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2021 Eaglecrest Spain & France Program

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2021 Eaglecrest Spain and France Program! You are currently on the Pre-Enrollment webpage, the purpose of which is to share exciting highlights and important info that participants will want to know before signing up. If you enroll, you'll begin using the Post-Enrollment webpagewhich offers a greater level of detail.  Please be sure to review the information thoroughly and get excited for our European sojourn!!
Travel Dates: March 13, 2021 - March 22, 2021
Dates are tentative until airfare confirmed
Group Organizer(s):
WTT/SSA Contact:
Program Tuition: $2,690 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $1,250
Deadline(s): Enrollment deadline forthcoming

What to Expect

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

Itinerary

We work hard to create safe, engaging, and immersive itineraries 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. 

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
March 12USAFly to France!Airplane
March 13USA - ParisFly to Paris and meet your Smithsonian Student Adventures leader at the airport. We will check into our accommodations and get settled. You'll spend the remainder of the day the Montmartre District including the incredible Sacré Cœur. From there we will stroll to the Place de Clichy and onwards to take pictures in front of the Moulin Rouge . We will have dinner in the area and then go back to our accommodations for a good night’s rest.Hotel in Paris
March 14ParisIn the morning we'll visit the Louvre first thing and you will have your chance to see the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and many other amazing works of art. After the Louvre we’ll take a brief walk, weather permitting, in the Tuileries gardens. From there, we will head up to the Opera and admire the beautiful Palais Garnier. From there we’ll grab the metro and head over to the Marche des Enfants Rouges food market where travelers will be able to wander independently to find lunch on their own. From there we’ll have two options open to travelers : either a visit to the catacombs or for the art lovers a second round of museums, with a visit to the Musee d’orsay. The group will reconvene at a neighborhood cafe to catch their breath before we take a stroll up to the Marais for dinner. Then, off to bed, to rest up for another busy day! Hotel in Paris
March 15ParisToday we will take the RER just outside of Paris to see the palace of Versailles, one of the most opulent palaces in the world, with gardens equally as beautiful. We'll enjoy a nice picnic in the gardens and you'll also get the chance to visit the historic Hall of Mirrors - the treaty of Versailles was signed here, ending World War I. We'll take the RER back into Paris and get out at the Champs de Mars to see the Eiffel Tower up close. We'll walk over to see Les Invalides and continue along the Seine to head back towards our accommodations to eat dinner.Hotel in Paris
March 16Normandy (Caen, Bayeux)In the morning we'll depart by bus or train for Caen, Normandy, arriving at the Atlantic coast by early afternoon. Once on the beach, travelers will have two choices for the first half of their day : they can opt to bike along the D-Day beaches with stops at the American Cemetery, Omaha Beach, and Utah Beach to learn about the events that led to the Allied victory in World War II OR for those more interested in learning the history in detail, can spend that time in the Omaha Beach Museum. We’ll all come back together for lunch at a nearby restaurant and then head off to the medieval city of Bayeux for the evening where we’ll have dinner, take a walk around to appreciate the medieval feel of the city and spend the night. Hostel in Bayeux
March 17Normandy (Bayeux, Mont St. Michel Bay)After breakfast at the hostel, we will take a look at the famous Bayeux Tapestry from the 11th century, which depicts William the Conqueror’s conquest of England. Then we’ll hit the road, traveling southwest toward St. Malo. We’ll take a guided tour of the Mont St. Michel, an enchanting island monastery. We’ll stay in the Mont St. Michel bay for the evening, lodging in a renovated farmhouse. In the evening, we’ll take a guided sunset hike on the bay .Hostel in Mont St. Michel Bay
March 18Brittany (St. Malo)We’ll depart the Mont St. Michel Bay in the morning and continue toward St. Malo. On the way, we’ll stop at a dairy farm learn about the artisanal production and regional importance of the cheese industry in northwest France. We’ll arrive in the walled port city of St. Malo in the early afternoon where we will have some free time to have lunch, check out the inner city and explore the oceanfront. In the evening we’ll head back to Paris and check into the hostel for some sleep on our last night in the city of lights! Hostel in Paris
March 19Paris - MadridToday we'll catch a flight from Paris to Madrid! Upon arrival, we will make our way to our accommodations before embarking on a photgraphic scavenger hunt to orient ourselves to our new surroundings. In the evening we will get our first taste (of many) Spanish tapas!TOC Hostel
March 20MadridToday we'll visit the Prado museum, one of the most impressive art museums in the world. In the afternoon we'll stroll through the Retiro Park, once the king's personal refuge, and enjoy churros con chocolate along the old winding streets. This evening, we'll walk around the Santa Ana Plaza as well as the San Miguel Market and get our first taste of Spanish tapas.TOC Hostel
March 21MadridFor our final day in Madrid, we may visit the Royal Palace, the Temple of Debod and the West Park or visit the famous Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, depending on what students are interested in. We'll have our last traditional Spanish meal tonight to cap off an excellent program!TOC Hostel
March 22Madrid - USAOn our way home, ¡hasta luego!Your own bed, eventually!

