Why Take This Program?
Witness how history comes alive when you study in the places where it happened. As we journey across Europe from Lisbon to Munich, we walk in the footsteps of the famous and infamous historical figures of the 20th Century. From Columbus, Robespierre, and Napoleon to Nietzsche, Hitler, and Trump, we will explore the key events and ideas that have shaped our modern world. MEI's Trek Through Europe 3 is your chance to lay the foundation of knowledge and experience that you can build on over a lifetime.
Travel Dates TBD
Program Dates TBD
*Program dates include online sessions to prepare students prior to travel and synchronous interviews to complete final assessments after travel. Dates are subject to change.
All MEI programs depart from Toronto's Pearson Int'l Airport.
✈ This program also offers an option to depart from and return to Calgary on a flight accompanied by a teacher. This option has an additional fee (see application form for details).
|Program Cost *
Explore this program's detailed itinerary for a sense of the journey ahead!
Online Final Evaluation Week
Upon your return, you have time to complete additional research and pull your work together before your final one-on-one online assessment. This week allows you to reflect on your travel experiences and integrate them into the course material. MEI staff have found this style of evaluation enjoyable and the most authentic way for students to demonstrate their knowledge and academic skills.
We arrive in Portugal’s illustrious capital—Lisbon. Whether climbing one of Lisbon’s seven hills or listening to a performance of Portugal’s famed Fado music, you naturally connect and are inspired by this ancient port city. Our classes vary between exploring hidden gems and nurturing creative pieces to be performed in small cafés of the Alfama. This is a perfect location to begin our studies of the modern era with the Age of Exploration. We trace Christopher Columbus’ historic 1492 voyage, and the subsequent Columbus exchange that changed the face of our modern world.
We continue into Spain and land in Madrid, where food and art enthusiasts instantly fall in love with this enchanting city. Whether wandering its elegant boulevards, exploring its world-famous Prado museum filled with European art by Goya, Velázquez and Ruben or admiring the city’s golden glow as the sun sets, this Spanish metropolis captures the imagination. An afternoon exploring the Royal Palace allows us to examine the height of luxurious living that revealed the wealth of the new world discoveries and trade. You will collaborate in small groups to present your learnings, followed by class discussions. We will analyze literature over tapas dinners in the evenings and participate in Spanish culture’s relaxed, social atmosphere.
Barcelona has inspired writers and artists for over two thousand years with its vibrant colours, unmatched architecture, and Catalan cuisine. Here we delve into the rise and fall of the Spanish Empire after the end of Muslim rule in 1492. Lasting over 800 years, the Islamic Empire was erased as the Spanish Inquisitors aimed to convert the citizens to Catholic culture. We will practice storytelling skills here by developing character sketches while ‘people watching’ along Las Ramblas. Our tour of La Sagrada Familia, the masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi, will provide insight into how the Spanish revere their religious faith and admire their inspired artists. Between lunches along the Mediterranean and dinners in the Gothic quarter, you get a taste of this world-class culinary culture.
After crossing the Pyrenees, we arrive in France. In Paris, lessons focus on the Age of Enlightenment and the Age of Revolution as we debate the nature of humanity and the structure of civilization. In the crypt of the Pantheon, we revisit the arguments by Rousseau and Voltaire that laid the foundation for the French Revolution and the rise of Napoleon. From bike rides in the Gardens of Versailles to visits to the Musée du Louvre, Paris is a once-in-a-lifetime immersion into French history and culture.
Making our way to the top of Europe, we emerge from the Stechelberg gondola to find our new home in the picture-postcard Swiss village of Gimmelwald. Here, we hike mountains and roast marshmallows by the fireside—with the clamour of giant cowbells, bleating mountain goats, and the sound of rushing waterfalls. Academically, we work on essay writing for English and receive one-on-one mentorship in History while enjoying morning coffee overlooking the Alps.
In Munich, we examine the details of the rise of Nazi Germany and trace the impact of the National Socialist movement on the European continent and the rest of the world. From Hitler’s speeches at Odeonsplatz to the horrific legacy of the Dachau Concentration Camp, lectures and master classes place us directly where history happened—making for an educational experience that profoundly impacts us all. Here, we will discuss significant challenges that the new world order faces as we move into the 21st century.
Departure from Munich Airport on Day 35
Our final stop brings us to Berlin, the ideal location to dig deeper into the Cold War. This city, once divided in two, served as a microcosm for the post-war world at large. Dotted with reminders of its past, students will visit the Checkpoint Charlie Museum and the Berlin Wall Memorial to get a deeper understanding of the divide felt in this city. Now, the capital city of the most powerful country in Europe, Berlin has shed the remains of its communist past as it attempts to embrace its capitalist future. With its cafe culture and vibrant spirit, Berlin is the ideal city for students to complete their assignments and prepare for final exams. One last dinner together and a stroll through the Tiergarten gives us the chance to admire the Brandenburg Gate while sharing a fond farewell with our new family and reflect on all we have experienced on this adventurous and ambitious trek through Europe.
|Program Cost *
* Program cost does not include non-refundable $95 registration fee.
** Based on air fares, land tariffs and currency exchange rates as of July, 2023. Please note the possibility of increases in airfares and land costs prior to departure. Any increase must be borne by the individual participant.
- Ministry-approved credit(s) upon successful completion of the course(s)
- Custom course pack
- Student Login
- MEI journal
- MEI T-Shirt
- Digital yearbook
- 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
Program Fee Does Not Include
- Local Transportation
- Course texts
- Medical Insurance and Cancellation Protection†
- Non-refundable Registration Fee
† All students travelling with MEI Academy are required to purchase Medical and trip cancellation and interruption Insurance.