School the World Trip 2024

Flywire has long been committed to giving back to the communities we serve. Whether through our Foundation, charitable giving, or volunteerism, we’re better when we put others first.

We caught up with our FlyMates who attended our annual School the World trip in 2024 to get a firsthand look at what this experience was like for them.

What’s your favorite memory from the trip?

“The sheer joy, excitement and delight on the faces of the kids as they whizzed down the slide for the first time!” -Jen Howard, Experience Specialist, UK

“There are many. One highlight was the home visit where we got to spend time with a small family on their property and experience some of their activities like harvesting rice and beans. There were plenty of laughs when we tried to do the things that they do so easily.” -JP Kelly, Head of Insurance, Newcastle - Australia

“Tons!! Working with incredible people around the world with big love! And especially the last day, when we saw those smiling faces from kids after classrooms and playground done, I felt so proud that Flywire has supported local community!” -Sisi Liu, Senior Relationship Manager, Beijing, China

“We had the opportunity to run an hour class with the kids and during this time we played a game which has helped us connect with them.” -Jorge Avila, Senior Relationship Manager, Valencia (SPAIN)

“The kids! Watching them go from shy and unsure about us, to seeking us out and wanting to talk and play. They were extremely sweet, inquisitive, and adorable. I miss them and think about them often.” -Brittni Bragg, Partner Success Manager (EDU), USA

“One in particular was quite cathartic for me. After a week of hard work, getting to bond with the community and the kids, it was finally the day of the closing ceremony. Today, families and particularly the kids will finally see the results of our work. I woke up at 5am in a mix of nervousness and excitement as it was time to say goodbye. Well, a couple of hours later we finally arrived at the community. A bunch of my favorite kids approached me, cheerful as always, and came to say hi. I loved them and couldn't wait for the ceremony to see the classrooms and the space and underwater that we painted - they are gonna love it. So I tell 4/5 of them to come with me to see it. 5 more follow, and 5 more... We are like 20 at that point. That's a lot of pressure. As we approach the classrooms I get more nervous and start asking myself "Will they like it?" Well, what happened later left me speechless. As we enter the space classroom, I can see the kids' eyes lit in excitement and wonder. They can't believe what they are seeing - "wooooooow" the little Jahid screams. Everyone is so happy. They start jumping around, trying to reach the higher planets, cuddle with the warmth of the sun, look for the Panama flag on planet earth. I lost it. Tears of joy started pouring down my face. I couldn't stop it. Seeing the kids so happy melted my heart. That moment was the realisation and payoff for what has been an intense and magical week of hard but happy work. I'll never forget it.” -Marco Ricciarelli, Sr.Sales Manager, London, UK

What did you learn from this trip? What did you learn about your fellow FlyMates?

“So many things! Humility, appreciation, gratitude, looking for the joy in the small things. It felt like a real life-reset, which can only be a good thing. I learned that my fellow FlyMates are an awesome bunch, endlessly supportive and kind, and so willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done.” -Jen Howard, Experience Specialist, UK

“The stand out for me was the re-learning that true happiness comes from enjoying and appreciating the simple things in life. We saw so many happy people with very little material possessions by comparison to us. In addition to that was experiencing the drive that all parents have to improve their child’s lives.” -JP Kelly, Head of Insurance, Newcastle - Australia

“Giving, Respect and Big love. Despite the exhaustion and sweat that accompanied our efforts, there was an undeniable sense of fulfillment in knowing that every drop of sweat was a step closer to making a meaningful impact.” -Sisi Liu, Senior Relationship Manager, Beijing, China

“I learned that a project run by multiple stakeholders and with the support of many actors can be done in a short period of time. I was happy to talk to FlyMates from all over the world, with different points of view, but with similar interests. I'll keep the memories and moments at the bottom of my heart.” -Jorge Avila, Senior Relationship Manager, Valencia (SPAIN)

“I learned that my fellow FlyMates are exceptionally generous, authentic, and overall fun people to be around. I also learned how dedicated we all are to our global community.” -Brittni Bragg, Partner Success Manager (EDU), USA

“1. Smiling is the ultimate superpower and the universal language. 2. Growing up doesn't have to mean seeing life as gray, consumed by routine. Life has many colours and it should be lived and seen through the pure heart and eyes of a child. 3. Life is hard. Period. Still, you always have a choice: keep fighting or complaining. If you have a strong why, put your heart, belief, and hard work into it - you have the power to make positive change happen. 4. True abundance is found in everyday gratitude and appreciation for the little things in life. 5. Helping others is more rewarding than anything money can buy. My FlyMates are good, genuine people with big hearts. They are also fun to spend time with.” -Marco Ricciarelli, Sr.Sales Manager, London, UK

What was most impactful about this trip? Share that moment.

“A very tiny moment, but I'll never forget it - during the welcome ceremony, it got pretty hot as we sat on our plastic chairs watching the dancing. I felt a bit of a breeze, and to see a little girl shyly blowing on my cheek to cool me down! Such an insignificant and easily overlooked moment, but the sweetest gesture that I'll keep in my heart.” -Jen Howard, Experience Specialist, UK

“Playing with the kids at recess was brilliant. There's obviously a huge language barrier but as soon as you get into playing a ball game none of that matters and you could see just how excited the kids were to have us playing games with them.” -JP Kelly, Head of Insurance, Newcastle - Australia

“The experience has left an indelible mark on me, inspiring me to continue seeking opportunities to give back and make a meaningful difference in the world. I would like to look for organizations doing community service, and hope to participate every year.” -Sisi Liu, Senior Relationship Manager, Beijing, China

