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2019 DCIS Germany Program

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2019 DCIS Germany Program!  We have created two webpages dedicated to this once in a lifetime experience so that travelers are as informed as possible throughout the process. The first page, Pre-Enrollment, is meant to share exciting details, highlights, and pertinent info, that participants will want to know before enrolling. Once enrolled, the Post-Enrollment page is intended to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information on the appropriate page thoroughly and get excited for Germany!
Travel Dates: March 24, 2019 - April 3, 2019
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $2,690 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Confirmed Airfare: $845
Deadline(s): Interested families should enroll by November 15th

What to Expect

Please read through all of the information below. More details will be added as your departure draws closer.

Itinerary

We do everything possible to run safe, engaging, and immersive programs for our travelers, but given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but if inclement weather pushes us off course or an unexpected opportunity arises which travelers are excited about, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

DayLocationDescriptionMealsLodging
Sunday, March 24USA - Munich (München)Flight to Munich (München). Rest up for our upcoming adventure!D (Airline)Flight
Monday, March 25Munich (München)Today we arrive in München! After we get settled in our hostel we will walk up the tower of the Church of St. Peter to get a great view of the city center. For dinner we will sample some traditional Bavarian food.B (Airline); L, DMünchen Hostel
Tuesday, March 26MünchenThe best way to explore a new city is by bicycle and we will begin in München with a bike tour that includes all of the major historical sites in the city center. We can stop at the beautiful Viktualien Market to enjoy lunch from local vendors and look around inside some of München's oldest churches and breweries (like the famous Hofbräuhaus). Tonight we'll try another important German cuisine for dinner, Turkish street food in one of the city's most diverse neighborhoods.B, L, DMünchen Hostel
Wednesday, March 27MünchenWe will bear witness to the Holocaust today at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial Site just outside of München. We will return for a peaceful dinner and stroll through the English Garden in Munich at the end of an important day. B, L, DMünchen Hostel
Thursday, March 28München to NürnbergFor our morning in München we have the option of visiting the European Commission office or the Bavarian state government (Landtag). After a short hour-long train ride we will arrive in the historical city of Nürnberg that was once a trading mecca in the Holy Roman Empire as well as a center for political rallies during the Third Reich. After dropping off our things at the medieval Imperial Castle where we will be sleeping, we will explore the ancient half-timbered houses and churches in the city center. We will also get a chance to try the local specialty - Nürnberger Bratwurst.B, L, DNürnberg Castle
Friday, March 29NürnbergToday we will have an in-depth exploration of Nürnberg's connection to the Third Reich at the Documentation Center on former Nazi Party rally grounds. Afterwards we will have time together to decompress and process what are sure to be emotional impressions as we settle in for a relaxed dinner. Oh and, did we mention you're sleeping in a castle?!B, L, DNürnberg Castle
Saturday, March 30Nürnberg to FüssenIn the morning we will explore the home of one of Nuremberg's most heralded sons - Renaissance artist Albrecht Dürer. Then we will board the train for a stunning ride into the foothills of the Alps, arriving in the town of Füssen in time for dinner.B, L, DFüssen Hostel
Sunday, March 31FüssenBavarian King Ludwig II created a fairytale world in his 19th-century palace, Neuschwanstein. We will visit this stunning building today and have some time to explore the surroundings. Later in the day we can have some free time in town or learn more about this beauitful natural environment of this region at the Forest Experience Center.B, L, DFüssen Hostel
Monday, April 1FüssenWe are so close to Austria so let's go! We'll take a quick train across the border to go see an amazing complex of medieval fortress ruins at Burgenwelt Ehrenberg and we walk across one of the world's longest pedestrian suspension bridges.B, L, DFüssen Hostel
Tuesday, April 2Füssen to MünchenAfter a short morning train ride back to München we will tour the exciting BMW Welt, which can include the plant or the museum. The evening is ours to enjoy a farewell dinner.B, L, DMünchen Hostel
Wednesday, April 3Depart MünchenAfter breakfast we'll board a plane back across the Atlantic. Auf Wiedersehen!B, L & D (Airline)Your own bed, eventually!

