2021 Montessori School of Evergreen France Program

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2021 Montessori School of Evergreen France 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. This first page, the Pre-Enrollment page, 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 France!!
Travel Dates: March 9, 2021 - March 17, 2021
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $3,090 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Confirmed Airfare: $1,057
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 12Denver - Paris, FranceToday we catch our airplane from Denver, CO to Paris, France! Airplane
March 13ParisToday we arrive in one of the most enchanting cities on earth! You'll meet your leader at the airport before heading to our local hotel to settle in, grab some food and have a short orientation meeting. We'll spend the remainder of the day the Montmartre District including the incredible Sacre Coeur. Dinner near out hotel. Fiap Jean Monnet
March 14ParisIn the morning we'll visit the Louvre and you will have your chance to see the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory and many other amazing works of art. After the Louvre we will walk to the gardens of the Palais Royal and eat our picnic lunches. From there, we will walk up to the Opera and admire the beautiful Palais Garnier. We'll pop up to Galeries Lafayette to admire the stained glass ceiling in the classic department store. Next, we'll walk on to see the Madeleine, the famous neoclassical Roman Catholic church. We'll stop for well-earned Laduree macarons, classic French treats, for our afternoon snack. We'll head back to our lodgings and have some time to rest before we head out again for dinner in the neighborhood. Fiap Jean Monnet
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 head back towards our accommodations to eat dinner.Fiap Jean Monnet
March 16Normandy ( Bayeux)We'll have an early breakfast in Paris and then we'll hop on a train to Bayeux, drop our bags at our hotel, and head to the Bayeux Tapestry museum and then have a leisurely lunch. From there we'll be off on our guided bike tour for the afternoon to see the American Cemetery and Omaha Beach. Once back we'll have time to take a rest at the hotel before we have dinner. Tonight we'll sleep in the center of historic Bayeux. Hotel in Bayeux
March 17Normandy-Brittany (Bayeux, St. Malo)We'll have a later rise this morning to recup from yesterday's adventures and a leisurely breakfast at our hotel, then we'll take off on a bus to visit a cheese farm to learn about the artisanal cheese-making process and do a tasting. We'll have a picnic lunch at the farm then we'll get back on the bus and head over to see a panoramic view of Mont St Michel (in anticipation of our visit tomorrow!), and then on to St Malo where we'll walk around the old town, have dinner and get a good night's sleep. Hotel in St. Malo
March 18Brittany (St. Malo)We'll be up again for an early morning, have breakfast, then bus off to Mont St Michel to see the famous Abbey! We'll return to St Malo in the late afternoon, have dinner in the quaint old town again and head back to our lodgings for a good night's rest.Hotel in St. Malo
March 19ParisToday we'll be up again bright and early for a quick breakfast on the go and our train to Paris. On arrival we'll drop our bags and then off to the Arenes de Lutece, the Pantheon and a picnic lunch in the Jardin des plantes. In the afternoon we'll walk around the neighborhood and have a stop at the Grand Mosque for tea. We'll have just enough time to get back to the hotel for a bit to rest before we head out for the evening to enjoy the hubbub of the Rue Mouffetard where we will have a typical brasserie dinner for our last meal together and finally a night boat ride along the Seine to sum it all up! Hotel in Paris
March 20Paris - USAToday we will head to the airport for the flight home. Bon Voyage!Home

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. 
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.

Hotel Reine Mathilde

Hotel Reine Mathilde is located at the heart of city centre. Breakfast and Wifi are provided. Students will be split between gender in either double, triple or quadruple rooms.

Hotel Garance

The hotel Garance is located a few steps from the Pantheon the Gobelin’s Museum and the popular Saint-Germain district. Breakfast and Wifi are provided. Students will be split between gender in either double, triple or quadruple rooms.

Saint-Malo, Bretagne, France

We’ll be staying in style in a newly renovated, turn-of-the-century house close to the sea in the Courtoisville neighborhood. The house is fully equipped and within walking distance to the center of St. Malo. Students will be split between gender in either double, triple or quadruple rooms.

Group Flight

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

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.

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:
Bring the BASIC toiletries you need plus:
Sunscreen
Band aids and Neosporin and other basic first aid supplies
Hand Sanitizer

MISCELLANEOUS:
Sunglasses
Journal and pen
Quick dry towel
Book/s
Alarm Clock and watch
Visa/MasterCard debit card or US dollars (we recommend students bring between $100-$200, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
Durable water bottle
Flashlight/headlamp
Batteries

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!

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.

Noah Frieder
Noah Frieder
Canada Country Director


B.A. Romance Languages (Spanish, French) and Latin American Studies, University of Oregon

Although Noah hails from the Rocky Mountains, he eats, drinks and breath culture from the Spanish and French speaking worlds. Pouncing at the chance to volunteer in Costa Rica, Peru and Ecuador, Noah engulfed himself into language learning and community service summer programs while in high school. In 2013, during his third college exchange abroad, he studied literature and classical guitar at the Universidad de las Americas in Puebla, Mexico while teaching high school Mexican immigration courses. He also decided to teach and consult a group of high school students in Nicaragua. Noah has led Walking Tree trips since 2015. Since 2017, he has made his home in the fantastically diverse, artistic and dynamic city of Montreal.  During his time there, Noah has extensively explored outside of Montreal into the nooks and crannies of urban and rural Quebec. He currently works in the global music industry and in the past has worked as a bilingual medical interpreter.  Noah is fluent in Spanish and French and speaks basic Hebrew. He brings at least one musical instrument wherever he goes.

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.

  • 1 Carol Tanski
  • 2 Christine Lafferty
  • 3 Ellie Smith
  • 4 James Lafferty
  • 5 Morgan Lindsey
  • 6 Noah Stricker
6 Travelers

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

We strongly recommend visiting the CDC France 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.

Our in-country staff prepare meticulously for all programs. Walking Tree 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 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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