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Andy Steves
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Growing up the son of travel guru, Rick Steves, Andy went with his mother and sister to visit their dad every summer of his life until he was 18. They would meet up with Rick halfway through his hundred or so days in Europe each year wherever he was on the Continent. Andy remembers visiting everything from small Bavarian towns in the foothills of the Alps to bustling capital cities and everything in between. Like any youngster, he didn't always love traveling with his family, having to go into museums and eat fancy food when all he wanted was a hamburger and fries, but it was his childhood.

In 2005, Andy went on his first independent European adventure with his best buddy from high school, and it opened up a whole new continent. They flew into Amsterdam and did a grand tour of Europe through Paris, Madrid, Barcelona, the French Riviera including Nice and Monaco, over to the Cinque Terre, caught the Tour de France in the French Alps, made their way into the Swiss Alps, took two night trains in a row down to Palermo for a few days, and ended back up to Florence and Rome.

The next summer, Andy spent two weeks in an Italian language school in Sicily and worked for the next seven weeks as an assistant tour guide for his father’s company doing three “family friendly” tours that went from Rome to Paris through the Alps. The next summer, he met up with his cousin in Seville as he was finishing a study abroad program for a few days, than made it to Rome to start another couple tours.

Not being able to stay away from the European continent for long, Andy went back over in January of 2008 to start a semester abroad in Rome where he quickly noticed a need for student travel ideas. He traveled to Europe early in order to spend a week in Prague. Once his semester started, he continued to travel throughout the semester, visiting Venice for Carnevale, a ski trip weekend in Switzerland, the Amalfi coast, Dublin for St. Paddy’s day, Sicily for spring break, the Cinque Terre, Milan and a small hill town in Tuscany. Andy graduated from the University of Notre Dame May 15th, 2010 as a double major in Industrial Design and Italian Language and Literature. The WSA concept was in continual development since he returned from his semester abroad in the Spring of 2008 in Rome, Italy, but it took a bit of time to perfect. Andy began with uploading resources to AndySteves.com, a free site for the college student abroad. He designed over 20 recommended weekend itineraries to the top locations across Europe. Andy eventually vetted the feasibility of starting a weekend tour business in Europe through Notre Dame's annual business plan competition in the spring of 2009 and 2010. After making it to the semi-finals in 2009, he recruited a small team to take the concept to the top in April of 2010 and won first place out of over 100 entries!

With the concept refined and ready, Andy founded Weekend Student Adventures in June of 2010 two weeks after graduating. Andy led WSA's first slew of city tours across Europe that Fall, and since then WSA boasts over 3,000 students on tour to date in Europe's ten most popular destinations. And the rest is travel legend :)

Entries by Andy Steves

See London as Sherlock

(1) Comments | Posted September 16, 2014 | 4:44 PM

Fancy a London adventure, Watson?

These days the pop culture world is abuzz with one name: Sherlock. After sweeping the recent Emmy awards, the BBC show, which has become a raging success, was brought to the forefront of everyone's attention. Although the Sherlock Holmes character has taken...

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3 Rules for Studying Abroad in Europe This Fall

(0) Comments | Posted July 17, 2014 | 4:29 PM

You've wrapped up your spring semester and are now cruising on summer break. You're interning in the city, waiting tables down the street, or planted in front of the TV. The weather's great and the pool is warm, yet you already can't wait for next school year because you have...

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Finding and Renting an Apartment in Europe

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 2:55 PM

There are two routes you can choose from when you are looking for an apartment in Europe. You can use a direct booking website or you can go through a rental agency.

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Direct Booking Websites
homeaway.com | VBRO.com|
...

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The Top 5 of Florence

(0) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 1:36 PM

As many people around the world know, Florence, Italy is the European capital of renaissance history and art. It's incredible to think back to the early 1400s when architecture, literature, science and fine art began a whole new movement of change. Before you go across the pond, make sure these...

