Program Guide:

European Discovery, Fall 2023

October 4 - November 1, 2023


Note: This itinerary is subject to change due to availability and local conditions at the time of departure.

Days 1-6: England

Day 1: Wednesday, October 4

Say your goodbyes and hit the road for your first step in your journey! Because of the time zone change, you will likely depart on the 19th and arrive in London on the 20th.
Meals included: Some meals may be included on flights; check with your airline for more information.

Day 2: Thursday, October 5
Arrivals to London
Touch down in London! An EF team member will meet you at the airport to take you to the hotel. Meet your fellow travelers, and enjoy a welcome dinner in London. 
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 3: Friday, October 6
Explore London
Take a walking tour of London to see some of London’s most iconic sights, like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Parliament. Get your Oyster card and learn how to navigate London’s amazing public transportation system, from the underground to the famous red double-decker buses.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 4: Saturday, October 7
Hult Business Challenge
Think you have what it takes to succeed in the business world? Put your brain to the test as you work in teams to solve a real-business challenge at Hult International Business School alongside some of Hult’s amazing faculty.
Meals included: Breakfast 

Day 5: Sunday, October 8
Financial District & Business Engagement
Take a walking tour of London’s Business District and learn about the city’s importance in the global business world. Visit a London-based company and get a sneak peek into the inner workings of running a global business.
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 6: Monday, October 9
Free Day 
There isn’t anything on the schedule today – this is your first of many free days on your program to make your experience your own. It’s up to you to make the most of your time in London based on your own passions and interests! London has many free museums, and it’s a great place to try lots of international cuisine if you are more of a “foodie”. You’ll have a metro pass that works throughout your stay so its easy to get around. Your Tour Director may also suggest optional excursions that they can book for interested students.
Meals included: Breakfast

Days 7-16: France

Day 7: Tuesday, October 10
Across the Channel
Travel from London to Portsmouth, where you’ll take a ferry across the Channel to enter France and stay in the area of Caen, in Normandy.
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 8: Wednesday, October 11
Caen Memorial & Normandy Beaches

Learn about Normandy’s unique WWII history with a local guide by visiting the Caen Memorial and Normandy Beaches, where D-Day took place.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 9: Thursday, October 12
Visit to Mont St. Michel
Spend a day at the stunning Mont St. Michel, an island topped by a beautiful abbey. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a big pilgrimage site to this day. Soak up its beauty & history and explore!
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 10: Friday, October 13
Bus to Paris
Transfer from Normandy to Paris, with a stop in the town of Rouen if time and weather allows.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 11: Saturday, October 14
Explore Paris
Take a guided tour of Paris to see some of the city’s iconic sights like the Champs-Elysees, Arc de Triomphe, the Eiffel Tower, and the Luxembourg Gardens. Get your metro card and learn how to use Paris’s public transportation system.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 12: Sunday, October 15
The Louvre
Visit the Louvre with your group. See the iconic Mona Lisa in person — and explore the vast collections that span centuries of the world’s best art. In the afternoon, enjoy free time to explore Paris on your own.
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 13: Monday, October 16
Monet’s Giverny
Spend a day exploring Monet’s gardens at Giverny, the place that inspired his work.
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 14: Tuesday, October 17
Architecture Walking Tour of Paris
Paris’s architecture is some of the most beautiful and inspirational for architects across the globe. Take a walking tour of the 16th District of Paris to get a better understanding of Paris’s unique Art Nouveau and Art Déco styles.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 15: Wednesday, October 18
Visit to Versailles
Put on your powdered wig and embrace your inner Marie Antoinette! Explore this luxurious and (in)famous palace, once home to French royals.
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 16: Thursday, October 19
Free Day
Enjoy a free day to explore Paris on your own. Your Tour Director may have optional excursions that you can join.
Meals included: Breakfast

Days 17- 19: Switzerland

Day 17: Friday, October 20
Travel to Lucerne
Experience Europe’s interconnected transportation system by taking the train from Paris to the Lucerne region. Settle into your hotel and have a group dinner.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 18: Saturday, October 21
Excursion to Mt. Rigi
Travel by boat and by cable car to reach the top of Mt. Rigi — a truly astonishing spot to take in the wonders of the Alps!
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 19: Sunday, October 22
Free Day in Lucerne
Enjoy a free day to explore Lucerne on your own!
Meals included: Breakfast

Days 20-29: Italy

Day 20: Monday, October 23
Transfer from Lucerne to Bologna
Bus from Lucerne across the Italian border. Stop in Parma to visit a Parmesan Cheese factory in the city where it originated. Smell and taste some of the best cheese of your life! End your day in Bologna, where you’ll have dinner and stay for the night.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 21: Tuesday, October 24
Explore Bologna
Bologna is one of the most amazing student cities in the world. Visit its university — the oldest in the world — and spend time understanding how the city has grown around the university.
Meals included: Breakfast 

