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London, Paris, Florence & Rome

Start your journey in London where vibrant street life, centuries-old architecture, and the ringing chimes of Big Ben greet you. Cross the English Channel to Paris, where you will wander tree-lined boulevards and gaze up at the Eiffel tower. Finally, arrive in Italy; whether you are a lover of art, music, history, architecture, or food, you can find it all in Florence and Rome.





Let’s get the paperwork out of the way so we can focus on the fun stuff. Your passport must:

·       be valid for at least six months after your return.

·       match your name and birthday on file with EF.

·       have three blank pages available.

Non-US citizens may require a visa—visit to see if you need one.

Traveler tip: Make two photocopies of your passport - one to bring with you and one to leave at home.

Not to sound cliché, but we can’t say this enough: pack light! Check with your airline to see what size bags they allow to avoid paying any fees.

Most travelers find it easiest to go without checking bag. Here are some tips for getting as much as possible into that carry-on suitcase:

  • Wear your bulkiest shoes on the plane and pack the lighter ones. Same thing goes for jackets and heavier clothing.

  • Packing cubes or vacuum seal bags can save space and help you stay organized.

  • Make the most of your personal item by using a tote bag or backpack that you can reuse throughout the trip.

  • Roll your clothes instead of folding them. Pack the bigger items first and use smaller items like socks and underwear to fill in the gaps.

Traveler tip: You'll be traveling by train from London to Paris, where very limited luggage space is available. You'll also be flying from Paris to Florence, where you may have to pay additional fees for a checked bag. With that in mind, we highly recommend a carryon for your travels.  

To see a full packing list, check out our Pocket Guide to Expert Travel. Just make sure you don’t forget these: 

  • Passport—bring a photo copy and leave one at home too

  • Visa (if applicable)

  • ATM card and credit card

  • Entertainment for the plane and travel days

  • Purse or small day bag with a zipper 

  • Converter/adapter for any electronics

  • Toiletries

  • Washcloth—optional, but they aren’t always available

  • Medications and a copy of any prescriptions*

  • Comfortable, casual clothingcheck the weather before you pack!

  • Dressier outfit

  • Raincoat and umbrella

  • Reusable water bottle

  • Comfortable walking shoes—for example, one pair of sneakers and one pair of sandals

  • Warm layers

  • A scarf or shawl - required when entering religious sites

  • EF's emergency numbers

    • ​Calling from within the US: 1-800-873-2250

    • Calling from abroad: 001-617-619-2913

*All medications should be in their original containers. Put medications in your carry-on bag only, in case a checked bag gets lost or delayed.

The best things in the world are free (like seeing Big Ben for the first time). Still, a little spending money can go a long way while you're abroad:

  • Mo' money, less problems: Budget $40 to $60 per day for pocket money. This will cover lunch each day, four dinners, souvenirs, and additional activities. If you’re an especially avid souvenir hunter, you’ll want to give yourself more wiggle room—financially and in your suitcase.

  • Currency: British Pound (London) and Euro (Paris, Florence and Rome). You can exchange money before you leave, but we recommend just withdrawing some cash from an ATM when you arrive in each city.

  • Tips for tipping: We suggest $6-$8 per day for your Field Director. Your Group Leader will likely collect this money before you depart so that you can budget accordingly.

P.S. Be sure to let your bank know you’ll be traveling so they can put an alert on your account and inform you of any international fees.

Imagine it: you’ve finally arrived. It’s been a few hours since you left home, but your feet are firmly planted on the ground again. Today’s challenge? Fight off jetlag and make the most of the day.

Unless you arrive at night, be prepared to hit the ground running. Staying awake on arrival day is the best way to fight jet lag and adjust to any time difference. If there are other groups on your program, you may wait at the airport for them to arrive. To make things a bit easier:

  • Pack toiletries and a change of clothes in your carry-on for when you land.

  • Stay hydrated—it helps reduce jetlag.

  • Travel in comfort, not necessarily in style, and get as much sleep as you can on the flight before.

Your dedicated Field Director—a physical and cultural guide—will be with you throughout your program. Our Field Directors work tirelessly behind the scenes to coordinate logistics like managing reservations and making sure everything flows seamlessly, so that you can enjoy your time without sweating the details. They are there to acquaint you with each new city and make sure everyone is safe, confident, and making the most of every moment.

You’ll spend very little time at your hotel (mostly catching some sleep), but you should still be aware of where you’re staying and who you’re staying there with.

  • Hotel du jour: Country-hopping means hotel-hopping, but don’t worry; each hotel is safe, clean, comfortable, and equipped with private bathrooms. Hotels are typically 30 to 45 minutes from the city center via public transit or by bus, which comes in handy if you want to check out different areas and blend in with the locals.

  • What to expect: Hotels abroad may feature smaller rooms than you’re used to and may not have air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, television, or elevators. All the more reason to get out and explore.

  • Roomies: Unless you have opted to upgrade your room, standard accommodations mean you’ll be rooming with two or three other people of the same gender, each with your own bed.  You may even take part in an exchange program—that is, rooming with a traveler(s) from another school in your group.

Traveler tip: Electrical outlets in different countries may be different from the ones we're used to. Make sure you research what type of converter and/or adapter is needed for your travels! 

You should expect food and portion size to be different than what you're accustomed to at home. Kick off each day with an included continental breakfast. Four dinners will be included, too. We work with local restaurants to provide a pre-set menu that includes 2-3 course plated meals inspired by the region, giving you the opportunity to experience authentic dishes. Other dinners and lunches are your opportunity to explore the cuisine as you see fit.

