2024 Ralston Valley France Program
|Travel Dates:||March 16, 2024 - March 25, 2024|
Airfare not included in program tuition
There are two options for payment, including an interest-free installment plan. Follow whichever works best for your family. If we are within 90 days of travel, only the pay in full option is possible.
Program Tuition: $2,990
Pay in Full
Pay a $500 deposit at the time of enrollment and establish an interest-free monthly payment plan. If you enroll today, your estimated* monthly payments would be:
All prices in United States Dollars.
France Cultural Journey
Vive la France! A bucket list destination for any traveler, the country beckons with history, culture, and unique flare for life. Paris is legendary and vibrates with energy while the rolling hiles, pristine beaches, rustic chateauxs and towering cathedrals of the countryside provide calming balance. Regardless of where you are, le patrimoine, the millennia of history and culture imbues every corner of France so that even after a short visit you come away with a powerful sense of the country’s past.
Cultural Journeys allow travelers to gain insights into the heritage, history and modern realities of their destination by offering a broad diversity of experience. We rely on the expertise of our local staff to plan itineraries which not only explore the prominent sites but also make time for the lesser-known local gems and are intentional about regular interaction with local people.
Check out some of the featured experiences of your program!
Marvel at the Palace of Versailles
Enjoy a picnic lunch in the Jardin des Tuileries
Window shop on the Champs-Élysées
Climb the Eiffel Tower
Visit the Arc de Triomphe, the Pantheon, the Louvre and more!
Practice French with language classes led by native speakers
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.
|March 16||USA - Paris||Fly to Paris and meet your Walking Tree Program 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 .||Hotel in Paris|
|March 17||Paris||With so much to see in Paris, we'll spend most of the day visiting monuments and amazing sites. We'll start the day at The Orsay Museum followed by a quick trip to the beautiful Tuileries Garden where we will have a picnic. Next we'll continue on to the Place de la Concorde and the Place Vendome , a square dominated by a decorated column dedicated to the famous Napoleonic battle of Austerlitz. We'll move on to the home of the current French President - the Palais de l'Élysée , where we'll enjoy the beautiful view from outside. The afternoon will be an excellent chance to do some (window) shopping at one of the most exclusive shopping districts in the world; Champs-Élysées . We'll finish up the day up at the Arc de Triomphe . We'll have dinner at a restaurant and then head to the Palais du Tokyo , Paris' exciting contemporary art museum (open until midnight!). Here we'll see an exhibition and have an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower before heading back to our hotels for a good night's sleep.||Hotel in Paris|
|March 18||Paris||Today, we will have a wonderful walking tour of Paris. We'll start on the Left Bank or Rive Gauche where we will see the Luxembourg Gardens , the Pantheon , and the famous Latin Quarter , followed by the Holy Chapel and Notre Dame Cathedral . We'll stop for a picnic lunch in the nearby park and explore the Ile de St. Louis , too. Then we will continue up to the Pompidou Center , where we will see an exhibition. After the museum we will walk over to the Les Halles area and explore Rue Montorgueil , the oldest market street in Paris, and the Church of St. Eustache . We will eat dinner at a restaurant in the neighborhood and then head back to our accommodations for some rest.||Hotel in Paris|
|March 19||Paris||In the morning we'll visit the Louvre and you will have your chance to see th e 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 head on to our l anguage exchange with a group of French students . We will likely visit them in their school or a local activity center for some language and cultural exchange activities . For the evening, 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 take the metro back to our accommodations.||Hotel in Paris|
|March 20||Paris||Today 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. If scheduling allows, we will go all the way to the top! When we get back down to ground level, we'll walk over to see Invalides . We'll walk along the Seine and then head back towards our accommodations to eat dinner.||Hotel in Paris|
|March 21||Paris - Normandy (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, we’ll rent bikes and ride along the D-Day beaches , stopping at the American Cemetery, Omaha Beach, and Utah Beach to learn about the events that led to the Allied victory in World War II. We'll have a picnic along the way. At the end of the afternoon, we’ll return the bikes and head to the medieval city of Bayeux for the evening. We’ll have dinner and check into our lodging.||Hostel in Bayeux|
|March 22||Normandy - Nantes||After breakfast, we're off to the Loire Valley. We'll stop at Rochemenier and visit the Village Troglodytique, a strange 13th-century town built into stone. Just a few more kilometers, and we'll stop in Saumur for lunch. Then we will drive a bit further along the Loire River to Chênehutte-Trèves-Cunault, and to a place called La Cave aux Moines. There, we'll learn about how mushrooms and snails are raised (and perhaps taste some). We will get back on the bus and head further east, towards Chateaux territory, stopping at Amboise to see the castle there. Finally we'll drive to our accommodations, check in, and have dinner.||Hostel near Amboise|
|March 23||Loire Valley||After this morning's breakfast, we'll check out, head back on the bus and tour some more of chateau country by bike! We'll see the beautiful castle of Chambord. After lunch, we will return to Paris where we'll check in to our final hotel. This evening, we will have dinner in an Indian restaurant in the Passage Brady. We'll head back to the hotel together and have a quick meeting before bed.||Hotel in Paris|
|March 24||Paris||On our last full day in Paris, we will head over to the Jardin des Plantes after breakfast. We'll take in the beautiful gardens and greenhouses and then break for a picnic lunch. After the gardens, we will have the opportunity to visit the Grand Mosquée of Paris , built in the 1920s, and have tea on the tiled terrace. We'll walk over to the bustling Rue Mouffetard, stopping to see the Arenes de Lutece (Roman ruins) on the way. We'll have a festive final dinner where you will get to try traditional French cuisine: Frog legs, Escargot and Steak Frites. We'll head back to our accommodations early enough so that we can pack and rest up for the journey home.||Hotel in Paris|
|March 25||Paris - USA||Today we will head to the airport for the flight home. Bon Voyage!||You own bed, eventually!|
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.
Meininger Hotel Paris Porte de Vincennes
Centrally located in Paris, this hotel features a shared lounge, terrace, and free WiFi throughout the property. The accommodation provides a shared kitchen and a 24-hour front desk for guests. Guest rooms at the hotel are equipped with a seating area, a flat-screen TV with cable channels and a private bathroom with free toiletries and a shower. Each room includes bed linen and towels. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender.
Safety and Support
EASY FUNDRAISING & PAYMENT
24/7 GLOBAL EMERGENCY LINE
HIGHLY VETTED PARTNERS
PRIVATE GROUP GUARANTEE
COMPREHENSIVE CURRICULUM SUPPORT
DEDICATION TO CULTURAL ENGAGEMENT
This was a great opportunity for [my daughter]. Thank you for being so professional and for teaching her things we never could. It was awesome to work beside Smithsonian scientists and learn. Travel is such an education that cannot be taught in a classroom.
Parent of Emily, traveler on 2017 program to Panama
Your Adventure Includes
In order to give our travelers the best possible price, we break out airfare from the Program Tuition. We will still handle all booking and ticketing via our flight partner who has access to special fares not available to the general public. Once confirmed, you will be invoiced for the flight roughly 75 days prior to travel.
Program Tuition Excludes: Travel insurance, baggage fees, passport/visa fees, laundry, souvenirs, and activities not listed on itinerary.
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.
Why should high school students travel abroad? What happens if a participant gets sick? How quickly do we need to enroll? We’re sure you have plenty of questions and we’ve got you covered! Visit our Resource Center to discover the answers to your most pressing questions and contact us anytime with additional questions.