2023 GSSM Quebec Program

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2023 GSSM Quebec Program!  You are currently on the Pre-Enrollment page, 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 page which offers a greater level of detail.  Please be sure to review the information thoroughly and get excited for all that Costa Rica has to offer! Pura vida! 
Travel Dates: January 11, 2023 - January 17, 2023
Dates are tentative
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $2,390 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $602

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 and given the unpredictable nature of international travel we must remain flexible in our planning. Changes to a schedule are uncommon but, we reserve the right to adjust programming in the best interest of the group. 

DayLocationDescriptionLodging
January 11USA - Québec, CanadaToday the group will fly to Québec City. Upon arrival, we'll settle into our hotel for the evening, have our first delicious dinner of local cuisine and, time allowing, hold a short orientation meeting.Québec Hotel
January 12QuébecFrench language class will take place in the morning. While this is the only formal class of the trip, throughout your time in Quebéc you'll have plenty of opportunities to put your French language skills to use in a variety of everyday situations. We'll have lunch at Paillard, slide on the Terrasse Dufferin, test our wits with a photographic scavenger hunt. We'll also visit the Musee de la Civilisation to learn more about the native peoples who inhabited the region. Québec Hotel
January 13QuébecAfter breakfast, we'll visit the Citadel and Parliament buildings. The Citadel is the oldest military building in Canada and forms part of primary wall that fortifies Québec City. The Parliament building is the seat of the provincial government, and here you will learn it's history and modern-day circumstances. Afterwards, we will head to Ateliers & Saveurs for our cooking class and enjoy what we make for lunch. Tonight, we'll take a ghost tour where costumed guides will light their lanterns and lead us on a 90-minute walk through the streets of Old Quebec. We will hear 400 years of haunting stories! The cobblestone streets, ancient buildings and narrow streets set the stage for a truly unique experience.Québec Hotel
January 14QuébecIn the morning, we will visit the Chutes Montmorency just outside the city. It's one of the province's most spectacular sites, a towering waterfall that stands 100ft higher than Niagara Falls. We will then head to l'ile d'Orleans to visit a traditional sugar shack to sample the best maple syrup you'll ever try. Québec Hotel
January 15Québec - MontrealThis morning, we'll pay a visit to a Huron-Wendat Nation urban reserve where archeologists discovered remnants of a large settlement. After lunch at the traditional wendat restaurant, we're off to Montreal! Upon arrival to the big city, we'll settle into our accommodations and have dinner in town.Montreal Hotel
January 16MontrealAfter a morning tour of Old Montréal, we'll have lunch in the old port and visit the Notre-Dame basilica. We'll then head out in groups to explore the Montreal Underground City, a sprawling subterranean complex of shops, restaurants and hotels. Our French will be put to the test as we make our way through the city. This evening we'll have celebratory dinner and reflect on our time together ahead of our return home the following morning. Montreal Hotel
January 17Montreal - USAThe group will depart Montreal for the U.S.Your own bed, eventually!

Fundraising

Need to Raise Money? We Have You Covered.

Walking Tree Travel is proud to team up with Equal Exchange, a worker-owned cooperative that distributes organic coffee, tea, sugar, bananas, avocados, cocoa, chocolate bars, and more.  There is no limit to the amount you can earn, so the sooner you can start, the better!

Learn more here.

WTT coffee

Accommodations

In order to provide a safe and memorable experience, we follow strict guidelines when choosing program accommodations. Walking Tree partners with hotels and guest houses which are centrally located, clean and safe.  We vet and inspect the accommodations to ensure they uphold the ethos of our programs, are great values for our travelers and nice places to rest after enriching days of travel.  

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.

Chateau Versailles

This cozy, boutique hotel in the heart of Montréal City provides unique accommodations and serves as the perfect base from which to explore the city. Among the elegant chambers, guests enjoy assorted artifacts from different chapters of the area’s vast history, which dates back to an order of distinguished French aristocrats known as the Gentlemen of St. Sulpice. The hotel itself has been around for over 100 years, but the interior has been renovated to include modern amenities.

Group Flight

Once your flight has been confirmed, 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, and 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 can be unpredictable.  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.
  4. 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 physical or emotional harm, or brandishing a weapon.
  4. Possessing, consuming, or distributing tobacco or nicotine, including vape pens.
  5. Riding mopeds, motorcycles, or any other type of unauthorized vehicle.
  6. Being out of designated area or accommodations 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.

Top