Think globally

EF Tours take students on an unforgettable adventure

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By Elaine Gerou, Managing Editor

For just under $5,000, college students ages 18 to 26 can travel Europe for 25 days with other young United States citizens through Education First (EF) Tours’ European Panorama.

The trip price includes plane tickets, transportation by bus and ferry from city to city, transportation tickets for metros, usually a hostel or hotel to stay in, a tour in almost every major city on the trip, a tour director to travel with the group and a modest breakfast.

EF Tours is a privately held company that was founded by Bertil Hult in 1965. The company offers numerous educational programs and travel tours.

Five hundred schools and offices are run by EF, and they employ about 37,000 people in over 52 countries, some being part-time teachers.

Destinations on the European Panorama are: Dublin, Ireland; London, England; Wales; Belgium; Switzerland; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Paris and Nice, France; Barcelona, Spain and Florence, Italy.

European Panorama offers a fun, cultural experience. It gives travelers a small taste several different countries in Europe due to the tight itinerary.

Not only does EF Tours offer an enjoyable experience, but also eases the anxiety of traveling abroad. The trip starts in English speaking countries before heading into lands where English in not the native language. Tour guides teach the group key words in the languages of the countries visited, so it is easier to get around and be friendly to the natives.

As an added convenience of the Panorama, the tour director coordinates hotel check-ins and transportation tickets in every city on the trip, so there is virtually no stress on the traveler other than to meet the group at the time of departure to avoid being left behind and having to pay for transportation to meet the group at the next destination.

Traveling in a large group enhances the trip’s excitement. There is always someone to hang out with and group oriented activities makes the traveler feel safer in a foreign country.

One minor setback of the experience is the amount of travel in between cities. There are a few days on the itinerary that included almost an entire day of long bus rides. Although bus rides are mundane and can be difficult for those with motion sickness, they are great for catching up on sleep, reading, journaling and watching movies.

There are also some locations the group stays at which are not as nice or close to the city center.

For example, on the summer 2014 trip in London and Paris, travelers stayed at hostels that were a 10-minute walk from the last metro or “tube” stop as the Londoners call it.

Overall, the EF Tours’ European Panorama offers a fun, affordable and convenient opportunity for young people to travel the European continent, especially for first-time overseas travelers. Also, participants make lasting friends from across the globe. For further information visit eftours.com.