2022 Bolt Academy Germany Program
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What to Expect
Please read through all of the information below. More details will be added as your departure draws closer.
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.
|1||USA - Berlin||Flight to Berlin. Rest up for our upcoming adventure!||D (Airline)||Flight|
|2||Berlin||Today we'll arrive in Berlin, get settled in our hotel, and enjoy a short stroll along the Unter den Linden boulevard to see the iconic Brandenburg Gate and the historical center before dinner. We will make sure to have an early evening after the long flight.||B (Airline); L, D||Berlin Hotel|
|3||Berlin||The best way to explore a new city is by bicycle and we will start our first full day in Berlin with a bike tour including Tempelhofer Feld (an airport-turned-park), the government district, and remnants of the Berlin Wall that once divided the city for over 25 years. In the evening we will return to the Reichstag (Parliament) for a spectacular roof-top sunset and panoramic view over Berlin.||B, L, D||Berlin Hotel|
|4||Berlin||Today we will get to know the multi-cultural and dynamic Kreuzberg neighborhood of Berlin through through the stories and insights of our local guide. The walking tour includes a visit to one of Berlin's oldest mosques and lunch at a family-run Turkish restaurant. In the evening we will explore Berlin from underground through tunnels, bunkers, and secret passageways with a Berliner Unterwelten tour.||B, L, D||Berlin Hotel|
|5||Potsdam||Just outside the bustling Berlin metropolis lies the small city of Potsdam, capital of the province of Brandenburg and once summer retreat of aristocrats. We will see the greenery, waterways, and palaces of Potsdam by boat. After lunch we will walk through the historic center of Potsdam and the palace gardens built by the Prussian kings. For dinner back in Berlin we will try one of Berlin's specialties - Currywurst.||B, L, D||Berlin Hotel|
|6||Spreewald||Today we will escape to the oasis of the Spreewald (Spree Forest) UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Here we will learn about this incredible ecosystem and its inhabitants at the exhibits of Haus fuer Mensch und Natur (House for Human and Nature) and with a boat or kayak adventure. We will have an early night in Berlin in preparation for our trip to Dresden in the morning.||B, L, D||Berlin Hotel|
|7||Dresden||After arriving by train in Dresden we will hop on bikes to explore this city known as the "Florence of the North." We will also visit the Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady) and learn about its fascinating story of 18th-century construction, complete destruction in World War II, and total reconstruction after the fall of the Berlin Wall. In the evening we will enjoy a typical German meal and a stroll along the river front.||B, L, D||Dresden/Altstadt Hotel|
|8||Dresden||Dresden hosts some of the most important museums in the world, and today we will spend the day exploring the Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, an institution comprised of 14 museums that feature all periods of art, as well as science and natural history collections. We will have some free time to explore the historic town center. We'll finish the day with a boat tour along the Elbe River Valley, a World Heritage Site.||B, L, D||Dresden/Altstadt Hotel|
|9||Dresden to Berlin||In the morning we will visit the stunning Green Vault in Dresden's Renaissance-era city palace before we return to Berlin. The Green Vault is a unique historic museum that contains the largest collection of treasures in Europe in a Renaissance era city-palace. We will use our remaining hours in Berlin to enjoy a farewell dinner together and indulge ourselves at a fantastic ice cream cafe at Potsdamer Platz.||B, L, D||Berlin Hotel|
|10||Depart Berlin||After breakfast we'll board a plane back across the Atlantic. Auf Wiedersehen!||B, L & D (Airline)||Your own bed!|
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!
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.
Haus International München
Haus International is a hostel located in the Schwabing district of the city. This hostel includes free Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfast buffet. Haus International comfortably sleeps up to 8 students per room. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
DJH Jugendherberge Nürnberg
Hostel located inside a medieval castle, located on a hill overlooking the town center. Each room can comfortably sleep up to 6 people and has its own ensuite bathroom. Breakfast is included and free Wi-Fi is available in public areas. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.
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. 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.
Host Community and Project Details
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.
T-shirts, tank tops or work shirts
Long sleeve shirts
Sturdy shoes (appropriate for lots of walking/athletic activity)
Sports sandals ie Chacos/Tevas etc. (optional)
Flip flops (optional)
TOILETRIES: BRING THE BASIC TOILETRIES YOU NEED PLUS…
Band Aids and Neosporin
Medication in properly marked original container
Journal and pen
Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
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
Deck of cards or other portable games
Host family gift
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Possessing, consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
- Associating with participants while they are in possession of or are consuming or distributing alcohol or illegal drugs
- 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
- Getting a piercing or tattoo
- Stealing, or deliberately damaging or defacing any personal property, buildings or materials
- Threatening with or using weapons
- Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle
- Being out of designated area or accommodations after curfew
- 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.
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.