Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire

How to launch a FRENCH ON LOCATION field trip … our best Advice.

The success of your trip will depend largely on the price, and the biggest determinant of the price is generally the number of students participating. Prices always go up and down as the number of paid participants goes down and up, because more students reduce the per-person cost of the guide, hotel security and surface transportation, which are fixed expenses, regardless of the size of the groups. However, time is money also, and as a result, we are inclined to recommend shorter, better-planned, higher-quality trips than longer, looser, more expensive ones.

This is especially important, if not to say critical, for a first trip, which is always more difficult than subsequent trips, which parents and younger siblings and younger friends will all be farther up the learning curve about, because they will have heard about the positive experiences of the older students on the first trip or two.

Thus, we recommend that you open the trip to as many students as possible, avoid the longest, most expensive itinerary, and select the shortest trip feasible from your location. This would be a three-day trip for most groups within about an eight-hour drive (if traveling by chartered bus), and perhaps a four-day trip, if possible, or no more than a five-day trip for groups traveling on a first trip by air.

We believe this is good advice, even for experienced group leaders, for whom a less costly trip will always allow more deserving students to participate, and for those who get involved in fundraising, it will reduce the fundraising burden for everyone.

In short, the success of every trip, but especially the first one (before a tradition has been established) will depend on price … the price will depend largely on the number of participants, which in turn depends on the price. This is circular logic, of course, because tour prices always come down as the number of participants goes up but for that reason, it is critically important that the trip seems affordable while it’s still on the launching pad.

The point of taking a short, foreign language trip to Montréal or Quebec City instead of overseas is to make the trip available to every deserving student, but the more the trip costs, the more students at the margins will be left behind.

In summary:

• Invite as many students as you can (especially for your first trip);
• Keep the trip short (always a good idea);
• Use moderately priced hotels (until your tradition is well-established); and
• Don’t let more affluent students influence the selection of a trip that only they can afford.

Our Mission: To keep the study of French fun, interesting and relevant, by keeping high-quality, pedagogically significant French immersion field trips within the reach of every deserving student.

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