2025 Rutgers Prep Spain and Morocco Cultural Journey

Dear Families, Friends, and Travelers – Welcome to the 2025 Rutgers Prep Spain and Morocco Cultural Journey! We have created two webpages dedicated to this exciting program so that travelers are as informed as possible throughout the process. The first page, Pre-Enrollment, 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 meant to prepare travelers for participation on the adventure ahead. Please be sure to review the information on the appropriate page thoroughly and we can't wait to start our enriching adventure!
Travel Dates: June 11, 2025 - June 20, 2025
Group Organizer(s):
WTT Contact:
Program Tuition: $3,590 USD
Airfare not included in program tuition
Estimated Airfare: $1,200

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
June 11USA - SevillaToday the group will depart the USA and cross the Atlantic Ocean!Airplane
June 12SevillaAfter breakfast, the group will receive an orientation with the group program leaders. In the afternoon, we'll explore the city, including the impressive cathedral where Christopher Columbus is buried. After a lunch of tapas we'll go up to the "Setas de Sevilla" to take in the impressive views. In the evening we'll prepare our own authentic Spanish dinner in a cooking class!Sevilla Hotel
June 13Sevilla - GranadaAfter breakfast in Seville we will drive to Granada, home of the world famous Alhambra. But first we will stop in Córdoba and pay a visit to the Mesquita-Catedral de Córdoba and the Jewish Quarter where we will visit the Siniagoga de Córdoba. We'll arrive in the late afternoon to Granada and have a dinner of delicious tapas.Granada Hotel
June 14GranadaWe'll have a guided tour of Alhambra, one of the most photogenic places on the planet. Afterwards, we'll have some free time to wander through the old quarter and attend a flamenco performance in a cave above town this evening.Granada Hotel
June 15Granada - MálagaThis morning we're off to Malaga, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world and the birthplace of Pablo Picasso. After settling in to our hotel, we'll explore the city center, visiting the Picasso Museum, the Roman Theater, and the grounds of the the Alcazaba. We'll enjoy a typical lunch of tapas in the Atarazanas Central Market, which dates back to the 14th century and is a stunning representation of 19th center Malaga art and architecture. In the afternoon we'll have some time to relax on the beach and enjoy the famous Costa del Sol before getting ready for our final Spanish dinner!Malaga Hotel
June 16Málaga - Tangier - ChefchaouenAfter breakfast we'll take the ferry across the Straight of Gebralter from Costa del Sol to Tangier. Upon arrival, we'll transfer to Chefchaouen, Morocco's famous blue city, and spend time roaming the streets. We'll learn what makes this city so special and have time to take some really cool photos. Afterwards the group will enjoy our first Moroccan dinner.Chefchaouen Riad
June 17FesAfter breakfast at the riad, we will take a private bus to Fes, where the group will enjoy a half-day city tour with a local expert. Students explore the Mellah, which is the Old Jewish Quarter. They will also see the famous leather tanneries. The highlight of this day will be the Medersa Bou Inania. It was founded in AD 1351-56 by Abu Inan Faris and is widely acknowledged as an excellent example of Marinid architecture. It is known to be the most elaborate and beautiful of all Merenid monuments.Fes Riad
June 18Fes - MarrakechAfter breakfast the group will travel South to Marrakech! After checking into the riad, students will have the afternoon to participate in group reflection activities and come together for a Q & A with group organizers and leaders. We'll also do a walking tour through the labyrinth of the Medina, taking in all the sites and sounds of the old-world medina. Students will have the opportunity to participate in an optional hamam during free time (not included in package price). Dinner will be served in the old medina on an open rooftop terrace.Marrakech Riad
June 19Marrakech - Agafy GlampingWe've saved the best for last! After breakfast, the group will head to Agafay for a desert glamping experience. Students will have the opportunity to ride camels, sip mint tea under the stars and enjoy an luxurious glamping experience nestled in Moroccan sand dunes. It will be a truly magical evening! We'll reflect on all the memories we have made throughout the trip as we wrap up our journey together.Agafay Desert Glamping
June 20Agafy - Marrakech - USAWe will awake to a beautiful desert sunrise and make our way to the Marrakech airport and begin our journey home.Airpane

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. 
Casa Perleta

Casa Perleta is located in the heart of the Médina. It is a short 10 min walk to the main square and a 20 min walk to the river and the small waterfall. Casa Perleta offers a full traditional Moroccan breakfast and air conditioning in all of their rooms. Free Wi-Fi access throughout the building keeps everyone feeling connected. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Hostal San Cayetano

Hostal San Cayetano is located downtown in Sevilla Street in Ronda (Málaga), just 250m from the city’s historic bullring. The hostal is perfect for travelers who want to know Rond’s streets and its famous and historical monuments. Students will be grouped in their rooms according to gender and availability.

Monasterio Basilio

Monasterio Basilio is located in the center of Granada and provides an ideal location from which to explore the city. This cozy hotel can accommodate up to four students per room with ensuite bathrooms and the quirky aesthetic that defines this hotel makes for a memorable stay.

