Summer


Footsteps to the Modern World

1 Course Program

Summer


Footsteps to the Modern World

1 Course Program

Dates

July 5–29
 

Locations

  • Paris
  • Swiss Alps
  • Amsterdam
  • Berlin
See full itinerary here.

Program Fee

See everything that’s included here.

 

Staffing

9:1 Student to Staff Ratio

Availability

CLOSED

Course Offered—One Mandatory Course

 Social Sciences

 World History Since the 15th Century
 

See full course descriptions here.

WHY TAKE THIS PROGRAM?

Explore the making of the Western world and witness how history has far more to do with beliefs and ideas than with dates and names. For this epic summer journey, we follow in the footsteps of the people who shaped our world—from the Enlightenment philosophers of England to the revolutionaries of Paris, from the soldiers of the First and Second World Wars to the spies and double agents of the Cold War. Tracing the past 500 years of Western development, we travel through Paris, Switzerland, Amsterdam, and finally Berlin, with our coursework done onsite in some of the most important locations of our collective past.

WHY TAKE THIS PROGRAM?

Explore the making of the Western world and witness how history has far more to do with beliefs and ideas than with dates and names. For this epic summer journey, we follow in the footsteps of the people who shaped our world—from the Enlightenment philosophers of England to the revolutionaries of Paris, from the soldiers of the First and Second World Wars to the spies and double agents of the Cold War. Tracing the past 500 years of Western development, we travel through Paris, Switzerland, Amsterdam, and finally Berlin, with our coursework done onsite in some of the most important locations of our collective past.

What
Students
Are
Saying

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What MEI was truly about for me was exploring myself and finding out who I am. I was given a chance to explore our world’s history and to thoroughly enjoy and appreciate how far humanity has come. I was able to create strong relationships with people I never would have crossed paths with at home. This trip has altered my view on our world and has shaped me into a better person.

Jayden Thompson
Student, 2018

Program Itinerary

Read about each itinerary location by tapping the icon.

Preparation and Coursework

Early May
To ease into the program, students have access to the course website where reading lists are posted. Course preparation is spread out over three weeks: our first two-week preparation session begins in early May, focusing on novel studies; the second one-week session starts in late June, focusing on completing research and small assignments. These online sessions are designed to connect students with their teachers and classmates, to help complete short tasks, and to alleviate the workload during the summer. Students are required to complete all foundation work before leaving to ensure they are ready to hit the ground running while overseas.

Departure from Toronto

Day 1
Our study abroad departure hub is Toronto’s Pearson International Airport. Five hours prior to departure, a short meeting is held at the Sheraton Gateway Hotel, Terminal 3, to distribute course packs and maps, and to clarify travel procedures. All students are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to the Sheraton Gateway Hotel. Students making alternate arrangements must contact MEI before March 31.
Paris
Days 2–11
As we arrive in one of Europe’s most important cities, Paris, we jump right into course material. Home to revolutions, invasions, monarchs, philosophers, and continent-conquering emperors, there are few places where the roots of history run as deep. Students question the role of kings at Versailles, investigate the causes and consequences of revolution at the Bastille, and question the true nature of humanity beside the tombs of Voltaire and Rousseau, all while soaking in the breathtaking art and architecture of the City of Light. Novels like Fahrenheit 451 provide us with insight into the dynamics of control and the motivations of revolution. Visits to cafés, restaurants, parks, and of course the Eiffel Tower, balance out an intense first week of travel with the beautiful culture this city has been offering its visitors for centuries.
The Swiss Alps
Days 11–15
Leaving the tastes and colours of Paris behind, students make their way to the top of Europe for a stay in the quintessential Swiss village: Gimmelwald. Residing in this quaint, peacful town, our respite in the Alps allows students to focus on academic writing as we consider whether the First World War was avoidable and if blame can ever lie at the feet of a single nation. Hikes through the mountains during the days, and roaring fireside fun at night refresh and invigorate the group as we reflect on all we have seen and learned in the first half of our journey.
Amsterdam
Days 15–21
Heading north, we pass through Germany and make our way into the Netherlands to explore how the Second World War impacted the world. Our study of international conflict and the deprivations of unbridled racism bring us face to face with Anne Frank and the sacrifices made by ordinary people at places like Groesbeek Cemetery, where local Dutch school children still tend the graves of the Allied soldiers buried there. Reading Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century brings current political trends into sharp focus as students discuss the problems of ignoring our past. Rembrandt and Van Gogh’s influence on the artistic heritage of the world is also on display as we make our way along the UNESCO World Heritage canals that line this city that was once the epicentre of trade.
Berlin
Days 21–25
An official world city of culture, politics, media, and science, Berlin is the perfect location to finish our travels as we trace the steps to the modern world. Though known most commonly for its wall and role in the Cold War, Berlin is also a city that can show the world the benefits of reconciliation and reconstruction. A full third of this city is comprised of forests, parks, canals, and lakes, while the modern energy of this ever-growing capital shows how nations can rebuild and refocus their energies for a better future. Our final stop provides an excellent location for students to prepare for final exams and reflect on how they fit into this complex world.

Departure from Berlin Airport (Day 25)

Students Return Home

Paris

Days 2–11

Swiss Alps

Days 11–15

Amsterdam

Days 15–21

Berlin

Days 21-25

What’s Included

Program Costs

  • Ministry-approved credit(s) upon successful completion of the course(s)
  • Custom course pack
  • Student Login
  • MEI journal
  • Digital yearbook

Travel Costs

  • Hotels and accommodations
  • Breakfast and dinner daily
  • Entrance fees to all course-specific sites
  • Return airfare from Toronto’s Pearson
  • International Airport
  • Approximate airline departure taxes, surcharges and fees
  • Airfare between countries
  • Transportation between hotel locations via private coach
  • Transportation for all listed program excursions
*Based on air fares, land tariffs and currency exchange rates as of February, 2018.
Please note the possibility of increases in airfares and land costs prior to departure. Any increase must be borne by the individual participant.

Program Fee Does Not Include

  • Lunches
  • Insurances
  • Gratuities
  • Course texts
  • Medical Insurance and Cancellation Protection*
*All students travelling with MEI Academy are required to purchase Medical Insurance.

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