southern Campus offers travel and tourism students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at Travel World, Ohio University's full-service travel agency. The agency experience complements students' coursework, while preparing them for client interaction and the daily ins and outs of the business. The externship also allows students to earn academic credit.

"The job is a lot more challenging than some people expect," says student and Travel World employee Rhonda Holschuh. "Not only do you have to keep many details in mind, but you could essentially be planning several trips."

The agency, previously located in Portsmouth, Ohio, has been operating under the University since fall 2002.

"The agency is still establishing itself in Ironton, but it is designed to satisfy the traveling needs of not only the general public, but also University staff and students," says Steve Call, Ohio University's director of the associate degree program in travel and tourism.

Students can find experience in planning vacations, group travel and airline, hotel and car reservations.

"The biggest challenge in the industry is the rise in Internet usage; however, many people have learned that planning vacations through the Internet is not always the best way to go," says Holschuh. "By using our services at Travel World customers have a viable contact if they experience any bumps in the road and their trips are tailored to fit exactly the type of vacation they're looking for."

Breana Krotz is a student writer for University Communications and Marketing.

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