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 required documents and that, upon acceptance, your child is enrolled in the program of their choice. Blyth Academy March Break 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.
When will I receive my community service hours?
After the program has finished, letters confirming the number of community service hours completed will be sent to your home and to your home school’s guidance department. If you transfer to a different school, please let us know so that the letter can be sent to the appropriate destination. On average, students will earn 15-20 community service hours during March Break programs.
Are meals included?
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.
Can I visit friends or relatives and stay with them overnight?
Students can visit with friends and family on their free time while abroad, if we receive written permission from their parents before departure. In these cases, students must be picked up by an adult who must show identification. Students must also provide contact information and a detailed itinerary. Students must be back by curfew. There are no overnight stays allowed, no exceptions.
Will I have any free time?
Students are given free time some afternoons and after dinner. All students leaving the property must inform staff members of their destination and all students must be in groups of four or more.
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.
Is there a curfew?
Yes, there is a curfew of 11:00 pm on weeknights and 12:30 am on weekends. Students must sign in by this time and rooms are subsequently checked.
What should they pack?
Packing lists are available in the student handbook, distributed at Orientation. 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?
The amount of spending money you should bring depends on your own personal spending habits and varies between locations. Generally, we recommend at least $250 CAD a week in local currency. You will need money for your lunches, snacks, and other incidentals. However, this amount also depends on your own personal spending habits.
What will the accommodations be like?
The majority of our accommodations are single, twin, triple or quad occupancy, depending on location. In tropical settings, our hotels are equipped with air-conditioning. All of our hotels and residences offer comfort and safety.
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
Can I request special meals if I have a dietary restriction?
Yes, we can cater to many different diets in most of our destinations. You must notify us of any dietary restrictions on your Personal Information Form.
What are optional excursions?
Optional excursions are trips made while on location that are not covered by the program cost. We have chosen excursions that we believe will enhance your experience. All of our programs offer a number of included excursions as well.
How can my family reach me while I am away?
Before your departure, you will be given an information sheet that includes the phone numbers of all our hotels and residences. We recommend email and Skype for day-to-day communication, but please bear in mind that in some locations the internet will not be as fast as we are used to in Canada.
Can I return home at a later date?
This may be an option depending on the airline. Please contact the office and we will be able to tell you based on your program. If this option is available, we must know your return date by January 1 for March Break programs. There may be a change in fee or a difference in airfare and we will let you know what this is.
What if I don’t want to take the group flights? Can I get credit for the airfare?
Yes, but if you choose to fly on your own we must know by January 1, 2019. You will receive a credit for the airfare, the amount of which will depend on the program. Students who make their own flight arrangements must make their way from the airport to the first hotel or residence in location to meet the group. There is no credit for a one-way airfare.
Can I switch programs?
Yes, you can switch programs up to January 1, 2019 for March Break programs.
Can I room with a friend?
You can make roommate requests. Please include your requests in your Personal Information Form. Please ensure that your friend makes the same requests as well. Roommate requests are always taken into account, however they are not guaranteed.
When will students meet their fellow travellers?
Blyth Academy March Break participants have an opportunity to meet fellow students prior to departure. Our Orientation session in Toronto allows time to meet with classmates and future friends.