Frequently asked questions

  1. 1
    When do I get detailed information on what to bring, etc.?
    In the spring, we send out a detailed packet for your trip. It goes over clothes to pack, money to bring along, presents for your host family, contact info of students, etc. We also send out a detailed questionnaire designed to help us select a family for you. Specifics of our flights are also sent out. Overall, don't be too concerned about all these details right now. We will take care of everything! As the summer nears, we send out several other letters to help you prepare for your trip. As always, be certain to call or email us with even what you might think of as the most mundane question.
  2. 3
    Can personal travel plans be accommodated before or after the program?
    Our flights can be adjusted to meet almost any schedule, but the earlier we know your plans the better. Changing our group flights adds to the cost, but not substantially. If you take your own flights, you schedule them yourselves and we refund $1,000 for the European programs. If you change dates or airports but use us, there is a non-group charge plus any additional flight costs. In most circumstances, we can easily arrange to meet you in Europe or at our gateway. We are flexible, but we need as much advance notice as you can give us.
  3. 0
    What level of Spanish or French is required?
    Frankly, if you are a motivated person, if the choice to really assault fluency is your goal (and not just your parents'), then we can do the rest. We teach to as many as four different levels, and have even contracted special tutoring for those either just above or just below everyone else. If we make the commitment to accept you, we will make it work (with your help, of course!) Bring your energy, enthusiasm, and leave the driving to us. Note that the French and Spanish programs typically require 2 or more years of the target language. In France and Spain, students ranged from 2 to 5 years of the language on our programs last summer, in fact, there were a few students who were close to fluent. We take French and Spanish students with 1 year of the language in only certain circumstances. Please call if that describes you.
  4. 4
    What are the other kids like?
    This one is a hard one to answer. For example, one recent student had climbed Mount Ranier in Washington State and another had trekked through Alaska for 5 weeks. Another sang throughout Europe with her choral group. Some students have spent prior summer in study abroad programs, bus trips, or on family vacations. They are usually very active and curious about the world around them. Our focus is on speaking the language. Students come to us with more than a desire to get a better grade next year, but rather to improve their fluency in the target language and moreover, to have another place where they feel at home, where they will always have a second family.
  5. 5
    How would Rassias deal with suspected or real terrorist activities?
    We take a conservative approach, often taking steps before worries arise. 30 plus years of experience (dating back to terrorist activities in Paris during the 1980s) and, perhaps most importantly the savvy of our local friends and experienced staff are essential elements of avoiding danger.