From your semester’s start in France to its end in Spain, The Village will teach you how to master the dynamics of global travel and discovery. So that what you learn in your courses relates to how you meet the European neighborhood that’s surrounding you. And how you meet the Europeans who will be with you as neighbors on your journey. There’s the thin and fast way to travel, and ultimately this kind of travel is mostly a vacation. The Village shows you a different way. One where you seek to find integration with the places you go and the people you meet. And also find inside yourself new ways of seeing the world and feeling confident and competent in it.  The start you make in a tiny town in France’s Loire Valley will seem remote indeed to what you’ve achieved by the time you’ve gone onto Paris, London and Barcelona. And yet that start–when you recall it carefully at the end of The Village–will also have been exactly the preparation you’ll be thankful to have had for the civilized and global way you went on to live the rest of your journey.

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JOURNEY

Street smarts. Walking lectures and academic visits.

We call it Journey. Because for an amazing two weeks, your classrooms will be the cobblestone streets, grand boulevards, museums, gardens and cafes and pubs of both Paris and London. Each day of Journey in Europe’s two greatest capitals, you’ll walk with a small group of students, and a professor who leads the discussion, as you explore a fascinating trail of art, literature, history and culture. The focus will change every day, bringing to life the intense personalities and events that defined where class is meeting.  Meanwhile, you’ll also have two busy weeks of personal growth and travel to relish during VisionQUEST, one prior to your Paris/London weeks and the other just after.

Seize the day. And the night.

With free afternoons and evenings every day during our weeks in Paris and London (plus a full day on your own to enjoy what we call a “city sojourn” in these marvelous cities, you’ll do much more than be part of a moving classroom. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to step out and experience these magical places at night. New worlds of incredible food and live music are waiting to be discovered, just as the rest of Europe will await your discovery during your two weeks of VisionQUEST.

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Home sweet hostel

On JOURNEY in Paris and London, you’ll be living in centrally located hostels. (On VisionQUEST, your housing will be your own responsibility to find and fund. Our staff will help you narrow your choices and make your plans, so that you’ll get your arrangements set like a pro and be staying each night for about $18.00 or so.) The Village’s housing in Paris and London usually features:

  • Shared rooms, with beds to accommodate groups of 8-20 persons
  • Convenient access to public transportation
  • Bathrooms in the hall
  • WiFi in the hostel lobby and often in the student rooms
  • Security desk and English speaking staff
  • Often an on-site bar or restaurant
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Travel Break: VisionQUEST!

You may not remember when or where your own wanderlust began. But you’ll never forget where it first flowered for you. The time and place will be the two weeks of independent travel you relish on The Village, when you and your program friends take off and explore Europe on your own terms.  We call these breaks “VisionQUEST” in honor of the Native American tradition of self discovery that was associated with a literal and metaphysical journey. It’s no stretch to say that VisionQUEST honors that sacred rite for The Village.  You’ll leave the Loire Valley after a month with us, and you’ll set out with the travelers who want to share a VQ week with you. Maybe you’ll take a train to Venice and onto Florence? Or perhaps Oktoberfest in Munich will be your goal.  Whatever the destination, you’ll set your travel plans with help from The VIllage faculty and staff.  And then you’ll venture off to make those plans come alive. At the end of your first VQ, you’ll rejoin The Village in Paris to begin your two week session of Journey. And after Journey concludes in London, you’ll voyage on VisionQuest 2 to complete your travels. Will you make Ireland your goal? Or Scotland and its rugged highlands? The plans will again be yours to make. When VQ comes to an end, you’ll have made your way to Barcelona, to meet up with The VIllage for your final month of the program.

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VisionQuest Travel Ideas

So you’re brand new to global travel? No worries. So are most of our students. You’ll love the public transportation system in Europe. (And the fact that European trains and airlines are affordable and easy to use.) And you’ll love how affordable and easy it is to book great hostels all over the continent.

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Amsterdam

Want a perfect destination for your first VisionQUEST? Doing better than this city will be a challenge. Not only is the place charming beyond all belief, but the Dutch are friendly, helpful and rightfully proud of their incredible home base. How to go: Take the train from from Tours to Paris. Then snag afternoon bullet train (THALYS) to Amsterdam. Check into your hostel. Experience the Anne Frank house your first evening. Then explore the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum on different days. And then work your way slowly toward our program’s meet up up Paris via two nights in Brussels. Take a day trip to Bruges. And then get to Paris to regroup with The Village and be ready to hit Journey hard in Paris and London.

Dublin

Want a perfect and affordable destination for VisionQUEST 2? Village students report year after year that Ireland is among their most cherished places to visit.  And to meet Ireland for a first time, you’re hard pressed to do any better than Dublin.  Not only will Trinity College and Temple Bar charm you and keep you up all night in turn, but the whispering and almost ghostly literary tradition of the city will offer its only intoxicating charm.  Getting there: hop a Ryan Air flight from Dublin after Journey ends in London. You’ll be there in about 45 minutes.  Enjoy the city, and snag at least two days out on the “Western Shore” so you can see Galway. Then head back to Dublin for a final night. And grab another Ryan Air flight out, this time to make your Village meet up in Barcelona.