PARIS and LONDON trip report

Old Apr 5th, 2003, 08:51 AM
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Thanks for the excellent report. I'm co-leading a group of 22 high school seniors on a 10 day trip to London and Paris (leaving April 17). I've been to London but never to Paris so I'm a little nervous. Thanks for making me feel better about anti-Americanism in Paris. I'm going to copy your report for the parents so they feel more at ease. Good advice concerning the calling cards as well.<BR><BR> We are traveling through Voyaguer organzied tours but there is quite a bit of free time for sightseeing (read: opportunities for students to get into trouble so I'm looking for any advice/suggestions you may have concerning spots in Paris to tackle/avoid. Very few students going speak French and I want them to have some freedom but to also feel safe. we have planned trips to the Louvre, ND, Versailles, and of course ET.<BR><BR>Also, I'm interested in any etiquette advice you may have. Most of these kids have never experienced a foreign country.<BR><BR>Thanks!!
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Old Apr 5th, 2003, 11:29 AM
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To month4- I too am taking a group of 20 students to Europe. Will be in Paris 4/18 and 4/19. Have you had any cancellations? Would like to hear from you, or anyone else taking a group to Europe. Thanks...
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Old Apr 5th, 2003, 02:53 PM
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month4 - Tell the parents that we saw TONS of teens in Paris, lots of them on school trips from the U.S., Italy and Germany. The Parisians we saw interact with the kids were wonderful to them. My best advice would be to print out a sheet of paper for each kid that has the basic phrases they should know, like, bonjour, merci, s'il vous plait, etc. If they can at least attempt a few words in French, I think they will be received better, and I also think it will be a nicer experience for them to interact with another culture and step outside of their own language.<BR><BR>We noticed, and this is what the guide books mention too, that Paris is more formal and polite in their shops and restaurants, so I think if the kids try to be polite they will have no problems. Of course, teens will be teens, and I don't think that some rambunctious behavior will find them in trouble.<BR><BR>The Louvre will be magnificent for them, there were so many teens when we were there, and they were all very interested and excited about the museum.<BR><BR>There are plenty of spacious park areas in most neighborhoods and at Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower, where the kids can get silly and let off some steam. Buy some items to have picnics in the parks. I would avoid taking them into restaurants and stick to cafes and picnics, brasseries, creperies... I think those would all be fine choices for a large group of kids.<BR><BR>My husband took a group of kids to Oaxaca a few years ago and it was through a student tour company, they had a lot of great things to help orient the kids (teen specific guide books, etiquette tips, etc.), and I bet your tour company should have stuff like that too.<BR><BR>Have a great time - what an amazing experience for them. I think more than ever it is important for us to teach our kids how to be good global citizens, and certainly visiting another country will put them on the right path. You are a brave soul to escort that many teens, but you are providing them with a trip of a lifetime. Enjoy!<BR><BR>
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Old Apr 5th, 2003, 04:07 PM
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Encouraging report. My thoughts toward travel to France this fall have been cooling due to the current events and it helps to refocus on your experiences, even the &quot;peace&quot; rally. This is after all our life. (It's kind of tempting to go back to Italy, but I've not been to France yet and I'm sure I'll love her as well). Thank you again.
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Old Apr 6th, 2003, 08:40 AM
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Thanks for the advice littletraveler. Very comforting to know .<BR><BR>Message Beatle- The school board actually cancelled the trip two weeks ago. We (trip leaders) had an emergency meeting with the parents and all but one still wanted the trip to continue so the two other trip leaders and I will be taking responsibilty (read: liability) for the trip. Parents have been very positive and supportive. I'm sending parts of littletravelers posting home in the form of a newsletter. I know students/parents will appreciate it. Have a great time! <BR>
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