Trip Coach: August 29, 2006
Jennifer McKendree from Youth For Understanding (YFU) answered your questions about studying abroad
Jennifer McKendree: Hello, my name is Jennifer. I work for Youth For Understanding USA. An international exchange program for high school students. We are one of the oldest and most respected exchange organizations in the world. I am looking forward to talking about high school student exchange opportunities. yfu-usa.org
Vancouver, WA: My 15 year old son is interested in colleges in the UK. In particular he is interested in Oxford and Cambridge, and is interested in a degree in Political Science/Pre Law. We would like to go to England in the Summer of 2007, and look into these schools, along with others which we have not identified yet. Our dates for travel are fairly flexible.The school year where we live is scheduled to conclude June 20, 2007. It would just be my son, who will be 16, and myself (46 next summer) traveling, and we would fly out of Portland, Oregon (PDX). My son is a WWII/military buff,and is working on a pilots license. He enjoyed the Smithsonian Air and Space museum when we were in Washington DC. Do they have anything like that in the UK? I like to stay in lodging establishments with some history and architectural "flair" to them. I loved the article on the castles of Germany, and would like to stay in something along those lines...old Manor houses or Castles is what comes to mind. I also enjoy exploring open air markets, and we would have to go to the Tower of London and see the crown jewels. In terms of meals, we prefer casual dining. What do you suggest? Julie
Jennifer McKendree: Since your son still has quite a few years before going away to school, I'd recommend considering an exchange program where he can really learn about the culture in the UK and have a true immersion experience. He would live with a host family. This is one travel experience that he won't be able to emulate the experience by being a tourist or even as a college student.
San Diego, CA: My daughter has accepted an internship at an Airforce Base in Germany for the fall semester, leaving at the end of August and returning the middle of December. She is working Monday through Friday on the base, but would like to be able to travel and see as much of Europe as she can on the weekends. A Eurail Pass does not seem to be the answer, as it restricts her too much to justify the cost. What is the best way for her to maximize her free time on weekends, for the least amount of money (a student's budget), and still see as much of Europe as she can in those three months? Linda
Jennifer McKendree: After speaking to my colleagues they concur that purchasing a Eurorail pass would not necessarily be in your daughters best interest but rather her planning specific trips and looking for airline tickets (ryan air -- apparently has great deals) or train tickets for specific destinations. It may be a little more time consuming and less spontaneous since it may require going to a travel agent. I imagine she'll also want to spend a lot time exploring the town she is in as well. Sometimes renting bicycles in smaller towns is a great way to see it.
Little Rock, AR: My husband is a high school History teacher. He would like to take 24 students to England and maybe Paris next Spring break (March 2007). He has already got this trip approved with the board. There will also be around 6 adults/teachers to help with the trip but, he is in charge of the itineray. What is the best way to plan this trip?
Jennifer McKendree: I would suggest checking out companies that put together student travel trips for teachers and see what advice they can offer. I am only familiar specifically with high school student exchange programs that offer language and cultural immersion for a summer, semester or year program for individual high school students. Students will live with a host family and experience the people and culture first hand, in a way a tourist cannot.
Indian Hills, CO: We are not youth but mature adults wanting a one week immersion French language course in France in the spring or summer of 2007. Any suggestions?
Jennifer McKendree: I would suggest looking at Studyabroad.com for programs that meet your requirements.
San Diego, CA: I want to study abroad during the Fall of 2007 in London with a theater focus. Are there any programs that include internships in theaters? Mary
Jennifer McKendree: Again, I'd suggest looking at Studyabroad.com for programs that specifically meet your needs. It sounds like you looking for a university program. We have a program specifically to the UK for high school students but it does not have a theater focus. We do have some other high school programs with that focus on arts/music in Sweden, Latvia, Hungary and Estonia
Jennifer McKendree: It's been a pleasure answering your travel questions. If you'd like to learn more about how a teenager can become an exchange student and truly learn about another culture and language please contact us. We offer over 100 programs to more than 35 countries. We also have a Host Family program where you can bring the world into your home. For more information please visit yfu-usa.org or call 1 800 TEENAGE.