Before you can take students abroad with EF Tours, they first send you on a EF Training Tour! They want to make sure that you are well prepared for taking students abroad! Check out this post if you want to know what it is like to Travel with students!
What might you see?
Before you take your high school students abroad (Or you can even take middle school students abroad!) with EF for the first time, EF will send you on an official EF training trip. They want you to get a feel for what taking kids is like. So basically, you’re “the student,” and the tour guide models for you what you should be doing as a tour leader. They want you to keep taking these trips, and they want you to be as successful as possible. EF doesn’t pay me to say these things. I genuinely have really enjoyed my experience with them and would like you to enjoy it too. However, if you list me as a referral, I would get a referral bonus. And I would be mighty appreciative of it, as it would help pay for this blog 😀
Possibly because I live in Atlanta, but I had a non-stop flight with Delta! Sweet! It was overnight, so I arrived in the morning, ready to go. That’s always my preference because it’s a lot easier to get adjusted to a new time zone if you arrive in the morning. I have no complaints about the flight, airline, or time. Actually, I was expecting a pretty crappy airline and was very surprised about flying Delta!
It wasn’t the best in the world, but it certainly wasn’t the worst. I’d say, the biggest drawback was that it was out of the city. It took maybe 30-45 minutes (depending on where you started) to get from the main part of the city back to the hotel. I was in Paris, so our hotel was in an arrondissement that was not in the heart. I understand that EF must have done that to save money. Honestly, I’d rather be farther away in a nicer hotel than closer in a worse hotel. I was in Paris when I was 21, and I stayed in Montmartre (I could see Sacre Couer!). Right in the thick of things, but that was a crap hotel.
Something negative that happened, on the last day, was someone stole a teacher’s purse from the breakfast room. It was actually probably a good lesson for all the teachers to make sure we keep an eye on our stuff and to remind the students as well. I’m not sure it was necessarily the hotel’s fault or anything; I just thought I’d mention it. She actually had her passport stolen D: If that ever happens to you, check out my blog on what to do if your passport is stolen!
Not all of the food was included, but the stuff that was was pretty good. We went to some off the beaten track places that I don’t think we would have discovered if our tour guide hadn’t taken us there. Well, me in particular because I’ve been obsessed with doner kebabs since I lived in Germany. We were at the same restaurant as normal French patrons, so these were definitely not dives. We generally all ate the same meal, which again I’m sure was for cost. I have some food allergies that I told my tour guide about, and everything was just fine for me! They didn’t include crepes, but honestly, I ate so many of them, that I really can’t blame them!
This was clearly the best part of the tour. Even though it was for training, we still experienced the landmarks that the kids would too. Some teachers that came with me to Paris were actually taking their students there. I opted for Paris because I hadn’t gone to the Louvre or Versailles the two times I’d gone before. However, I don’t think it’s necessary to go to the place that you’re taking your kids. For example, I trained in Paris, and I took my kids to the Galapagos.
TLDR: This trip was a great place to practice with my new camera that I opted to buy (you can read about the decision making process here) and to get a feel for the way EF operates. I definitely came away feeling a lot more confident, empowered, and better able to answer the parents’ questions!