Day 22: Wednesday, October 25
Bologna to Florence
Depart Bologna and head to Florence.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 23: Thursday, October 26
Explore Florence
Take in the sights in Florence on a guided tour, learning about its history, culture, and cuisine!
Meals included: Breakfast 

Day 24: Friday, October 27
Free Day
Enjoy a free day to explore Florence on your own.
Meals included: Breakfast

Day 25: Saturday, October 28
Florence to Rome

Head from Florence to Rome by bus.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 26: Sunday, October 29
The Colosseum

See one of Rome’s biggest and most historic sites — the Colosseum!
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 27: Monday, October 30
Visit the Vatican & Learn to Cook!
The Vatican is a spot where history, religion, power, and politics combine. Tour the incredible archives, and see Michelangelo’s ceiling. Later in the day, do a cooking class to learn how to create an authentic Italian meal!
Meals included: Breakfast & Lunch or Dinner (depends on cooking class timing — you’ll make this meal!)

Day 28: Tuesday, October 31
Spend some time with your Tour Director, Student Life Coordinator, and cohort reflecting on all that you’ve been through this semester. Reflect and think about what you’re bringing with you to your next steps. Enjoy a farewell dinner with your group.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 29: Wednesday, November 1
Say goodbye to your group and head home!
Meals included: Breakfast

Tips for the Road


You will be responsible for carrying your luggage on-program; you will be on the move constantly and may not find elevators at every accommodation, so make it easy on yourself and don’t pack more than you need.
You will experience an assortment of activities, climates, and excursions, and it’s important to pack according to your itinerary. The most important thing to bring is comfortable walking shoes. Additionally “athleisure” is not super common in Europe, so we suggest assembling a capsule wardrobe; we also ask you prepare to be visiting places–such as cathedrals–that require modest clothing (knees and shoulders covered).

Whatever your personal spending habits are, it’s important to anticipate your expenses and budget accordingly so that you can travel care-free with more time to enjoy participating in your program. While many meals and activities are included during your EF Gap program, we want to help you build a realistic budget for additional expenses so that you can fully enjoy trying the local cuisine, participating in activities in your free time, and, of course, shopping for souvenirs to bring back home.

Packing list

– T-shirts (5)
– Tank tops (2-3)
– Nice shirts/outfits (2-3)
– Nicer shirts/blouses (1-2)
– Raincoat/windbreaker
– Comfortable walking shoes/sneakers
– Flip-flops/sandals
– Socks and underwear (2 weeks)
– Warmer layers in case of chilly nights (2)
– Lightweight pajamas
– A bathing suit (just in case!)


– Reusable water bottle
– Sunglasses
– Hats: 1 for sun coverage, 1 for warmth
– Packing cubes, optional
– Micro fiber towel / beach towel
– Headphones
– Camera / memory card / charging cables
– Portable charger
– Travel lock for luggage and belongings
– Laundry  bag


– Toothbrush / toothpaste
– Deodorant
– Body wash/soap
– Shampoo / conditioner
– Hairbrush
– Sunscreen
– Stomach soothing medication
– Wet wipes
– Stain Remover stick / detergent packs
– Contact lenses / solution / eye glasses
– Menstrual products


– Passport
Pro tip: bring a photo copy as well

– Copy of your flight itinerary
Found in your EF Gap Year portal

– Copy of your itinerary and accommodations
Found in your EF Gap Year portal

– COVID-19 documents:
CDC vaccination card  and Negative COVID-19 test result

– Copy of any prescriptions

– Primary Health Insurance card from the U.S.


– Backpack
This is your carry-on! It can also double as your daily bag while abroad.

– Wallet
Bring your debit or ATM card so you can withdraw cash, as well as your credit card, ID, and student ID if you have one (discounts!)

For prescriptions, make sure it is in original container and bring enough of a supply to last your program.

– COVID-19 CDC vaccination card
Or, a negative COVID test result if applicable.

– Entertainment!
Books, downloaded Netflix streams and Spotify playlists, magazines, travel journal, deck of cards, etc.

– Passport
– Airline ticket
– Reusable water bottle
– Neck pillow / eye mask / ear plugs
– Toothbrush / toothpaste
– Contact lenses / solution / eyeglasses

Budgeting guide

We don’t recommend traveling with large sums of cash. You may want to convert a small amount money to the currency of your first destination. From there, you’ll be able to access local currency by using your debit card to withdraw cash from an ATM.