Riad L’Heure d’Eté

This cozy raid will offer a comfortable escape from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech. Students will be roomed in double, triple or quadruple rooms based on gender. Breakfast will be provided at the riad and Wi-Fi connection is available throughout the hotel.

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

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.

Is there a “dress code” in Morocco for female travelers?
The answer to this is yes and no. How to dress in Morocco as a woman is a question that plagues a lot of female visitors. You do not need to dress the same as local women. Morocco has no laws, or dress codes on what women must wear. Socially, society is conservative and it’s better to dress a bit more modestly. In large cities like Marrakech or Casablanca local women dress in a wide variety of styles. You’ll see short shorts and tank tops. You’ll also see full body veils. In rural communities it is highly advisable to cover up more. Wear longer shorts or pants and skip the tank tops, or at least drape a large scarf over your chest and shoulders when you are in the local communities.

CLOTHES:
Underwear
Socks (a mixture of good hiking socks and casual socks)
T-shirts (some quick dry)
Light-weight, long sleeve shirts
Light sweater or sweatshirt
Light rain jacket
Travel/athletic shorts that are breathable and light
Comfortable/hiking/everyday pants (NOT all jeans)
Nice shirt/top to be worn to more formal dinners (girls might want a skirt or something a little nicer for such occasions)
Durable athletic/hiking shoes
Sandals (optional for beach)
Swim suit
Good sun hat

Important Note for Female Travelers: In the interest of being respectful while still allowing travelers to be comfortable under the heat, (in public at least) shirts should cover shoulders and shorts or skirts/dresses should be conservative- that is, thighs, shoulders and decollete should be covered.

TOILETRIES: BRING THE BASIC TOILETRIES YOU NEED PLUS:
Sunscreen (you will use a lot)
Mosquito repellent (you will use a lot)
Band Aids and Neosporin
Hand Sanitizer
Prescription medication in properly marked original container
Biodegradable soap, shampoo, etc. That is to say, vegetable based, biodegradable, and phosphate-free.

MISCELLANEOUS:
Passport
Sunglasses
Journal and pen
Book
Camera (digital, disposable, waterproof)
Power Converter and Adapter: Morocco runs on voltage of 230 Frequency of 50 Hz. Power sockets types: C / D / E / K
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
Water filtration device
1 quick-dry towel
Flashlight/headlamp
Extra batteries
Deck of cards or other portable games
Host family gift
STUDENT ID
French-Spanish/English Dictionary

HOMESTAY GIFTS

Travelers often contact us regarding what an appropriate gift might be for their student’s host family. Host families are often curious about where our students come from and their families in the U.S. As such, we recommend a simple gift that describes, represents or depicts your home. Well-received gifts in the past have included calendars or picture/coffee table books from your city or state, a framed picture of your family, paraphernalia from a local sports team, toys, soccer balls, school supplies, or something produced or grown in your hometown, like chocolate, local candy, t-shirts, etc. The most important thing to keep in mind is not to worry about this… Anything, no matter its value, will be well received!

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.

Said Ait Said
Said Ait Said
Morocco Country Director & Program Leader


ISTA NTIC Syba Ofppt, Marrakech

Said is from a Berber village in the High Atlas Mountains, but was raised in Marrakech, Morocco. In 2013 he started managing touristic accommodations and excursions for travelers in Morocco. He currently lives in Marrakech with his wife and two children. They are a combination of Berber, Moroccan and American; speaking English, French, Arabic and Tamazighit. They enjoy traveling and embracing their multi-cultural lifestyle!

Hillary Mora
Hillary Mora
Spain Country Director


Hillary was born in Sarapiqui, a small but pretty town on the Caribbean slope in Costa Rica, one of the most biologically intense places in the country.  She grew up climbing trees, going hiking around rivers, swinging on vines and everything you can imagine in the forest. She is truly a nature lover.  When she finished high school, she thought she wanted to study business administration, but eventually figured out that was not her passion. She began studying English and started working on the airport which opened her eyes to the world of tourism. She soon found out that nature and education are her passions. She began working in Tirimbina Biological Reserve, where she fell in love with the forest once again.  Hillary is  focusing her career on environmental education, where she coordinates a project called the Leaf Cutter Project which helps students get in contact with and learn about conservation, interpretation and everything about nature. She has traveled to Europe, Belize, and Panama. Hillary loves traveling and learning about other cultures, but what she loves the most is helping others.
Stafford Jackson
Stafford Jackson
Morocco Country Director


University of Arizona

Stafford was raised in Shreveport, Louisiana and then graduated High School in Dallas, Texas. After attending the University of Arizona, she set off traveling with her sister through Southeast Asia, Europe and Northern Africa in 2013. After traveling through Morocco, she fell in love with it and decided to make it her home a year later. She has been living in Marrakech since 2014 with her husband and their two children. When she is not coordinating student travel excursions to Morocco for Walking Tree Travel, she is the English Foreign Language Coordinator for a private school in Marrakech. She enjoys cooking, baking, photography and taking family vacations!

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 Morocco 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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