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Accommodations

In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with locally-operated, three-star equivalent hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe. 

Below are the accommodations we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
Euro Youth Hotel Munich

The Euro Youth Hotel has been blurring the lines between Hostel and Hotel since 1998.  The Ho(s)tel is located in a grand old building just 100m from Munich’s main train station. The hotel offers old world charm with modern facilities, like free Wi-Fi throughout all rooms and common spaces. Students will be grouped by gender in their rooms.

Youth Hostel Nuremberg

Located on a large, spacious plot of land in northern Nuremburg in the heart of Bavaria, the Youth Hostel Nuremberg provides a unique experience for guests through its open spaces. Students will be grouped according to gender in double or triple rooms, according to availability.

Old Kings Hostel

Old Kings Hostel is not just a place with a bed. It is a place to meet others and explore the outdoors. It is the smallest, most intimate hostel in Fuessen and the perfect place from which to set out on a new adventure. Students will have access to high speed Wi-Fi and will be grouped in double, triple, or quadruple occupancy rooms according to gender.

Group Flight

DEPARTURE FROM USA

Airline: Lufthansa
Flight: LH447
Date: March 24, 2019
Departs: Denver (DEN) – 6:35 PM
Arrives: Frankfurt (FRA) – 11:10 AM

Airline: Lufthansa
Flight: LH104
Date: March 24, 2019
Departs: Frankfurt (FRA) – 12:15 PM
Arrives: Munich (MUC) – 1:10 PM

RETURN TO USA

Airline: Lufthansa
Flight: LH480
Date: April 3, 2019
Departs: Munich (MUC) – 11:55 AM
Arrives: Denver (DEN) – 2:25 PM

Once your flight has been secured the itinerary will appear here.

Remember that Walking Tree is not responsible for checked baggage fees. Please visit the airline’s baggage webpage to learn if you should expect to pay anything.

We will provide a group manifest – complete with reservation codes and ticket numbers – to the Group Organizer/s before departure but travelers will need to check in at the airport in order to receive their boarding pass. We recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure but for specific details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure, please contact your Group Organizer/s.

FLIGHT INTERRUPTION DELAY OR CANCELLATION 
Air travel is unpredictable. Regardless of proper planning, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather, mechanical problems, labor strikes, etc.  Please note that in such an event, Walking Tree Travel (WTT) is not financially responsible for unanticipated costs incurred by travelers.  Our programs officially begin and end in the destination country and because our staff doesn’t fly with the group, Group Organizers (the traveling faculty member/s) become the front-line advocate for the group. In most cases of cancellations or delays, the airline will be the one who re-books travel or possibly arranges a hotel and food the night.  Our primary role will be to  keep families updated and advocate as best we can for a quick and effective resolution to the situation.

Host Community and Project Details

Packing List

What follows is a sample packing list, which will be updated for each program. We recommend you bring a larger piece of luggage like a roller, duffel bag, or backpack, as well as a smaller backpack that you can bring on hikes, weekend excursions and shorter activities.

“Less is more” is a packing tip we encourage for all our travelers. The below list should cover
everything you would need, but we frequently hear that travelers feel “overpacked” if they follow all of our suggestions. Know yourself and what you are comfortable traveling with. We suggest bringing only as much as you would be able to carry on your own.
Most importantly, be sure to remember your PASSPORT and STUDENT ID.

