2021 Westminster Schools Quebec Program

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2021 Westminster Schools Quebec 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 Quebec City!!
Travel Dates: June 1, 2021 - June 12, 2021
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $2,990 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $700
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 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. 

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
1QuébecThe group will arrive from the USA to Québec City, Canada. After arrival, the group will settle in to their hotel for the evening and have an orientation meeting to discuss the upcoming trip in detail. Québec Hotel
2QuébecThis morning we will make time for some group activities to help the group prepare for their upcoming homestay experience before breaking for lunch at Paillard. In the afternoon we will embark on a tour of Old Québec, then meet our host families that we will share homes with for the week. Homestay
3QuébecFrench classes will take place in the morning. Throughout your time in Quebéc, you'll have plenty of opportunities to put your French skill to use in a variety of everyday situations. We will then make a visit to the musée de la civilisation, where we will see exhibitions on Quebec's history. We'll visit Petit-Champlain, a picture perfect neighbourhood resembling a quaint riverside village, and some of the oldest houses in the province of Quebec and Marché du Vieux-Port.Homestay
4QuébecWe'll begin the day with French classes. After lunch, we'll embark on a photographic scavenger hunt through upper town.Homestay
5QuébecAfter French classes in the morning we'll visit the Chutes Montmorency a few minutes from Quebec City. It's one of the province's most spectacular sites, standing at 30 meters higher than Niagara Falls. We'll take a ghost tour where costumed guides will light their lanterns and take us on a 90 minute walking tour through the streets of Old Quebec, to hear 400 years of stories of haunting stories! The cobblestone streets and ancient buildings set the stage for a truly unique experience.Homestay
6QuébecToday we'll have French classes in the morning. In the afternoon, we will meet up for structured group activities and reflect on our experience thus far. There will be sufficient time this afternoon to spend with our hosts as well.Homestay
7QuébecAfter French classes in the morning, we'll visit the Citadel and Parliament buildings. The Citadel is the oldest military building in Canada and is part of the fortifications of Québec City. The Parliament building is home to the Parliament of Quebec, and here you will be introduced to the history and inner workings of Quebec's Parliament. Depending on the time of the visit, we may be able to see the changing of the guard, a ceremony in which sentries performing ceremonial guard duties at important institutions are relieved by a new batch of sentries.Homestay
8Québec - MontréalWe'll have French classes in the morning, followed by lunch at Musée des beaux arts with an amazing view on the St. Lawrence River. We'll then get on the road and head to Montreal.McGill Dorms
9MontréalThe adventures continue with a morning tour of Old Montréal and then lunch in the old port. Afterwards we'll enjoy a bicycle ride around the port.McGill Dorms
10MontréalAfter a relaxing morning, we will explore the Atwater market, shopping for fresh produce and practicing our French with the vendors. Later we will catch a thrilling performance by cirque du soleil if they are in town.McGill Dorms
11MontréalWe'll take a tour of McGill University, one of four renowned universities in Montreal. We will also go hiking on Mont-Royal for an indredible view of Montreal.McGill Dorms
12MontréalThe group leaves Montreal to head for the U.S.Your own bed!

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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. 
Hotel Le Concorde

This 3-star hotel is the ideal place for an urban getaway in Quebec City. Its imposing structure offers a beautiful view of the majestic fleuve Saint-Laurent, of Quebec City and of its numerous parks and green spaces. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Homestay

This will be the best part of your trip! Staying with a host family immerses you in the language and culture of the destination, and can lead to deep and lasting relationships with your hosts. Initially intimidating but ultimately unforgettable, there’s no better way to begin to truly understand the place you’re visiting.

McGill Dorms

The McGill dormitories provide our students with an opportunity to experience college style accommodations while studying French at the university. There are a wide variety of downtown residences that make up the dorms, 13 undergraduate downtown residences that include 3 hotel-style residences, 6 dorm-style residences, and 4 apartment-style residences. 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

Once your flight has been secured the itinerary will appear here. Walking Tree will secure a seat on the group flight for each participant unless otherwise instructed.

Travelers are 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 and have documents verified. We recommend arriving no later than three hours prior to the scheduled departure, but contact your Group Organizer for specific details on exactly where and when to meet on the day of departure.

FLIGHT INTERRUPTION DELAY OR CANCELLATION 
Air travel is unpredictable, especially in a pandemic.  Regardless of proper planning, there may still be instances when a flight is delayed or cancelled due to staffing shortages, weather, mechanical problems, etc.  Please note that in such an event, Walking Tree Travel (WTT) is not financially responsible for unanticipated costs incurred by travelers en route.  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 the event of a delay. 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 provide support to the Group Organizer to reach a  quick and effective resolution.

Host Community and Project Details

Quebec City is the ideal location to truly immerse yourself in French Canadian culture. We have partnered with a local language school to provide the perfect host family experience to maximize your language learning while in Quebec City. Students will live with families which are located close to the language school near downtown. You will find that homes in Quebec City are very similar to homes in the United States. Some homes may be hundreds of years old and date back to the colonial past of Quebec, while others may be homes built within the past few decades. Quebec City is full of history and provides the perfect setting to transport yourself back in time to the early colonial days.

Packing List

Below is a sample packing list that is provided as a guideline. If something is required it will be specified, otherwise feel free to adjust as necessary. We recommend you bring one larger piece of luggage like a backpack, duffle or suitcase alongside a smaller backpack that you can use on the flights and hikes, weekend excursions and shorter activities.

“Less is more” is a packing tip we encourage for all travelers. We suggest bringing only as much as you are able to carry on your own.

Finally, a few days before departure, it’s a good idea to consult a weather forecast for your destination. If you have questions about what to bring or how to bring it, just ask!  

CLOTHES
  • Underwear
  • Socks
  • T-shirts, tank tops
  • Long sleeve shirts
  • Sweatshirt/sweaters
  • Shorts
  • Jeans/pants
  • Swimsuit
  • Rain jacket
  • Sturdy shoes (appropriate for lots of walking)
  • Sports sandals ie Chacos/Tevas etc. (optional)
  • Flip flops (optional)
  • Hat/s
BRING THE BASIC TOILETRIES YOU NEED PLUS:
  • Sunscreen
  • Face masks
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Band Aids and Neosporin, basic first aid kid
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Medication in properly marked original container
MISCELLANEOUS
  • Sense of adventure!
  • Passport
  • Student ID
  • Sunglasses
  • Journal and pen
  • Simple gift for host family
  • Book/s
  • Camera
  • Power Converter
  • Debit card/US Dollars (we recommend about $50-$150, depending on amount of desired souvenirs, extra items etc.)
  • Durable water bottle
  • Quick-dry towel
  • Flashlight/headlamp
  • Deck of cards or other portable games
  • French/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.

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

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

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.

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. Failure to abide by COVID-19 restrictions.
  2. Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials.
  3. Possessing weapons.
  4. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle.
  5. Getting a piercing or tattoo.
  6. Being out after curfew.
  7. Breaking group rules.

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

Health and Safety

We strongly recommend visiting the CDC Canada 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 on program, experience teaches that travel is never without risk. For this reason, we recommend that all travelers consider a travel insurance policy with  two additional provisions: Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) and Bed Rest. Detailed explanations of both provisions can be found on the link below.

To provide families with a quality option, Walking Tree has partnered with Travel Insured International, one of the most respected providers in the industry.  Begin by getting a quote here.

IMPORTANT NOTE: in order to secure coverage with CFAR included, you must purchase the plan within 21 days of your deposit/first payment. You must also insure 100% of your trip cost, so program tuition + flight.

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