FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How early should we apply?
Programs do sell out, so early application is advised. This will ensure that you have enough time to submit all the required documents and that, upon acceptance, your child is enrolled in the course and program of their choice. Blyth Academy International Summers and Community Service applications received and paid in full by October 31, 2018, will receive a 10 percent discount on the program fee. Please note: Blyth Academy reserves the right to cancel the program or course due to insufficient enrolment. Every effort is made to notify parents and students of changes or cancellations as soon as possible.
Do they need a passport?
Students will need a passport for all programs. The passport must be valid for at least six months following the anticipated return date of the program. This is a mandatory requirement for travel with Blyth Academy.
Do they need a visa?
Blyth Academy will assist students with Canadian citizenship in obtaining visas for programs where applicable. Students can always opt to secure their own visas, but must ensure that they meet all eligibility requirements. All non-Canadian passport holders must notify Blyth Academy at time of application.
What would you recommend for cell phone plans while I’m away?
There are a few options to choose from:
1. The most economical way to use your phone abroad is to set it to Airplane Mode while outside of your hotel and connect to the free wifi while at the hotel or in cafes and restaurants.
2. If you want regular access to your phone while abroad, you can purchase a travel pack from your Canadian provider. Costs may vary. Examples of average daily costs are:
Travel to US – $7 a day
Travel to Europe/Asia- $12/day with max of 15 days/months
3. Purchasing a SIM card in your host country may be a possibility, however, it may require you to unlock your phone. Please note it can be difficult to purchase a SIM card for a single month in some countries.
For a helpful guide to travel cell phone plans, please visit https://www.goabroad.com/articles/travel-cell-phone-plans
Will my child have any free time?
Absolutely. Students will have free time outside of classes for independent study and leisure activities. Grade 9 and 10 program participants will have fully supervised free time.
How much time do students spend in class?
Students on our grade 11/12 programs are in class Monday to Friday for about 4 hours in the morning each day, and two days a week they’ll return for another 3-4 hours of class after lunch. What is important to note about this class time is our focus on experiential education. Over 50% of the class time will be spent outside of a traditional classroom environment. Our classes will include lessons that take place in museums, cafes, piazzas, on the beach, on hikes, tours, and many more locations. We go out of our way to take advantage of the cities we are visiting and integrating each destination into our course curriculum.
Is there a curfew?
Yes. Curfew for Grade 9 and 10 program participants is 10:00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 10:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, however all free time is fully supervised. Curfew for Grade 11 and 12 Academic and Community Service programs is 11:00 p.m. Sunday to Thursday, and 12:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.
What should they pack?
Packing lists are available in the student handbook, distributed at Orientation in May 2019. Please understand that your children are visiting a different country and culture, so North American style of dress may not be appropriate for every occasion. Please ensure to pack clothes with sufficient coverage to be culturally sensitive. Laundry facilities will be available on location. Students will be responsible for carrying their own luggage, so we advise packing lightly!
How much money should students bring?
Students should bring enough local currency to pay for a few public transit trips per day, a light lunch (unless provided), some water, and entrance fees for any local sites that they would like to visit in their free time. Many students also like to bring a little money for extras such as gelato, movie tickets, a gondola ride, or souvenirs. Please anticipate the equivalent of approximately $250 (CDN) in local currency for a week for European and Oceania destinations, $195 (CDN) a week for Asia and our North, Central, and South American destinations.
Can students make a roommate or classmate request?
Yes. You will automatically receive the link to complete the Online Student Personal Information Form via email once you complete your online registration. This will prompt you to make your formal roommate and classmate request. Students taking different courses on the same program may still room together. Accommodation is based on same-sex rooms. Blyth Academy is committed to working with students and staff to ensure a solution that will work for each individual on a case-by-case basis.
For March programs, the last day to make a roommate or classmate request is February 1, 2019.
For Summer programs, the last day to make a roommate or classmate request is April 1, 2019. Most roommate and classmate requests can be accommodated, but cannot be guaranteed.
When will we hear about flight information/receive tickets?
Flight details will be posted online in early 2019 and airline tickets are distributed at the airport. You will also receive flight information within your Orientation package.
When will students meet their fellow travellers?
International Summers and Community Service participants have an opportunity to meet fellow students prior to departure. Our Orientation sessions in Toronto, Ottawa and Calgary allow time to meet with classmates and future friends.
What will the accommodations be like?
Accommodations will be in comfortable hotels and residences. The majority of our student accommodations are twin-, triple- or quad-occupancy depending on location. All hotels have areas available for studying and writing. All of our hotels and residences offer comfort and safety. Internet access in common spaces will also be available, where possible. In Iceland, students may be in hostels and/or private dormitories.
What is the class size?
Classes run at an average of 11 students, with a maximum of 20.
Do students need to bring or buy books?
The cost of textbooks and/or coursepacks is not included in the program fee. In May 2019, teachers will outline class materials needed and students will be required to purchase them prior to departure.
Are meals included?
For Grade 11, 12 and Community Service participants, breakfast and dinner will be provided daily, but part of the fun and immersion of the program will involve exploring local gastronomy. Program staff are on hand to help with restaurant recommendations for lunches. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner is included for the Grade 9 and 10 program participants.
How are allergies and dietary requests managed? Can we request special meals?
Yes, we can cater to most diets in many of our locations. You must notify us of any dietary restrictions on the Personal Information Form prior to departure. We will forward this information to the accommodation providers and airlines.
Do students need vaccinations?
Certain destinations may require vaccinations or medication to be issued or taken prior to departure. For an up-to-date list of countries requiring or recommending vaccinations or medication, as well as medical travel advisories, please visit:
www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/tmp-pmv/index-eng.php Please note: vaccinations or medications may have to be taken several weeks prior to departure. Please plan accordingly.
What are optional excursions?
Optional Excursions are activities while on location that are not covered by the program fee. We have chosen excursions that we believe will enhance students’ experience. Information regarding Optional Excursions will be made available online in April 2019.