From the masters of the Renaissance to the architects of classic Greece and Rome, your European Odyssey will be filled with inspiring art, like Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, and the ancient Parthenon. With the classic sights of Europe come classic experiences: floating in a Venetian gondola, strolling the streets of the Roman Forum, joining a Greek dance, seeing Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower. But your most lasting memories will come from spending time with new European friends in their homes and schools.
Gather with your delegation and board your flight to France.
Bienvenue! The City of Lights will welcome you with astounding architecture, art, and history at every turn.
After your long flight, stretch your legs with a walk through the sprawling grounds of Versailles. Its gilded palaces and precisely sculpted gardens were the home of King Louis XVI, before the French Revolution made him lose his head. Check out the life-sized pretend village that Marie Antoinette used as a personal retreat.
Now that you’re rested, it’s time to see what Paris really has to offer. We’ll start at the Louvre, one of the world’s most famous art museums. You could pore over its collections for days, but your delegation manager will take you straight to some of the highlights, including the shy Venus de Milo, powerful Winged Victory, and Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa masterpiece.
Then it’s time to see for yourself the world icon that almost wasn’t. Some thought the Eiffel Tower was an eyesore when it was built for the 1889 World’s Fair and petitioned to tear it down, but soon it became accepted and loved as a symbol of Paris. After your ride to the top, you’ll understand why. You’ll feel like you’re soaring over the charming, chimneyed roofs of the city.
Climb to the hills of Montmartre, with its bustling square full of artists at work. See what the local artists are selling, or have your own portrait drawn!
In one of the artists’ shops bordering the square, you’ll learn about the life of a painter and how important Paris has been to artists throughout history.
Then explore the beautiful white Sacre-Coeur Basilica. It not only boasts an amazing view over Paris, but also some brilliant modern stained-glass windows.
Board an overnight train tonight to Venice, Italy.
See Venice the way it was made to be seen—from the water! Glide in your gondola through the Grand Canal, under carved bridges, and down narrow passageways. You’ll sail beneath the Bridge of Sighs, the beautifully carved bridge that once connected a palace with a prison. On foot, you’ll get to greet the pigeons and marvel at the elaborate Basilica San Marco.
Then it’s your chance to see a true craftsman at work, blowing Murano glass. Take in the whole meticulous process, from adding bright colors to the clear glass to twirling and tweaking it into incredible shapes.
Today, it’s time to begin one of the most memorable parts of your journey—the home stay! A short Italian lesson will prepare you with a few helpful phrases, but you’ll be amazed at how much you can communicate without a common language!
Make your way to the quaint, red-roofed town of Vicenza. Here in the foothills of the Alps, you’ll meet the family you’ve been matched with and return with them to their home.
You and your home-stay family will explore the area on your own today. They’re likely to be as interested in American culture as you are in Italy, so be ready to share stories and photos to paint a picture of your family, home, and daily life.
Best of all, you’ll get to feast on some authentic Italian cuisine!
Enjoy your last day with your new Italian family. Leave them with a thank-you note, a small gift, and some great memories of their new American friend!
Reunite with your delegation later today.
Receive an Ambassadorial welcome in the town of Carpi, a walled medieval town. Step into the government offices for a meeting with the mayor or other official.
Unearth some grim reminders of World War II at Fossoli Transit Camp. The prison-like compound served as a holding area for approximately 3,000 people before they were shipped to concentration camps during World War II.
Continue on to Pisa to see one of the world’s most beautiful mistakes. The Leaning Tower has been carefully held at its precarious angle for nearly 600 years. If you climb the 297 steps to the top, you’ll get a whole new angle on Italian ingenuity.
Pay your respects to the American soldiers who died driving the Nazi army out of Rome in 1944. An American cemetery has been set aside here, and you’ll receive a guided tour of the memorial and join in a private wreath-laying ceremony.
Head next to Florence to explore one of the wealthiest cities in Italy. Catch the imposing Duomo cathedral with its massive bronze doors, and stroll the streets of this one-time capital.
You’ll see another giant of Florence in the Accademia Gallery. Michelangelo’s sculpture of David towers 14 feet tall, carved from a single block of marble. Look for the astonishing details that Michelangelo coaxed out of the stone—veins, fingernails, and expressive lines on the face.
To end an amazing day, join some local families for dinner tonight. In the Italian culture, meals are an occasion, so this is the perfect chance to share great food and make some new friends.
Today, you’ll head to Assisi, a medieval city full of ancient cathedrals, steep stone steps—and two colossal towers. The towers were part of a fortress designed to repel invaders, but you will have the chance to rappel one tower’s 100-foot height and take in amazing scenery all the way down.
It’s the Full On challenge, a Student Ambassador exclusive where you learn what it feels like to push through fear to an awe-inspiring confidence. Your expert instructors will start with some games and discussions about setting and achieving your goals, so that by the time you’ve finished your successful descent, you’ll be ready to conquer the next “tower” looming in your life.