Need to Raise Money? We have you covered.

Our travelers are provided with funding opportunities that are easy to implement and fun to take part in. Our flagship fundraiser involves selling fair trade, organic, carbon-neutral coffee from a women’s collective in Peru. There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so get started now by clicking the link below!

START FUNDRAISING  

WTT coffee

Accommodations

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

For rooming, travelers are grouped by gender, and will never share rooms with people who are not associated with their group.  Non-binary travelers are accommodated. Group Organizers and Program Leaders, along with any other traveling adult, are roomed separately from students.
Below are the hotels we anticipate using on your trip, subject to availability. 
TOC Hostel

TOC Hostel is a spacious hostel minutes away from the metro and major tourist attractions. This is a modern and hi-tech hostel with shared rooms or private suites. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

 

 

FIAP Jean Monnet

More than just a hotel, this international youth accommodation also functions as a conference center, a cultural venue, and a space to meet up with friends from all over the world. A truly unique experience for students in Paris. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Group Flight

Type Carrier Name Carrier Code Flight Number Departure City Departure Date and Time  Arrival City Arrival Date and Time 
Outbound
LH
447
DEN – Denver International Airport, Denver, USA
June 1, 2020 at 5:30PM
FRA – Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
June 2, 2020 at 11:05AM
Outbound
LH
1128
FRA – Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
June 2, 2020 at 1:15PM
BCN – Josep Tarradellas Barcelona–El Prat Airport, Barcelona, Spain
June 2, 2020 at 3:15PM
Inbound
LH
1029
CDG – Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, France
June 14, 2020 at 10:30AM
FRA – Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
June 14, 2020 at 11:45AM
Inbound
LH
446
FRA – Frankfurt Airport, Frankfurt, Germany
June 14, 2020 at 1:25PM
DEN – Denver International Airport, Denver, USA
June 14, 2020 at 3:40PM

We will provide additional details on your Group’s Flight and travel day details here.

We will provide a group manifest – complete with reservation codes and ticket numbers – to the group organizer before departure. Nevertheless, travelers will need to check in at the airport and we recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure. For details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure, please contact your Group Organizer.

A NOTE ON FLIGHTS
Air travel is unpredictable. Although we can ensure that our groups arrive to the airport with ample time and follow all airline instructions, 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 unexpected costs incurred by travelers. Our programs officially begin and end in our host countries. That being said, our travelers’ well-being and safety is our number one priority, so please know that should flight delays/cancellations occur we will do everything we can to get travelers home in a timely manner and will do our best to keep family members updated on developments.

WTT is not responsible for fees associated with checked baggage. Please visit the airline’s baggage webpage to find out about baggage fees and options. It is also important to make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the final day in country.

UN-ACCOMPANIED MINORS
Please confirm with your air travel provider as some airlines may require that travelers under a certain age have completed an unaccompanied minor parental consent form. Please consult the airline website to confirm if this is required on your flight.

Host Community and Project Details

Packing List

Support Team

At minimum, one experienced Program Leader will travel on every program. 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 where we remain available to the group for additional help whenever necessary. Below you’ll find a list of the team members involved in the planning, organizing, and leadership of your program. Meet your support team!

Kelsey Shawgo
Kelsey Shawgo
Spain Country Director


Loyola University of Chicago – B.A. Spanish, Minor in Psychology 

Born and raised outside of Chicago to two avid travelers and teachers, Kelsey has always had a passion for exploration and education, which also led to an interest in language. In fact, her first jobs and volunteer opportunities were as an assistant teacher, translator and interpreter. The opportunity to attend a youth leadership conference in Cuba and a study abroad semester in Spain during university cemented her desire to start a life abroad. She has been living in Madrid for ten years and is currently teaching English to Nursing and Physical Therapy students at the Universidad Pontificia Comillas. In her spare time, you can find her exploring new places with friends and family, doing yoga everywhere she can, listening to too many podcasts and desperately trying to add more languages to her repertoire.

