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Remembrance of Bunac past

Travel Forums General Talk Remembrance of Bunac past

1. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1044 posts) 1y

This recent article is a little sad for those who have previously gone on a Bunac work/travel program. For about 50 years it was a club in the UK (made up from university campus clubs) that offered the programs via its own company, however in 2011 the programs and brand were sold to STA Travel.

So much history of the programs and travels of people on them look likely to be trashed due to no home for those memories. I went on a couple of their programs and ran a campus club in the 90s, and also briefly worked for both Bunac and IEP (their subsidiary in Australia) and have happy memories promoting the organisation as it was then.

I'm aware that it is so much easier to travel now than it was when the club started, but there is still room for programs like theirs. (I should add that STA Travel do still operate most of the programs - but curiously don't offer the summer camp program from the UK, but do from Australia).

[ Edit: Edited on 23-Apr-2013, at 15:34 by mojorob ]

2. Posted by Steve79 (Respected Member 326 posts) 1y

Very interesting article and as you say quite sad really Rob.

Have just found out via the BUNAC website that I can still go out and work in New Zealand. I thought at 33 and having already used my working visa out there, that my chances to do that again were long gone, but have just noticed that I am eligible to apply for their IEP Work Exchange Visa and work out there for 12 months – happy days!

3. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3603 posts) 1y

Ah that's a shame. Hopefully someone will come to the rescue. I did Bunac's Work Canada scheme when I was 21 and I think it was that trip that truly gave me the travel bug!

4. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1044 posts) 1y

Quoting bex76

Ah that's a shame. Hopefully someone will come to the rescue. I did Bunac's Work Canada scheme when I was 21 and I think it was that trip that truly gave me the travel bug!

Yeah, it was doing their Work America program that gave me the travel bug!

Most programs are still being operated by their new owner (STA Travel), but it's a shame that the club aspect in the UK has been wiped out in the process. That was the main thing that separated Bunac from its competitors - and now their summer camp program has also been dropped (at least in the UK; not sure why IEP Aus/NZ can still run these as the UK-based program was dropped due to "proposed changes" to the regulations by the US government, according to the Bunac website).

5. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1044 posts) 1y

It looks like a home has been found for the archives of the British Universities North America Club (BUNAC). They will be transferred to the Bodleian Library at the University of Oxford.

I still find it a shame that it was decided to sell the brand and programs to STA Travel. As someone involved in promoting BUNAC on campus in the 90s it just seems to go against the non-profit organisation that it was.

I understand why STA acquired the brand and programs, as it fits nicely into their primary customer base - but I do wonder who financially profited from the selling of the company/brand/programs. It was always said to the campus club reps when I was involved that the company which operated the programs was owned by the (members of the) non-profit club.