No New Visa Requirements for US Travelers to Europe

A quick note to Adolesco families regarding news of possible changes to the Visa Waiver Program for US travelers: Your child does not currently need a visa to travel to Europe this summer

The USA and the European Union currently participate in the Visa Waiver Program.  This means that US citizens do not need visas for tourist travel to France, Germany, or Spain for visits of less than 90 days.

In response to ongoing negotiations between the EU and the USA over ‘non-reciprocal’ US visa requirements for citizens of five EU member countries (Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Poland and Romania), the European Union’s Parliament approved a ‘non-legislative resolution’ on Thursday calling for the EU Commission to urge full visa reciprocity:

“The EU Commission is legally obliged to take measures temporarily reintroducing visa requirements for US citizens, given that Washington still does not grant visa-free access to nationals of five EU countries. In a resolution approved on Thursday, MEPs urge the Commission to adopt the necessary legal measures “within two months.”

The EU Parliament’s move sets a two-month deadline for the EU Commission to act if the U.S. doesn’t change its policy — but the Commission says it may not respond until this summer.

“Margaritis Schinas, the chief spokesman for the commission, appeared to tamp down any expectations that it would impose visa requirements on Americans within two months, as outlined in the Parliament resolution. Instead, he said he advocated “continued engagement and patient diplomatic contacts” with Washington.
The commission will issue a progress report on discussions with the United States, he added, but not before the end of June.”

Further developments would probably require legislative action within EU member states and will likely take time.

At this point your child does not need a visa to travel to France, Germany, or Spain.  We will do our best to keep you apprised of any changes to these policies.  Please note that travel arrangements are made by the individual families, not by Adolesco, and it is your responsibility to be aware of and fulfill any applicable governmental and airline requirements.

To stay up to date, check the website of the nearest French, German, or Spanish consulate (where visa applications would be made in the event they become necessary) as well as the US State Department website for your exchange destination (https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country.html).

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20170227IPR64156/parliament-asks-eu-commission-to-press-for-full-us-eu-visa-reciprocity

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/world/europe/eu-visas-parliament-united-states.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

Upcoming Sacramento Area Information Session – Join Us!

Do you live in the Sacramento area?
Looking for more information regarding international exchange programs for your child?

Join us at Adolesco’s upcoming information session:

March 4, 2017; 3:00 – 5:00 pm

Hyatt Regency Starbucks
1123 12th St., Sacramento, CA

One of our alumni parents will be there to host the event, speak more about the program, and answer any questions you may have about Adolesco. Learn more about the benefits of international exchange, including foreign language immersion, cultural experiences, and the lifelong connections your child and family will create.

And best of all, your afternoon brew is on us!

Upcoming San Francisco Area Information Session – Join Us!

Do you live in the San Francisco area?
Looking for more information regarding international exchange programs for your child?

Join us at Adolesco’s upcoming information session:

March 5, 2017; 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Laurel Village Starbucks
3595 California St., San Francisco

One of our local alumni parents will be there to host the event, speak more about the program, and answer any questions you may have about Adolesco. Learn more about the benefits of international exchange, including foreign language immersion, cultural experiences, and the lifelong connections your child and family will create.

And best of all, your afternoon brew is on us!

Upcoming Philadelphia Area Information Sessions – Join Us!

Do you live in the Philadelphia area?
Looking for more information regarding international exchange programs for your child?

Join us at one of Adolesco’s upcoming information sessions:

February 19, 2017 and March 11, 2017 | 3pm

Chestnut Hill Coffee Company
8620 Germantown Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118

One of our alumni parents will be there to host the event, speak more about the program, and answer any questions you may have about Adolesco. Learn more about the benefits of international exchange, including foreign language immersion, cultural experiences, and the lifelong connections your child and family will create.

And best of all, your afternoon brew is on us!

Support for Adolesco from Teachers and Study Abroad Professionals

Fifteen-year old Kinri Watson just returned from living in France for the summer as part of her Adolesco exchange.

“It’s really weird, like you’re two different people,” she says of her stay more than a year after hosting her French exchange “sister” Maelys in May 2015. “I also got to know a completely different Maelys!”

Kinri is a 10th grader at the Denver Center for International Studies (DCIS), where Geri Badler is the director of the Travel Center. Geri promotes Adolesco because she “loves the idea of the family-to-family exchange. It is personal and meaningful. I feel the Adolesco students that come here are well vetted, smart, and open to learning and sharing.”

It is typically adults like Geri with personal exchange experience who are the biggest advocates of foreign exchange programs. “I know the importance of cross-cultural exchanges and how rich an experience this can be, as well as the fact it is simply life changing” she says.

Ben Lev, who teaches Spanish at Credo High School in Rohnert Park, California, also wholeheartedly recommends Adolesco to his students. Ben does a little whiteboard math for his Spanish II class, “If you’re in my classroom for an hour a week for three years, that’s about 600 hours of Spanish. If you spend three months in Spain, that’s more than 1300 hours of Spanish – it’s like six years in the classroom – in three months!”

Because the travel and hosting periods of an Adolesco exchange are determined by the two families involved, children and teens can gain international experience without losing school time. Sometimes families will host one summer, and then send their child to travel the next, although not all Adolesco exchanges happen during the summer break.

“My exchange sister really wanted to come to school in the US,” says Kinri. “When I asked her why it turned out she wanted to see if the cafeteria is like in the movies, and she wanted to ride a yellow school bus!”