Sarah Hofmann
Sarah Hofmann
France Country Director


Carnegie Mellon University – B.A. Francophone Studies and Anthropology
Columbia University – M.A. Cultural Studies

Born in Tokyo, Sarah was raised in an Ecuadorian-American family in Singapore, Paris and the D.C. suburbs. Basically, she had no choice: she was going to be an implicated world citizen whether she liked it or not. After finishing a self-defined undergraduate major in Francophone literature, Anthropology and Painting – with a semester-long stint in Bamako, Mali squeezed in – she continued to study, travel and work in the francophone world. Since completing her undergraduate studies she has lived in the French antilles, worked in Haiti, completed a Masters in Paris, braved the mean streets of NYC, and taught French in Dakar, Senegal. She has now landed in Bordeaux in the south of France where she has learned that biking along the Garonne River can, in fact, give a person a whole other take on life.

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.

Group Roster

See below for a list of travelers enrolled on the program.

Blog and Communication

We 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, and can check back any time via the black “Program Blog” button at the top of this page or the link included in the email.

Beyond our proactive approach to communication during the trip, most destinations are wired enough to allow participants semi-regular access to WiFi. Ask your Walking Tree representative about the degree of connectivity on your program.

For any general inquiries during travel, please email your Walking Tree Representative (see top of page) or info@walkingtree.org. You can also reach us by dialing 303-242-8541 from the United States.

 

GLC Curriculum

We have developed a curriculum of activities designed to help each of our travelers mature as global leaders before, during, and after their travel program. These simple and engaging tools 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

Walking Tree provides fun, safe, and meaningful programs for our travelers. In order to achieve this goal, 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 such as firearms, knives, explosives, etc.
  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

Insurance

While we work hard to ensure the safest experience possible for our travelers while on program, experience has taught us that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we suggest you consider purchasing Premier travel insurance which would cover you in the event your student needs to withdraw before travel due to a covered reason or loses baggage in route or encounters an emergency while traveling, among other unforeseen circumstances. While most travelers have opted in for us to purchase basic travel insurance on their behalf during the enrollment process, this plan does not cover trip interruption or trip cancellation. Please see a summary of a plan below and follow the link for a more detailed explanation or to purchase the plan for your traveler.

-Recommended Travel Insurance-

Premier*
Trip Cancellation Up to 100% of Trip Cost
Reimburses your prepaid, non-refundable expenses if you must cancel your trip due to a covered reason.
Maximum coverage: $100,000.

Trip Interruption Up to 150% of Trip Cost
Reimburses for the unused, non-refundable portion of your trip and for the increased transportation costs it takes for you to return home or to continue your trip due to a covered reason. Maximum coverage: $150,000.

Missed Connection $1,600
Reimburses for covered expenses resulting from a covered delay that causes you to miss your scheduled flight or cruise.

Travel Delay $1,600
Receive up to $200 per day per person to cover additional accommodation/travel expenses and lost prepaid expenses due to a departure delay of six or more hours.

Medical Protection: 
Emergency Medical and Dental $50,000
-This primary coverage provides reimbursement for expenses incurred during your trip due to covered medical and dental emergencies. No deductible.
-$750 maximum for emergency dental care.

Baggage Protection
Baggage Loss/Damage $2,000
Covers loss, damage or theft of baggage and personal effects.

Baggage Delay $600
Covers the reasonable additional purchase of essential items during your trip if your baggage is delayed or misdirected by a common carrier for 24 hours or more. Receipts for emergency purchases are required.

Assistance Services
Emergency Medical Transportation $1,000,000
Provides medically necessary transportation to the nearest appropriate facility following a covered injury or illness. Also covers the cost of your transportation back home following a covered injury or illness.

24-Hour Hotline Help Included
Help is just a phone call away with Allianz Global Assistance. Our staff of multilingual problem solvers is available to help you with a medical, legal or travel-related emergency.

*Terms, conditions, and exclusions apply. Insurance benefits underwritten by BCS Insurance Company (OH, Administrative Office: Oakbrook Terrace, IL), rated “A­” (Excellent) by A.M. Best Co., under BCS Form No. 52.201 series or 52.401 series, or Jefferson Insurance Company (NY, Administrative Office: Richmond, VA), rated “A+” (Superior) by A.M. Best Co., under Jefferson Form No. 101­C series or 101­P series, depending on your state of residence. Plan(s) may not be available in all jurisdictions. Allianz Global Assistance and Allianz Travel Insurance are marks of AGA Service Company or its affiliates. AGA Service Company is the licensed producer and administrator of this plan and an affiliate of Jefferson Insurance Company. The insured shall not receive any special benefit or advantage due to the affiliation between AGA Service Company and Jefferson InsuranceCompany. Non­ Insurance benefits/products are provided and serviced by AGA Service Company. Consumer may be responsible for charges incurred from outside vendors for assistance or concierge services. Contact AGA Service Company at 800­-284­-8300 or 9950 Mayland Drive, Richmond, VA 23233 or customerservice@allianzassistance.com.

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