North Central News

Local programs offer travel abroad options

By Teri Carnicelli
With an internationally recognized culture, Mexico remains one of the strongest and most enticing tourist destinations for Americans. Just ask North Central resident Virginia Ramos Foster, Ph.D., who is leading her 27th-annual Spanish Study Program in Cuernavaca, Mexico in summer 2016.

Foster has been resident director for 30 years of the Spanish Study Program, which will take place June 17-July 2. The program is open to all students and members of the Phoenix Metro community.

Students study at the Universidad Internacional Center of Multicultural Studies, where they are   totally immersed in the study of Spanish language and culture. Students are not only taught by Mexican university professors, they also live with pre-screened Mexican families.

“Living with a Mexican family is the ideal way to learn Spanish in the shortest time possible,” Foster points out. “The purpose of the program is to offer students the opportunity to achieve fluency in Spanish conversation and an understanding of Hispanic culture.”

Classes are held daily from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and students study intensive Spanish conversation three hours a day in small classes with five students and one professor. The rest of their program includes classes on Latin America and workshops on different subjects like music, art, dance, literature and history.

Cost of the trip, which includes registration, room, board and tuition, ranges from $970 to $1,195 per person. Not included are transportation, books, and spending money. Students fly on their own to Mexico City and then take a bus to Cuernavaca.

For more information, contact Foster at vrfvrf@gmail.com or 602-549-4327.

Elephant Crossing in Thornybush Game Reserve, South Africa provides fantastic animal spotting for Travel With Kids Family Adventure Tour participants: the Caris and Carlton families (photo courtesy of Travel with Kids).

Elephant Crossing in Thornybush Game Reserve, South Africa provides fantastic animal spotting for Travel With Kids Family Adventure Tour participants: the Caris and Carlton families (photo courtesy of Travel with Kids).

Traveling with children can seem like an overwhelming challenge, which leaves many families planting their feet securely at home. However, the award-winning “Travel With Kids” television program not only shows how its done in a easy and entertaining way, but also invites families along—in person—for a trip each summer.

This summer, the producers and creators of “Travel With Kids”—North Central residents Jeremy and Carrie Simmons and their sons Nathan and Seamus—are inviting other families to join the fun on an escorted trip to South Africa, July 16-22. Spend time with your family volunteering in the townships, learning about South Africa’s amazing and recent history at interactive museums and from people who lived through it, and immerse in nature at wildlife conservation centers and on safari.

Parents will appreciate the pre-trip checklists, FAQs, packing lists and years of family travel experience and tips provided by “Travel With Kids.” Kids will enjoy hanging out with Nathan and Seamus as well as hands-on activities like learning to track animals, scavenger hunts, a special South Africa book, activity kit and more.

“After traveling all around the globe, filming episodes in South Africa made a lasting impact on us … especially our kids,” says Carrie Simmons. “Ask our kids what their favorite destination is and they will tell you South Africa and with good reason. When we filmed there, not only did we have the chance to see nature in action, but we learned history and culture in a kid-friendly, hands-on way. The kids especially loved their time meeting local kids in schools and volunteering their time to help better a community.”

The eight-day land cost is $1,990 for adults and $1,390 for kids 11 and younger, and includes hotel accommodation, ground transportation, most meals, and activities including tours of Soweto township, Apartheid Museum, Mandela House, a visit to lion sanctuary, safari game drives, and more. Airfare must be purchased separately.

For more information, e-mail simmons@travelwithkids.tv or call 602-326-9048.

 

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