By Anna Holmquist
Want to take a free trip? Then XploreU is the place for you.
XploreU is a website created by Beloit alum Meghan Hoover, class of ’06. It originally began as a magazine that Hoover started while at Beloit, called Authentic Travel. It then morphed into a website and an online community.
The site gets brands to pay for students to travel and volunteer for free. All the students have to do is rack up points by referring friends, interacting on the Facebook page and posting pictures and videos. While the website is still being built, their Facebook page is currently giving away trips monthly and freebies weekly.
“Beloiters are so lucky,” Hoover said. “So many have traveled abroad. But the truth of the matter is that less than 2 percent of all college students nationwide study abroad. This needs to change. So XploreU was created to help make this happen.”
Hoover stressed that XploreU places an emphasis on service learning.
“We’re not sending rich college kids to the beach. We’re sending kids to change the world. Brands dream of the potential loyalty from college students, so XploreU gives them that loyalty, connections to millions of students plus the awesome image of helping students AND the world. Everybody wins,” Hoover said.
So far, they’ve sent students to places like Saint Lucia and Italy, and there’s currently a competition going on for the next trip to the Dominican Republic.