We sincerely appreciate the support of teachers and travel advisors who are willing to share our program with their students. Perhaps your school would be interested to learn more about Adolesco – contact us today!

Extrait d’un mail d’Adeline et Cyrille

imageNous nous sommes donc rendus lundi dernier, le 18 août, à Panticosa dans les Pyrénées pour récupérer Baptiste, en famille. Nous y avons découvert un panorama somptueux, et les deux familles au complet ont pu ainsi faire connaissance.
Le séjour de Baptiste chez les B.T. s’est vraiment très bien passé. Il ne s’est jamais plaint de quoi que ce soit pendant son séjour, semble avoir été apprécié, s’est lié d’une profonde amitié avec Juan, et nous a finalement vraiment épaté concernant le niveau d’espagnol atteint. Nous l’avons découvert intégré, parlant de façon fluide et décomplexée, presque bavard à l’heure de présenter ses deux fratries et d’introduire différents jeux appris pendant son séjour, enfin, ému de retrouver les siens et son petit frère qui parle.
Nous sommes ravis de la famille B.T. qui nous a été proposée pour l’échange, de grande valeur humaine et spirituelle.
Il est convenu que Juan vienne à son tour chez nous au terme de sa scolarité cette année, vers la mi juin 2015.
Nous tenons enfin à vous remercier, ainsi que toute l’équipe Adolesco, pour avoir rendu cette belle rencontre possible.

Amicalement,
Adeline et Cyrille

Hola, soy Henry y tengo 15 anos.

Hola, soy Henry y tengo 15 anos.

Henry in Spanien2Henry in Spanien3Ich war vom 28. September bis zum 2. November in Spanien, um genau zu sein in San Sebastian de los Reyes. In diesen fünf Wochen habe ich viel über die spanische Kultur, Lebensweise und die Art der Spanier allgemein erfahren.

Ich war da in einer vierköpfigen Familie, deren Sohn (Alvaro) mich auch kurz davor besucht hat. Ich habe dort die Schule besucht und viel mit der Familie und Alvaros Freunden unternommen. So war ich zum Beispiel mehrmals im nahen Madrid oder auch einmal in Segovia, wo ich eines der ältesten Aquädukte der Welt gesehen habe.

Die Mutter mir auch ein wenig spanisch beigebracht, leider reicht eine fünfwöchige Reise aber nicht um eine Sprache fließend zu sprechen, aber ich werde weiterhin Spanisch lernen und auch nächstes Jahr zurück nach Spanien fliegen. Ich habe besonders die Abendessen genossen, bei denen wir danach öfters noch am Tisch saßen und uns ausgetauscht haben.

Henry, 15 Jahre

Why I choose to be an Adolesco rep

P1040064A few years ago I heard someone being interviewed on the radio about the joys and pitfalls of an independent language exchange and immediately thought what an amazing opportunity for an adventurous child or teenager. I struggled for years (still am) trying to learn Spanish and French so it seemed not only do they go on a cool adventure, they can try out a European school, make friends and with the total immersion approach they also learn how to understand and actually speak the language. This is not an opportunity they will ever get once they grow up, not even as a student.

I mentioned it at home and my middle child, aged 13 jumped at it and the process began. Four years on she is 17 and her and her exchange Iria still swap each summer to spend some time together, speaking the language of the Country they are in. In fact this year Abby aged 17 and her sister aged 15 have both gone to stay with Iria in Spain as they got on well together too.

Both girls went to school together in the UK an Spain – this is not essential as they exchange can just be arranged in the holidays but worked well for us to have the combination as I have always worked and both found it fascinating at how different the structure and lessons were.

My youngest daughter then wanted to go on an exchange which she then duly did the following year, whilst she was in year 8. I must point out that although they can speak really well neither was motivated because they wanted to excel at languages, they will probably both go on to do sciences at A-level but with most university courses in all subjects offering placements and study aboard for a year it is a skill that I am confident will not be wasted in the future.

When I was asked last year if I would consider the post of the UK rep for Adolesco I jumped. My girls had an amazing experience and I am passionate that young people should have opportunities to explore the world and understand others beyond their immediate circle.

Enric (Spain) and Elie (France)

enric elieHello, my name is Enric Ferrer Rodriguez and I am 12 1/2 years old. I have “lived” for two months in a large house in the country, 3km from a small town in France – called Pouance. The most curious thing has been that everything was so different there; I lived on a farm with goats, cows, chickens, dogs and cats. The house was twice the size of my small flat in Spain, with a pool and garden; 7 of us lived in the house, including myself ( and during 2 weeks there were eight of us because a young guy from California lived with us as well), while I live in a house with 4 people, including Elie, the French boy who is now spending two months in my home in Barcelona.

Luckily, I still remember my first week in France, to be honest, it was a little hard because I did not speak French and I did not know anyone. But one of the valuable lessons of the exchange is communication, the language, and making friends. The truth is that the family made it easier for me, because they made me repeat all the words and they taught me all the vocabulary needed to help me day to day in France. This is how I slowly began integrating myself into the family: with effort and the desire to learn. During difficult moments, a family member would give me a word of encouragement.

In addition to learning a large part of a new language, I have formed a relationship with Ellie (the boy who I have exchanged with) which I think and hope will last for many years, if everything goes well, which I am sure it will, we may be able to do another exchange next year.

In short, I will not forget those two months, because I have loved it.