CLOTHES:
Underwear
Socks
T-shirts, tank tops or work shirts
Long sleeve shirts
Sweatshirt/jacket
Shorts
Jeans/pants
Swimsuit
Rain jacket
Sturdy shoes (appropriate for lots of walking/athletic activity)
Sports sandals ie Chacos/Tevas etc. (optional)
Flip flops (optional)
Hat

TOILETRIES: BRING THE BASIC TOILETRIES YOU NEED PLUS…
Sunscreen
Band Aids and Neosporin
Hand Sanitizer
Medication in properly marked original container
MISCELLANEOUS:
Sunglasses
Journal and pen
Book
Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
Power Converter
Alarm Clock and watch
Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $50-$150, depending on amount of desired
souvenirs, extra items etc.)
Durable water bottle
1 quick-dry towel
Flashlight/headlamp
Batteries
Deck of cards or other portable games
Host family gift
Student ID
German/English Dictionary

Support Team

At a minimum, one experienced Program Leader will travel on every trip. In addition to this full time leadership presence, Walking Tree has additional support staff in all destinations and 24/7 support from our headquarters in Denver, Colorado. Below you’ll find a list of the team members involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program.

Luke Mueller
Luke Mueller
Co-Founder of Walking Tree Travel and Business Lead - Denver, CO


Emory University – B.A. Sociology and minor in Latin American History

During college, Luke spent a semester living and traveling in rural Mexico. His experience sparked a fascination with Latin America and a commitment to community service that continues to this day. Upon graduating from college, he joined WorldTeach and lived with a local family in a small village in Costa Rica while teaching elementary English. After this experience, he moved to San José, the capital and largest city of Costa Rica, and wrote for The Tico Times newspaper. Luke has since traveled to over 60 countries on five different continents.  Now settled in Denver with his family, he continues to crave massive helpings of rice and beans.

Devin Toletti
Devin Toletti
Germany Country Director, Italy Program Leader


Bologna University – B.A. Political Science and International Relations

Born to an Italian father and a Canadian-Austrian mother, Devin grew up in Varese which is in Northern Italy between Milan and Switzerland. He grew up with a love for winter sports, dividing his winters between hockey and skiing. In summer he would enjoy mountain biking around the Alps and try to water ski as much as possible. After finishing school, in the English section of the European School, he went to Bologna University and achieved a B.A in Political Science and International Relations. In Bologna he also discovered his passion for food and teaching. Devin is now living in the exciting capital of Germany, Berlin, where he is a bike tour guide, part time cook, and English teacher.

Annie Krieg
Annie Krieg
Program Leader


University of Pittsburgh – PhD History of Art and Architecture; Certificate: Cultural Studies University of Pittsburgh – MA History of Art and Architecture Lawrence University – BA German, Art History; Minor: Gender Studies

Providing Germany-centered program development and outreach for Smithsonian Student Adventures and Walking Tree Travel is a dream job and coming full-circle for Annie. As a 13-year-old, she came home from her first summer as a villager at Waldsee, one of the language and cultural immersion summer camps of Concordia Language Villages in Minnesota, announcing plans to be a Fulbright Fellow in Germany. After a high school exchange and a full undergraduate year at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, she indeed returned to Germany twice as a Fulbright Fellow – teaching English in a secondary school and conducting independent research for her dissertation. Having traveled extensively through Europe with longer stays outside of Germany in Poland and England, she considers herself first and foremost a Berliner by choice who is also at home on the trails of Colorado. Her greatest accomplishments include being mistaken for a native speaker on the streets of Berlin, finishing two 140.6-mile Ironman triathlons, and owning, and actually wearing, a Dirndl.

Group Roster

Below is a list of the travelers enrolled on the program.

  • 1 America Torres- Lopez
  • 2 Ava Donley
  • 3 Beatriz Mier
  • 4 Danielle Duncan
  • 5 Gretchen Currey
  • 6 Hannah Lopez
  • 7 Isabella Jurien
  • 8 Katia Marusich
  • 9 Kristian Hinders - Group Organizer
  • 10 Logan Reed
  • 11 Maddox Scholl
  • 12 Mateo Hobza
  • 13 Meghan Lavelle-Zdarko
  • 14 Olivia Corn
  • 15 Skylar Veazey
15 Travelers

Blog and Communication

During travel we will work hard to keep families updated as frequently as possible with blogs and photos, giving you peace of mind that your traveler is safe and thriving on their program.  Students regularly contribute to these posts, giving parents a great way to vicariously track the progress of the trip. You will receive an email notification when the first blog is posted, after which we recommend you check in regularly via the black “Program Blog” button at the top of this page.

