Frequently Asked Questions
more on WHAT'S INCLUDED
What are the hotels and meals like?
Hotels are 3-4 star quality with front desks and security. Rooms are shared with 1-3 other students. You can have your own room by paying a single supplement (extra surcharge-prices are listed under trip descriptions). We make our reservations in the heart of each city not only to reduce travel time but also to enable students to dwell in the historical neighborhoods whose architecture and design bring class content to immediate life.
Meals include breakfast (usually a European-style buffet provided by the hotel), lunch and dinner. If students are doing approved research on their own, they'll be provided with a stipend for a missed lunch. Otherwise, if a student does not dine with the group, they cover their own meal. Dinners are usually served family style and are most often in family-owned restaurants serving local cuisine. We usually do not include extraneous offerings. We also provide one snack or treat a day as well as water when needed. Additional food or snacks are the responsibility of the student.
What about ENTRY FEES, ADMISSIONS and TOURS?
We cover any expense involving visits to museums, churches, tours and classes as listed on the itinerary. Students are required to obtain and have with them an International Student ID Card which provides a substantial discount for most museums and cultural venues (including in the United States for after the trip). Should a student need to revisit a location for your research, we will make our best effort to cover the cost, but the student may need to pay this expense.
more on WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED
FLIGHTS to/from Europe
Though we do not cover airfare (too volatile to guarantee a price), we make every effort to travel together. Quiddity will make a group reservation approximately 5 months out from each trip. Students will pay the airline directly (there will be a healthy window of time to do so). If you want to pay using miles, you'll have plenty of notification to secure your seat and book directly. Should you need to fly in/out from a different airport or at a different time from the group, we will do our best to accommodate.
Quiddity Tours requires each student to carry personal travel insurance that covers trip cancellation, airfare, medical and baggage. It is not expensive—a basic policy will do (and can be purchased through the International Student ID card which provides other basic insurance while traveling). Purchase travel insurance within 1-2 weeks of paying for your trip. Some credit cards & airlines will provide some coverage. Read it carefully. We recommend the following companies: www.insuremytrip.com, Allianz, and Travelguard.
PASSPORT and INTERNATIONAL STUDENT ID
You'll need a passport with an expiration date at least six months after your return to the US. Here's good information on how to apply. Get extra pictures for your International Student ID card (ISIC). Not only does the ISIC serve as your formal ID (drivers licenses and school ID's are of no value overseas), this handy card provides travelers deep discounts at museums and other cultural sites around the world, including in the United States. You can purchase one at their website. Give ample time to apply. Or purchase it as you wait in some brick and mortar locations, such as STA Travel NY East Village or Ramapo College of New Jersey (the easiest and closest).
Roukema Center for International Education
505 Ramapo Valley Road, ASB 123
Mahwah, NJ 07430
(201) 684-7533 • (201) 684-7989 fax
We realize that travel is expensive, and we understand the financial commitment this opportunity will take. We also believe it is worth it. Subsequently, we've compiled a list of resources and ideas for fundraising so that students can seek the support of their friends, family at large and local community. Click HERE to download.
PAYMENT and REFUND POLICY
Registration fees are non-refundable. If registration occurs after the due date of first payment or registration deadline, then full payment is due immediately. Full payment (minus credit card fees if used) is refundable up to 120 days prior to first date of travel, and 50% of payment is refundable up to 90 days to first date of the trip. After 60 days, no refunds will be provided. If the trip is cancelled due to low enrollment, you will be refunded your full payment minus bank, administrative fees and insurance. Again, personal travel insurance is required after you have made an initial (or full) payment towards your trip.
Most important question... is there WiFi?
We have WiFi at each hotel, but be warned: WiFi in European Hotels is generally very slow and with limited bandwidth. As soon as someone is downloading youtube videos, others will find it difficult to get a signal. Students need to download entertainment before they leave and save data for texting and emailing only. One can purchase a WiFi booster, but that will be a personal decision of the student.
Can I use my PHONE there? What about International charges?
We recommend purchasing a SIM card for your phone while there (each country needs it own and costs depend on data use) or purchasing an international data plan from your cell carrier. Specifics are reviewed prior to the trip at an information session.
Is there DOWN TIME? Can students explore on their own?
Yes, there is downtime. We build it into each day to provide a mental break as well as avoid some of the afternoon heat. For each new location, we help acclimate the students to local streets, landmarks and general way-finding. As the trip progresses and their comfort level grows, students have more time for individualized research and exploring on their own, but always in small groups. The itinerary is dense, and if course credit is expected, there are additional readings and discussions during the trip.
HOW MANY CHAPERONES ARE THERE?
Minimum two. We keep our student ratio to 1 adult to every 5-6 students. This doesn't include the additional local guides and professionals we work with while abroad.
Will my kids be SAFE?
Students always travel in groups and are chaperoned. In certain locations, and with discretion, students can travel in pairs unchaperoned. There are 'hot spots' in Europe now—as there are in the US—but we are traveling in safe zones. Our biggest concern will be pickpockets (though we've yet to fall prey to one). On the personal level, walking around Athens is like walking around New York or any other metropolitan city. One always has to be aware of their surroundings. We work with the students before and during the trip on strategies to keep safe as well as be respectful and responsible visitors. On a more global perspective, we keep track of travel warnings and political tensions and err on the side of caution.
more about THE COURSE
When do we MEET? Is the class really difficult?
The class requires 3-4 meeting sessions prior to the trip and a two sessions afterwards to share your final projects (one includes a public presentation). Dates are determined once we have a full roster and find dates that work for all. The course is not difficult but it does require effort in reading the materials prior to the trip and gathering info while there (vs. shopping, for example). The most difficult part is finding the the energy and focus to finish the course upon your return when the final project is due. Mr. Woodruff works with students to prepare and present thoughtful, quality work.