Explore the Vatican City, home to the Pope and the global headquarters of the Catholic Church. The grandeur of St. Peter’s, its central basilica, is jaw-dropping.
Make your way to the Sistine Chapel, home to the world-famous ceiling that Michelangelo painted over the course of four years. More than 300 different figures appear here, illustrating stories from throughout the Old Testament of the Bible. You can appreciate Michelangelo’s dedication to his work when you learn that even though he’d never painted frescoes before, even the characters painted on a curved wall appear in perfect perspective.
Rome is an unforgettable city, where you can discover remnants of a lost empire around every corner. Your knowledgeable city guide will take you into the Colosseum, site of grandly staged battles, wild game hunts, and some gruesome gladiator contests. Walk the Forum, where ruins of temples, courts, and businesses let you imagine life as a citizen of ancient Rome.
Then, it’s time to explore Rome for yourself. Team up in small groups to discover the city’s cherished central treasures, from the Pantheon to the Trevi Fountain. You might even discover some new friends if you ask the locals to help you on your quest!
You can elevate your spirits today when you hike at the top of Mt. Vesuvius, Italy’s only active (but now-quiet) volcano. Your motor coach will take you to the trailhead, then you’ll climb to the mountain’s cool heights.
Next, head to Naples, where you’ll visit a working convent. Talk with a nun about her life spent serving others.
Enjoy a haunting visit to Pompeii, the city buried under Vesuvius’ volcanic explosion in A.D. 79. The remains of the city will show you not just the moment of its destruction, but its rich life before it. Explore buildings filled with paintings, mosaics, and artifacts of people’s daily activities.
Board an overnight ferry to Patras, Greece, tonight.
Set foot on the field of the first-ever Olympic Games, held in 776 B.C.! Fuel your competitive drive with a quick foot race with your delegation. Will you take home the gold?
You can also experience a much younger athletic stadium (only from the third century B.C.) and see the temple that once housed one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. The 43-foot statue of Zeus was made of ivory and gold. The statue is long gone, but you can still get a sense of this massive monument as you pass through the columns that remain.
Admire the achievements of ancient Greece when you take the stage at the Theater of Epidaurus. It’s the original “theater in the round,” where actors were surrounded by their audience (up to 15,000 people!) on all sides. In spite of the size, the perfect slope of the seats meant that every word could be heard in the days before amps and microphones.
Stop at a family home in Faliro to enjoy an authentic Greek lunch. You’ll discover the Greek talent for storytelling and warm hospitality as you share cultures with your hosts.
Spend this afternoon helping a Greek community. You’ll work alongside local Boy Scouts to pick up a park, paint a community center, or serve a meal to people in need.
Meet the best of ancient and modern Greece on this exciting day. You’ll start at the towering Acropolis, home to Athens’ most timeless treasures. A whole complex of ruins survive at the top of this hill, but the star is the former temple to Athena—the Parthenon. Its columns are perfectly un-aligned to create an ancient optical illusion. All you’ll be able to see is the temple’s classic symmetry.
Descend into old Athens to explore the Plaka. In this charming old section of the city, you can spend some free time shopping for souvenirs or delicious Greek snacks, listening to street musicians, or discovering the district’s scattered ruins.
Ambassadors are the special guests at a local primary school today. Talk and laugh with students, visit their classes, and let them show you a few steps of a Greek folk dance.
It’s not only a fun time with new friends—it’s great background for the performance you’ll see this evening at traditional dance show.
Understand what makes the Grecian coastline a destination for travelers the world over. Brilliant sun, sandy beaches, and warm blue waters will create the perfect playground for your last full day in Europe. You and your fellow delegates can swim, play games, or just relax on the beach and reflect on your time together.
It’s time to leave Europe, but you’ll be returning to the States with an abundance of new friendships and memories.
Note: Highlights featured represent past programs. Your program may differ slightly in some areas due to scheduling conflicts, unforeseen changes, and the arrival of new opportunities. Your program's schedule of activities will be provided as confirmed, closer to actual travel.
Our inclusive tuition is yet another reason People to People Student Ambassador Programs stands out.
|12 hours of pre-travel preparation||Yes|
|People to People Ambassador Programs travel shirt||Yes|
|International airline surcharge||No|
|Taxes and gratuities||Yes|
|Three meals per day||Yes|
|Safety & Insurance|
|On-site 24 hour delegation manager||Yes|
|Supervision (average leader/student ratio 1/10)||Yes|
|24-hour response team||Yes|
|Travel Protection Plan & Cancel For Any Reason Benefit Upgrade:
Available as optional purchases for your program
|One elective high school semester credit|
|College credit (Eastern Washington University)||No|
|10 service-learning hours||Yes|
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Our leaders are the backbone of our unique student travel programs. They are active, positive, and passionate educators who truly enjoy helping students achieve their full potential. In addition, our highly experienced onsite program staff assist with all program logistics and ensure that our students and leaders have an engaging and safe educational experience.
All of our leaders meet rigorous standards that include an application, an extensive background check, CPR certification, personal interview, safety training, and onsite training.