Tous les deux ans, nous partons en voyage avec quelques-uns de nos eleves pour trois semaines au mois de juin. Nous choisissons notre itineraire, et nous travaillons avec une agence qui nous aide avec la coordination et preparation du voyage. Nous avons une semaine en famille d'accueil.

Nous avons fait notre premier voyage en 1997 a Quebec - les villes de Montreal et Quebec City. Les voyages qui ont suivi depuis lors ont ete en France. Certains de nos voyages ont incorpore differentes regions francaises. Recemment, nous avons decide de nous concentrer sur une region pour mieux comprendre et connaitre les villes et les habitants.

En juin 2012: Paris, Lyon, Avignon, sejour en famille a Cagnes-sur-Mer, Rome (du 4 au 25 juin) avec les eleves et la prof de latin
En juin 2010: Paris, Lyon, sejour en famille a Montélimar, Avignon
En juin 2007: Paris, sejour en famille a Evreux, Rouen, Honfleur, Bayeux, Cherbourg, Saint-Malo, Paris (du 7 au 28 juin)
En juin 2005: Paris, Strasbourg, Colmar, Chamonix, sejour en famille a Toulon, Paris (du 8 au 29 juin)
En juin 2003: sejour en famille a Montpellier, Toulouse, Clermont-Ferrand, Blois, Paris (du 6 au 27 juin)
En juin 2001: voyage avec M Garvey et M Butler (Paris, Lyon, Avignon, séjour en famille a Perpignan)
En juin 1999: Paris, séjour en famille a Quimper, Tours, Carcassonne, Avignon, Paris (du 7 au 28 juin)
En juin 1997: sejour au Canada (Montréal et Quebec)



November 2011:
Everyone should be working on passport renewals or applications, and if they already have passports, should be giving their teachers a paper copy of the id page in the passport for safekeeping during the trip.

We have already made one payment of $800, in October, and the next one is due. We would like to see the checks start coming in no later than the 28th of November, right after Thanksgiving break.

We have proposed an Agora Days class for trip preparation and may be offering a crash course in French/Italian for the travelers. Stay tuned and be sure to sign up!

Language and Friendship is working with the family coordinator to get the families who will host us. As we know more, we will let you know. If and when you happen to hear from the family that has been selected for you, PLEASE let us know! In this age of technology, the students will hear through Facebook or e-mail from their families before we even know they have been placed..This would also be a GOOD time to be checking your Facebook account, travelers, and deciding if you like what is on there, in terms of how you present yourself to your host family!

Scholarships are still available if anyone is needing one. Please contact us so that we can put you in touch with the right person and get the right forms (L & F has the Naomi Thomsen scholarship; Uni has the Boren scholarship - limited to non UI employees - and the McNevin scholarship - no employment restrictions). We make NO GUARANTEES on the amount of funding anyone might get from either of the sources.

January 2012:
By the end of January, any family who is thinking about a deviation on the end of the trip should have taken care of the appropriate paperwork by contacting Language and Friendship directly ( Our agent is Laurence Gallarato and she can guide you expertly through the proper channels.

We have one more known payment of $800 due in March, and then we will have the remaining balance due in April.

REMINDER: As we get closer to March/April/May, chances are fairly good that our students will have been matched up to a family and will be hearing from them soon, possibly electronically. If your student shared their e-mail address, or a facebook link, that might be the first source of contact. At this point (if they have not yet thought about it), your student should be thinking about how they present themselves on a social network that they are sharing with a host family...

After this weekend's workshop in Minnesota with Language and Friendship, we would like to set a trip meeting in early February (on a Monday or Wednesday night) to finalize some details and answer some questions as we are getting closer to the reality of this trip.

Agora Days trip preparation class: we expect full participation and questions!


Interesting websites if you wish to peruse the cities a little bit, learn a little more about the places you will see, what there is to do, how to get around, etc.

*We have written to the Tourism Offices in France, so far, to ask for materials to be sent to the school before Agora Days so the students can actively look through brochures, as well as look online.

February 2012:
We had a meeting on a snowy night, with about half of our group present, including some students! Some of the items we handed out were:
1) the flight information (PLEASE NOTE that if you have special dietary restrictions for your student, YOU need to contact the airlines for those flights and make the requests),
2) the lodging information (already posted above, with reminders that our students enjoy receiving letters or care packages from home during the trip if you can time it right!);
3) packing specs and suggestions (L & F has included in our overall bid the cost of one checked piece of luggage - if you plan to check more than one, the next one is on you);
4) ideas for homestay gifts;
5) there was also a handout about documents (such as passports) and safe-keeping, as well as about monies (credit cards, debit cards - contact your bank or CC company before departure to tell them that you will be using the card in France and Italy and during which time periods)
6) travel courtesies
7) CODE OF CONDUCT/ EXPECTATIONS - really important, need to read again and again, since any violation could have consequences of a student coming home early at their own expense!
8) a reminder of the itinerary and dates (JUNE 4-JUNE 25!!!!)

*IF THESE pdfs are too illegible, we will rescan them and place fresh ones back on the wiki..Our office copier is not the best...***

We discussed
  • transportation options to O'Hare and back (carpool or charter bus or Lex Express from the Illinois Terminal - the latter has worked well for us)
  • Study Abroad Office will have documents that will need to be filled out and notarized, as we are a unit of the University - not available till March or April
  • University of Illinois requires that the group also be insured through them, and that check will be due closer to departure time, written to the U of I for somewhere between $25 and $35 (we will let you know when we know)
  • Agora Days trip prep participation
  • communication with your students during the trip, in particular during the homestay (the less the better!)
  • cell phone policy during the trip (if you really need a watch, buy a cheap one for the trip!)

NEXT PAYMENT IS DUE MARCH 1 : check to Language and Friendship, amount of $800; we will start collecting those checks as soon as we get back from Agora Days so we can mail them off in time.

The FINAL PAYMENT will be due April 15 (our favorite day of the year!) - as things finish falling into place (lodging, transportations, activities, etc.) L & F will be able to provide us with the final balance. We are confident that with the hostels, and leaders in homestays, our overall cost will be about where we wanted it, if not lower. But we cannot guarantee that yet. We thank you for your patience with this unknown.

AGORA DAYS was successful, we hope, in the eyes of the students who participated. Lots of questions were asked, lots of information was shared. We plan to put some of the handouts in pdf format on the wiki to share with parents, as well.

REMINDER THAT THE NEXT PAYMENT IS DUE MARCH 1 - please send your checks in! $800, to Language and Friendship.

May 2012
During the month of April, our students took time during several Uni Periods together to start looking more specifically at some things they would like to do during the trip, beyond the scope of what the leaders have planned. They set up a google calendar/document where everyone could fill in their information, to help communicate better as a group. They had to think about the locations of the interested sites, the prices, the hours of operation, to be able to plan the logistics of their outings.

We are currently working on transportation to O'Hare and back, as well as last paperwork for the University (study abroad office). We are at t minus 7 days!

PARENT MEETING WEDNESDAY MAY 30 AT UNI AT 6PM - last minute details: transportation information, luggage tags and luggage, flight information, lodging information, flight meals, homestay, phone tree, communication, money