Compare the cuisines of three different countries and culinary traditions. London is one of the most ethnically diverse cities in the world, so it is home to authentic international cuisines as well as traditional British cooking. French cuisine is rich and decadent – chefs around the world strive to replicate it. In Italy, get ready for lots of carbs—you’ll need them to fuel all the walking you’ll be doing.

  • In London, common dishes include beef wellington, Sunday roast, black pudding, and afternoon tea with scones.

  • In Paris, try duck dishes like foie gras and duck confit, freshly baked French baguettes with local cheese, and crepes—eaten with both sweet and savory fillings.

  • In Italy, common dishes include pasta, pizza, and roasted beef or pork. Gelato and espresso make great pick-me-ups any time of day.

Traveler tip: Most restaurants in France and Italy are closed from mid-afternoon to early evening, and both countries eat dinner later than Americans,  keep this in mind when planning where to eat for dinners on your own!

Since teleportation hasn’t been invented yet, you’ll need these to get from point A to point B (and C and D and E).

  • Flights: Overnight to London and home from Rome.

  • Public transportation: Public transportation passes are included in London and Paris and will be the main mode of transportation for included activities and exploration time.

  • Bus: Main mode of transportation on the ground.

  • Eurostar train: From London to Paris.

  • Walking: Hands down the best way to explore a new city. Be ready to walk a ton (we're talking 5-7 miles per day) to see as much as possible. 

You will explore more than four cities in ten days, so this program will feel fast! In order to maximize your time each day, you will leave the hotel bright and early and return some time in the evening (or later if you’re feeling adventurous). Most days will be a combination of planned activities and exploration time with some days being busier than others. You'll have a mix of time on the bus, public transportation, and walking to get around. Be prepared to walk between 5-7 miles per day.

You'll spend 2-3 nights in each hotel before moving on to the next, meaning there’s no time to waste! Transfer days can mean long bus rides where you can rest and recharge. Just be ready to hit the ground running in each new place.

Traveler tip: Arrival day will feel like the longest day on your program, we recommend sleeping on the plane as much as possible to be ready to hit the ground running.

Exploration time can vary depending on a few factors: the number of planned activities, whether or not your group has decided to add any optional excursions, and general travel variables like traffic. How you spend your exploration time is entirely up to you. You could sit in a café and people-watch, grab a few friends and discover a new part of the city, or do some souvenir shopping. On busier days, you might just have enough exploration time for a quick lunch.

Here is a rough breakdown of exploration time on your itinerary:

  • London: Half day (2)

  • Paris: Half day

  • Florence: Half day

There is so much to see and do, so do some research and plan ahead. If you need inspiration, here are our exploration time suggestions:

  • Visit a free museum like the British Museum, the National Gallery, the Tate Modern or the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

  • Climb the stairs at the Croatian Embassy for a less crowded view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

  • Visit the Uffizi or the Accademia Gallery in Florence

The British are known for being punctual. Be mindful of being on time for scheduled activities, meals and meet-up times communicated by your Field Director.

Mind the queue: it's considered rude to cut in front of someone who is waiting in line.

In England, cars drive on the other side of the road (compared to how we drive in the US). Always look both ways before crossing the street!

Do learn common words and phrases: 

  • Bonjour = Hello, Good morning

  • Bonne nuit = Goodnight

  • Merci beaucoup = Thank you very much

French people, particularly Parisians, may have a different communication style than Americans. They communicate clearly and directly, without much cushioning or sugar-coating, which can be shocking to some students.

Don’t dawdle or walk slowly. If you’re lost, pop into a shop or a nearby café and reorient yourself. In Europe, try to always walk with a purpose to avoid unwanted attention or pickpockets.

When entering a shop or browsing at an outdoor market, it is customary to greet the shopkeeper or business owner; A simple “Bonjour/Hello” during the day or “Bonsoir/Good evening” at night will go a long way!

French people love to observe. Don’t be surprised if you catch people lounging at cafés (or in other locations) staring at you every now and then; this is common and isn’t considered to be rude in French culture. 

Anticipate less emphasis on personal space. French people often greet one another with a kiss on the cheek and a hug (even strangers!). Similarly, they have a much smaller expectation of (or regard for) personal space. 

Anti-immigrant and anti-Black racism in France is unfortunately not uncommon. Students of color, particularly Black students, may encounter verbal harassment or more attention from police.   

Do learn common words and phrases:

  • Ciao = Hello

  • Buongiorno = Good morning

  • Buon pomeriggio = Good afternoon

  • Buona notte = Good night

  • Grazie = Thank you

In big cities like Rome, popular areas can be very touristy. It’s not uncommon for Americans to get pick-pocketed, so be sure to keep your personal belongings close (we suggest a cross body or a fanny pack!).

In Italy, it is common for customer service to be slower paced, so be prepared to be patient. Additionally, waiters typically will not bring the check to your table unless you ask for it. You will typically be charged for anything offered to your table by your waiter, even though you did not request it. This includes a fee for bread (known as pane e coperto), which can range from 1-3 euros per person. This fee should be listed on the menu so that customers are aware. If it’s not listed on the menu but is added to your bill, ask your waiter to remove it. It is also common to charge for water for the table, which is typically bottled mineral water.

Anticipate less emphasis on personal space. Italian people often greet one another with a kiss on the cheek and a hug (even strangers!). Similarly, they have a much smaller expectation of (or regard for) personal space.  

Please note that this guide is for the ten-day version of this program. Ask your Group Leader for details regarding the two-day extension to the Sorrento region and Capri.

We’re here to help

Our team has heard it all so don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions. Call us at 877-485-4184 between Monday and Friday, 9:00am-5:30pm EST.