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Brazil’s CI cites success with two offshore offices

Opening two offshore offices to better serve their clients’ ongoing study needs has been a good business move for one of Brazil’s largest student travel agencies, CI, according to owner Victor Hugo Baseggio.

13 staff help counsel Brazilian students from CI's office in Dublin, Ireland

CI has also diversified its product range in Brazil

Speaking exclusively with The PIE News, he explained that opening offices in Sydney in September and Dublin in October last year has enabled the company to help their clients with “re-enrolment” in an overseas country.

Observing that both Australia and Ireland offer post-study work options, Baseggio said this was a “great opportunity” for an agency to continue to service their current students and expand their client base in a new market.

“We are seeing a slow movement of staying more in a destination”

“In Ireland, [students] can work up to seven years, once they have engagement at higher education levels,” he said. “And in Australia, opportunities are also good.”

Jan Wrede, director of sales at the company, pointed out that the new offices enable CI to offer orientation services, walking tours and general help with settling into life in a new country, as well as job search support.

“In our Sydney office, we have a lounge area where we offer our clients (and non-clients) computers/internet, a chill-out area and a room where we train clients for the hospitality industry,” he explained.

He said that other Brazilian students, not originally CI clients, were using their services in both Australia and Ireland.

“It’s premature to assume it, but we are seeing a slow movement of staying more in a destination and exploring more, once [students] have guidance and inspiration provided by our local staff.”

Speaking about business in Brazil generally, Baseggio said that there was also a more optimistic mood about the business climate.

“The worst is definitely over, we feel,” he said. “We believe unemployment will go down and while the economic reality is still tough, there is a more positive outlook and there are reasons to be optimistic now.”

CI, which counsels thousands of students per year, has diversified its product range in Brazil. It now offers a sports tour product, Amaze Sports, which took nearly 400 clients to Gothenburg to participate in the Gothia Cup, world’s largest football competition for 10-18 year olds.

“This was a great success, and we also did a big deal with Barcelona for their football camps,” said Baseggio. “So we’re very optimistic about that.”

Graduation tours have also become a promising product for CI. Baseggio said nearly 2,000 CI clients descended on Florianopolis in Brazil for one week, for a “spring break” style tour with excursions and parties organised.

The agency is also building its reputation for full undergraduate placement overseas. “More and more [Brazilians] are willing to try for undergrad study overseas – from 3-5 years, so a long-term programme,” said Baseggio.

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