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Underrated: Krakow, Leave Your Inhibitions at Home

(1) Comments | Posted February 26, 2014 | 6:35 PM

Each time I visit Krakow, I am blown away by its incredible beauty, vivid culture, delicious food and thriving nightlife. Whether you're learning about its storied history or experiencing the living, breathing present, I'm always left wanting more. This city has emerged from a devastating past into the 21st century...

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Celebrating Easter in the Eternal City

(1) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 6:38 PM

With the excitement of the new Pope revitalizing the Catholic Church, the Vatican has come to life. If you have the opportunity to travel to Rome for the Easter weekend, you're in for a celebration that you won't forget. Delicious food, amazing history, unique traditions and a mass led by...

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Top 5 Tips for Planning an Incredible Weekend Adventure

(0) Comments | Posted February 12, 2014 | 1:01 PM

1. Picking a Weekend

Sound easy? It isn't as simple as you'd initially think. Sure, you can book a trip blindly, but remember that unique cultural celebrations happen across the continent year round. It's important to be aware of these special dates and make your timing decision based on catching...

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As the Sun Sets

(0) Comments | Posted January 27, 2014 | 9:02 AM

Hopping from country to country, wherever my work takes me, can be exhausting and exhilarating. Each city has its own personality and living, breathing culture. Inbetween meetings, conferences, presentations and tours, I force myself to slow down to smell the flowers and take in the local flavor. At the end...

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Modern Airport Luxury

(0) Comments | Posted December 11, 2013 | 5:55 PM

On any travel day, you're on edge. Whether it's due to the anxiety of flying and goodbyes or dreading the processes and long lines, something that was once a luxury, has turned into a hassle. Shoes off, bag weight, carry-on size, delays and over bookings are all inconveniences that we...

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Deck the Halls: Celebrating the Holidays Throughout Europe

(2) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 11:20 PM

Whenever I am able to spend a bit of time in a European city over the holidays, I make a point to learn more about the traditions unique to the area. Whether it's Sinterklaas, arriving on a steamboat from Iberia, or Samichlaus and his sidekick, Schmutzli, visiting Switzerland -- each...

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Tracing the Steps of History Through Hollywood

(0) Comments | Posted June 26, 2013 | 6:16 PM

I am hooked on historical films. I love them because they put a fresh layer of paint and a crisp veneer on what today might be ancient ruins or stuffy museums. They help us visualize what things might have looked like hundreds and thousands of years ago. By cultivating our...

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History Does Repeat Itself: The Correlation Between the Irish Civil War and Washington State's I-502, the Bill to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Use

(2) Comments | Posted June 9, 2013 | 10:24 PM

"That's a stretch," you're probably thinking in your head after reading this title. How can a Civil War be likened to some bill that was passed a few months ago? It's not such an outlandish idea though, especially when you take a closer look. Try to understand the motivations of...

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6 Tips on Finding the Best Italian Gelato

(2) Comments | Posted May 2, 2013 | 10:24 AM

"No, no, no, it's 'gel-AH-TOH', not gel-ah-DOUGH!" my Italian friend says as he reminds me how one pronounces the famous Italian treat. Gelato is a mainstay in any Italian's life and any tourist's blitz of the Italian peninsula. The tradition goes back hundreds of years to the mountains in Northern...

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How Ireland Started Celebrating Irish Pride

(0) Comments | Posted March 15, 2013 | 8:00 AM

Historically, the first St. Paddy's Day parades started popping up about 250 years ago in NYC and Boston; Irish soldiers would march through the streets on this day to reconnect with their heritage. While at some point today's celebration morphed into one that has little to do with the man...

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Europe And The Modern Backpacker

(4) Comments | Posted February 25, 2013 | 7:00 AM

On my run this morning I went out along the bay to one of Dublin's lighthouses. It was a beautiful, sunny morning --the type you wouldn't normally associate with this city during this time of year. On my way back I came across a mother and her three young children....

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