Once upon a time…

Mike met Mark. Their conversation likely involved an intense post-nap discussion of something along the lines of sharing or finger painting or ninja turtles. Freshman year of college was a crazy one…

Mark and Mike dominating the soccer field, circa early 90’s

Actually, the year was 1990 and Mike and Mark were enjoying the novelty of riding the school bus…because they were in Kindergarten. (Though, come to think of it, the circumstances of their meeting would have been equally fitting in a college dorm). Mike and Mark had a lot in common: they both enjoyed recess, the fine culinary practice of snack time, and they welcomed their youngest brothers that very same year. This proved to be a major upgrade for both youngsters, as they each progressed from middle children to their current status as the upper-middle of four. In between play dates and the quest for a cooties vaccination, Mike and Mark decided that one day, they would create a website devoted to the study abroad market, a one-stop centralized resource that would make the entire process easier and more successful for students, parents, and administrators. Their foreshadowing capability was uncanny.

Mark and Mike breaking hearts at the 8th grade Semi-Formal, 1999
(Note the spiffy ties and quintessential comb-over)

 

Then, in 1999, Adam entered the picture as the “new kid” on our first day of high school. He sported really cool Hawaiian button down shirts and his social personality resulted in Adam joining Mark and Mike in many intriguing lunchtime debates, with issues ranging from sharing, to other heated topics like finger painting and Ninja Turtles. Adam’s computer savviness coupled with his networking skills made him the perfect third candidate for our team.

Adam and Mark leading the high school ultimate frisbee team, 2000

Then the rest of high school happened. Highlights included “First Wednesdays” (when we would end school early the first Wed. of each month- it’s the little things…), drivers ed, and our school’s infamously gangster “Secret Garden” themed prom. After graduation, Adam, Mark, and Mike made the big move from Boston’s suburbs to MIT, Harvard, and Tufts, respectively. This was “kosher”, because it allowed them to remain within a 2 T-stop proximity of one another on the Red Line. Highlights included every Wednesday being a “First Wednesday”, the lack of having to deal with parking, and the assurance that we would never again have to attend a “Secret Garden”-themed social event.

Yet, another highlight for all three of us was international travel. The fact that we each learned a great deal when we left our comfort zones and were exposed to a completely unique culture resulted in a passion for study abroad. This passion grew even more upon the realization that there are not nearly enough resources out there for the student traveler. We wanted to create a resource for studying abroad that extended beyond the traditional travel guide, and we knew that the three of us had the skills, creativity, good looks, and modesty to make it happen (did we mention the ability to have fun?).

Abroad101 was born.

Mark, Mike, and Adam following an Abroad101 meeting, 2007