Beyond this proactive approach to communication during the trip, most destinations are wired enough to allow participants semi-regular access to WiFi so you can also expect to communicate with your traveler directly. Ask your Walking Tree representative about the degree of connectivity on your program.

 

GLC Curriculum

Walking Tree has developed a curriculum of activities meant to help travelers get the most out of their trip before departure, during travel and after they return home. These simple and engaging activities are meant to spark discussion, frame experiences, and prepare participants to travel ethically and effectively both on this trip and on future adventures.

For more information about student learning objectives and the format of the curriculum, click on the ‘learn more’ button below.

Learn More About the GLC

To view and complete the Pre-Program Activities, visit our online portal at the button below.

Pre-Program Activity Portal

Standards of Behavior

In order to run a safe and successful program, it is important that we create an environment of trust, security and respect. All individuals participating in our programs are required to take responsibility for their actions and adhere to a high standard of behavioral conduct. Any of the following are grounds for early dismissal or in-country consequences at our discretion.

ABSOLUTE DISMISSAL

  1. Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  2. Associating with participants while they are in possession of or are consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
  3. Behaving in a way that consistently damages the group dynamic or jeopardizes personal or group safety. This includes consistently displaying a negative attitude, intimidating or excluding other participants, sneaking out, disobeying group leaders, and any other behavior that is not conducive to an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect.

GROUNDS FOR DISMISSAL OR IN-COUNTRY CONSEQUENCE

  1. Getting a piercing or tattoo
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials
  3. Threatening with or using weapons
  4. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle
  5. Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew
  6. Breaking group rules

These standards of behavior are essential for the successful completion of a travel program. Please take the time to review these rules as a family and make sure everyone understands and agrees to them before choosing to travel with us.

Health and Safety

We strongly recommend visiting the CDC Germany website to get the most updated information on health and vaccination considerations in your destination country. In addition, we encourage you to consult with your personal family physician so you can be as informed as possible when making important decisions about vaccinations and other necessary health-related preparations before travel.

Beyond these recommendations, our in-country staff prepare meticulously for all programs. WTT will register our programs and travelers with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in case of emergency. In country staff also verify the safety records of our partner organizations, vendors, and transportation providers, thoroughly vet homestay families via in depth interviews and home visits, and keep up on important current events in the region.

Program Leaders are seasoned travelers who are CPR and First Aid certified, undergo thorough training in crisis management, and participate in a multi-day leadership training retreat. We do our best to prepare for any eventuality and have detailed emergency protocols for our leaders, in-country staff and U.S.-based staff.

We receive medical disclosures from all participants to ensure we are able to meet every students’ needs during the program. Please inform us immediately of any additional health issues that you did not list during your initial registration process. Program Leaders will also hold an online information session before your departure, as well as an arrival orientation in-country, in order to give participants important instructions on food safety, hygiene and preventing injury and illness. Leaders and in-country staff always respond immediately to any mental, physical or emotional health issues and follow comprehensive emergency protocols.

Insurance

While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers on program, experience has taught us that travel can come with risk. For this reason, we recommend that all travelers consider protecting their trip and travel investment by purchasing a travel protection plan with a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) provision.

To make this process as easy as possible, we have partnered with Travel Insured International, one of the most respected providers in the industry.  Begin by taking a few minutes to get a quote here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: in order to secure coverage with CFAR included, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of the date your initial payment or your deposit for your trip is received. You must also insure 100% of the prepaid, non-refundable trip costs that are subject to cancellation penalties or restrictions and cancel 48 hours or more before your scheduled trip departure date. Please note that CFAR is not available to residents of New York.

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