“The community has prepared a welcome and a farewell ceremony. I had the privilege to see the kids dancing, playing and sharing a piece of their culture and language with us.” -Jorge Avila, Senior Relationship Manager, Valencia (SPAIN)

“A rich life does not require material goods. To experience how the families in the community live, with very little (no electricity, having to walk 1hr+ for fresh water, manual labor) and yet to see the pure joy and love they have for family and community. That will always stick with me.” -Brittni Bragg, Partner Success Manager (EDU), USA

“Doris' story. Doris is a superhero from the Comarca. Born in the community, her chances to make it in life outside of there were very thin. Not many opportunities, no money, no hope. She shared with us her personal journey. She went through hell over and over again in her life. Situations that are unimaginably tough for us (loss, having to start over again and again, loneliness etc). Despite the odds, she still managed to turn the odds around by completing her studies and creating opportunities for herself. A story of resilience, belief, dedication and an enormous display of character and strength. Extremely impactful in giving you perspective, strength in the toughest moments we all go through, and courage to follow your dreams.” -Marco Ricciarelli, Sr.Sales Manager, London, UK

Photos of School the World Trip 2024

What’s the one thing you want other FlyMates to know about the trip?

“Don't be put off by the fundraising aspect of the trip - it's a team effort, and FlyMates are only too happy to support the School the World journey.” -Jen Howard, Experience Specialist, UK

“If you think you'd like this kind of trip, you are absolutely mad not to apply! It's so rare to have an employer provide an opportunity like this and given they send 7 people every year the chances of getting to go are pretty high. Make no mistake, fundraising can be a challenge and you'll work very hard while you are there but there are plenty of breaks and events to ensure you really get to experience the local community, their culture and genuine engagement with the kids.” -JP Kelly, Head of Insurance, Newcastle - Australia

“This is a life changing journey! I am encouraged to invite each and every one of you to consider joining us on future corporate service trips!” -Sisi Liu, Senior Relationship Manager, Beijing, China

“This trip is the best time to disconnect from this reality, from our day-to-day routine. Being in another country with a community that doesn't speak your mother tongue and trying to connect as humans by looking at our eyes, smiling and playing it is something we all need to try more often. To take down our walls and let us feel vulnerable is important. It gives us that sense of trust in each other and our instincts. I would recommend it 100%.” -Jorge Avila, Senior Relationship Manager, Valencia (SPAIN)

“It was easily one of the best decisions I've ever made. I truly think all FlyMates should take part in School the World. It'll open your eyes, challenge you, and bring you closer to our global community.” -Brittni Bragg, Partner Success Manager (EDU), USA

“I know it can sound like a lot going to Central America, having to work all day under the sun, no real food etc. What if I can't do it? What if it's too painful? What if I'm not good at it?" Maybe something in you tells you "hey, this could be nice" but then you know... routine, work deadlines, doubts starts crippling in and you don't apply. Don't overthink it. Don't lose this opportunity of a lifetime! You'll figure out the details later on. Just go for it and give yourself a chance to live this magical experience you'll cherish for all your life and make a real difference in someone else's life. Don't take my word for granted. Your payback? The most genuine smiles you'll ever see. And smiles don't lie. They will warm up your heart in ways you'd never imagined. Please, please, please apply.” -Marco Ricciarelli, Sr.Sales Manager, London, UK

Did this opportunity impact your feelings about working for Flywire?

“I'm so proud to work for a company that actively supports a charity such as School the World, and offers FlyMates an incredible and life-changing opportunity. To receive donations and messages of support from other FlyMates is so unifying, and really strengthens our FlyMate community.” -Jen Howard, Experience Specialist, UK

“Totally. While I already love my role at Flywire, the company and the people I work with, this experience took it up another notch. I just genuinely feel extremely lucky to have gotten to have this experience.” -JP Kelly, Head of Insurance, Newcastle - Australia

“Of course! I’m so proud that Flywire can be this global company with such strong social responsibilities and support its employees to participate in it to make the world different.” -Sisi Liu, Senior Relationship Manager, Beijing, China

“Yes, I feel that Flywire is coherent with the culture that I would like to build in the long term and allowing me to participate on one of multiple initiatives. It is something I will always keep with me. But again, this is just one of many other initiatives and I feel grateful of being here and help building this community.” -Jorge Avila, Senior Relationship Manager, Valencia (SPAIN)

“Yes! I already love working at Flywire, but knowing Flywire supports such an initiative - not just monetarily, but through active fundraising support from all levels of FlyMates, and it's an annual thing just makes me more proud to work for such a company.” -Brittni Bragg, Partner Success Manager (EDU), USA

“Absolutely. I'm grateful to work for a company that not only talks the talk, but actually walks the walk. This could have easily been a marketing gimmick, but seeing Mike and the c-suite personally involved in the fundraising, as well as the global Flywire community, was great!” -Marco Ricciarelli, Sr.Sales Manager, London, UK

Anything else you would like to add?

“If you're even a little bit considering applying to join next year's mission, book in some time to chat with one of us about the trip - we're only too happy to tell you all about it! You definitely won't regret deciding to apply!” -Jen Howard, Experience Specialist, UK

“I ended up going with 6 other FlyMates that I had never met or worked with before. It was great to get to know such amazing people and to learn more about their area of the company.” -JP Kelly, Head of Insurance, Newcastle - Australia

“I’m filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and awe.” -Sisi Liu, Senior Relationship Manager, Beijing, China

“I would encourage people to participate, I'll be happy to help and assist during the process.” -Jorge Avila, Senior Relationship Manager, Valencia (SPAIN)

“I am grateful Flywire allowed me to have this opportunity and strongly encourage others to get involved and take part!” -Brittni Bragg, Partner Success Manager (EDU), USA

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