From EverybodyWiki Bios & Wiki

StudentUniverse logo.svg
Type of businessSubsidiary of Flight Centre
Founded2000; 22 years ago (2000)
HeadquartersWaltham, Massachusetts, United States
Area servedMultinational corporation
Founder(s)Espen Odegard and Fredrik Carl Størmer
Key peopleAtle Skalleberg, Chairman
Mike Cleary, Global Managing Director
Chad Mooney, Senior Vice President, Operations
ServicesTravel agency
Metasearch engine

StudentUniverse is an online travel agency specializing in youth travel.[2][3] It offers flights, lodging, travel insurance, and escorted tours. Customers are generally required to be enrolled students or faculty members at accredited colleges or universities, or between 16 and 25 years old.[4] It has proprietary verification technology that allows it to verify student status.[3] It also operates a mobile app called Flights by StudentUniverse.[5] It makes money from commissions, advertising, fees.

The company offers students less-severe change fees and restrictions compared to other travel agencies.[6]

The company also works closely with Google's ITA Software.[7]


In 1992, Espen Ødegård established a student travel agency called Prism Travel with offices in New York City.

In 1999, StudentUniverse was founded by Espen Odegard and Fredrik Carl Stormer and raised its first round of funding from private investors.

In 2000, the company launched its online booking engine.[8]

Between 2004 and 2006, the company ran marketing campaigns in college publications with the marketing tag-line; "Students Fly Cheaper".[9][10][11]

In 2008, the company introduced its new marketing tag-line; "Travel more.Spend less" and launched a redesigned website.

In October 2010, the company began using ITA Software for search functions.[12]

In September 2011, the company launched a new website and a new tagline: "Smart deals for students".[13]

In October 2011, the company announced Mike Cleary as its chief commercial officer.[14]

In November 2011, the company announced Paul Tedeschi as its General Manager.[15]

On March 1, 2012, the company announced Atle Skalleberg as its chief executive officer.[16]

In March 2012, StudentUniverse launched SUMM – a marketing agency that specializes in marketing to students.[17]

In April 2012, the company expanded to categories beyond travel – student deals.[18]

In August 2012, a textbook service is launched, allowing students to compare textbook prices.[19]

In December 2012, the company announced StudentUniverse Tours.[20]

In October 2013, the company announced its revamped iOS application StudentUniverse Mobile App.

In October 2013, the company expanded to the United Kingdom.[21]

In November 2013, the company acquired WeHostels.[22][23]

In February 2015, the company launched group travel services in the United Kingdom.[24]

In April 2015, the company launched a responsive website and new branding.[25]

In May 2015, the company launched Work Abroad Experiences.[26]

In December 2015, the company was acquired by Flight Centre for $28 million.[27][28]

In July 2016, the company's Managing Director, Atle Skalleberg, was named Chief Digital Officer of Flight Centre Travel Group.[29]

In August 2016, Paul Jacobs was appointed SVP, Marketing and Executive Team Member.[30]

In October 2016, Mike Cleary was appointed Executive Vice President.[31]

In December 2016, the company partnered with Tourism Australia to attract British people to Australia via working holiday visas.[32]


  1. "The StudentUniverse Team". StudentUniverse.
  2. "StudentUniverse: About Us". StudentUniverse.
  3. 3.0 3.1 McCartney, Scott (October 14, 2008). "Flying to College on the Cheap". The Wall Street Journal.
  4. "Terms of Use". StudentUniverse.
  5. "Flights by StudentUniverse on the App Store". App Store (iOS).
  6. Gilden, James (April 3, 2005). "Students: Do your homework to get European summer deals". Los Angeles Times.
  7. "ITA Software Presents StudentUniverse Case Study". StudentUniverse. October 14, 2011.
  8. Lipman, Lisa (December 15, 2000). "Students can fly for less online – maybe". San Antonio Express-News.
  9. "Student Life". Student Life. September 7, 2005.
  10. "The Stanford Daily". The Stanford Daily. 31 October 2005.
  11. "The Signal". The Signal. January 31, 2006.
  12. Schaal, Dennis (October 27, 2010). "Student Universe supplements Sabre with ITA Software for search". Phocuswire.
  13. "Introducing Our New Website". StudentUniverse. September 21, 2011.
  14. "Meet Mike Cleary, Our New CCO". StudentUniverse. October 17, 2011.
  15. "Former Mr. Youth CEO, Paul Tedeschi, Joins StudentUniverse". StudentUniverse. November 20, 2011.
  16. "StudentUniverse Names Atle Skalleberg CEO". StudentUniverse. March 1, 2012.
  17. "SUMM A division of StudentUniverse". StudentUniverse. March 14, 2012.
  18. "Introducing Student Deals". StudentUniverse. April 9, 2012.
  19. "NEW! Compare Textbook Prices". StudentUniverse. August 28, 2012.
  20. "StudentUniverse Tours – More Adventures and Amazing Trips". StudentUniverse. December 14, 2012.
  21. "StudentUniverse Expands – Introduces the United Kingdom". StudentUniverse. October 1, 2013.
  22. Shankman, Samantha (November 18, 2013). "StudentUniverse Buys Hostel Booking App WeHostels to Improve on Mobile". Skift.
  23. May, Kevin (November 18, 2013). "WeHostels sold to StudentUniverse in cash and shares deal". Phocuswire.
  24. "StudentUniverse Launches Group Travel Services in the UK" (Press release). Business Wire. February 10, 2015.
  25. "StudentUniverse Rolls Out a Mobile-First Multi-Million Dollar Makeover" (Press release). Business Wire. April 14, 2015.
  26. "StudentUniverse Introduces Work Abroad Experiences" (Press release). Business Wire. May 20, 2015.
  27. "StudentUniverse Acquired By Flight Centre Travel Group" (Press release). Business Wire. December 21, 2015.
  28. May, Kevin (December 15, 2015). "Flight Centre finds youthful voice online with StudentUniverse buy for $28M". Phocuswire.
  29. "Atle Skalleberg Named Chief Digital Officer of Flight Centre Travel Group" (Press release). Business Wire. July 21, 2016.
  30. "Paul Jacobs Appointed SVP, Marketing + Executive Team Member". StudentUniverse. August 4, 2016.
  31. "Mike Cleary Appointed Executive Vice President". StudentUniverse. October 4, 2016.
  32. "Tourism Australia Handpicks StudentUniverse to Send a Surge of Young Brits to Australia on Working Holiday Visas" (Press release). Business Wire. December 1, 2016.

External links[edit]

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