Be sure to check with your bank ahead of time and, if necessary, provide a travel notice so they don’t block the card for suspected fraud. Also ask them about any foreign transaction fees that might apply, as these can add up quickly. Apple Pay is another great option that past students have used during their time on-program.

  • England’s currency is the Great British pound
  • France, Germany, and Italy’s currency is the euro
  • Switzerland’s currency is the Swiss franc

Your program will provide a meal to start your day, while also allowing you the opportunity to immerse yourself in new cultures and places as you dine on local foods during the day. Prices vary slightly by country, but in Western Europe, cheaper meals can cost between €10-€15. On average, a restaurant will cost about €15- €25, with nicer restaurants rising to €30 and above.

Given the percentage of meals included, expect to budget around €40 per day for meals. You may find that you go above or below this on any given day based on the differing prices of a country, or your own personal preferences, but this is a good average to stick with.

  • We recommend budgeting around €40 per day for food.
  • All breakfasts will be included
  • Lunches are on your own
  • About half of your dinners will be included

We recommend budgeting up to $50 a week for extra costs. This could mean putting money aside for things like:

  • Additional items of clothing
  • Emergencies
  • Extra toiletries
  • Souvenirs
  • Laundry (This can vary in cost based on where you are. To save money, we suggest bringing a small bottle of condensed soap, such as Dr. Bronner’s, that you can use to wash your clothes in the sink.)

Optional activities or excursions:
Throughout your trip, your Tour Director may find opportunities for additional excursions and activities; typically, these experiences can cost anywhere from €10-€50, and there may be one or two opportunities like this each week.


You have a card for public transportation included for you for all major cities that you stay in during your program. Your Tour Director will hand this card out to you when you arrive in a new city. Public transportation — including buses, metros, trams, ferries, and more — is often the most cost-effective and the most efficient way to get around European cities. Your Tour Director will help you understand the basics of the public transportation in each city you visit.

Access to and costs for cabs and other ride services can vary. Cabs or ride shares can cost anywhere between €10 to €40 (or even higher for a long distance or during a peak time), depending on your distance, location, and time of request. On average in most cities you will be in, a cab or ride share will cost around €20–€25.

Packing tips

Making the most of your program

To make the most of your time during your program, this section gives some helpful context and reflection questions. These questions are great ones to think about on your own, to journal about, or to discuss with a friend or in a small group. Make the most of your time during your program by spending a little bit of time each day—even as little as 5 or 10 minutes—doing conscious reflection!

Personal Development & Growth Mindset

As you go through this program, you’ll learn a lot about yourself and what you are capable of. You will face challenges you’ve never faced before, and you’ll learn how to overcome these challenges in your own unique ways. Here are some questions to consider before, during, and after you go through the program:

  • What goals do I have for my own personal development? What tangible steps do I want to take to achieve them?
  • Who is my support group — on program or at home — who I know will always cheer me on to succeed?
  • What things am I doing get outside my comfort zone? And how is my comfort zone expanding as I try new things?
  • What parts of the program are particularly challenging for me? Why are they challenging for me?
  • What is one thing I’ve done so far on this program that I never imagined I could do?
  • How do I communicate with others around me about my needs and boundaries?
  • What strategies do I use to cope with stress?
Country-by-Country Reflections

As you travel throughout Europe, you are going to see other cultures, societies, environments, histories, economies, geographies, languages, and peoples that you’ve never seen before. These experiences can propel you to better understand who you are in the world and what you want your life to look like — whether that be figuring out your certain career path, understanding what type of urban environment you want to live in, or gaining a better connection to a certain period in history. These questions can help you think through some of the places you will visit, and they are great ones to discuss with a friend or a small group.


  • What surprised you the most about London?
  • During the business challenge at Hult, what did you learn about your own abilities to work with a team to solve a challenge? Do you think the business world is for you?
  • How did you spend your free time in London? What types of activities do you gravitate towards when you have that freedom?


  • Paris is a city that lives large in the cultural consciousness of Americans. How did Paris differ from what you expected?
  • What inspiration did you get from understanding the art, architecture, and fashion of Paris?
  • What did you learn about World War II history as you went to Normandy? How does that history continue to impact us today?


  • What differences do you notice between France & Switzerland?
  • Switzerland relies on tourism — specifically Alpine tourism — for its economy. As global climate change threatens the stability of these climates, what will happen to this industry?


  • What did you learn about the way goods like parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar are produced? How will you think differently about these items next time you see them in a grocery store in the US? What goes into creating a successful global brand, as Parma has done with parmesan cheese?
  • It is easy to think of ancient history as something far removed from modern life. Yet the Colosseum — and other remnants of ancient Rome — are part of the cityscape of modern day Rome. What is it like to be in a city where this history is so present? How do the ancient and modern fit together?
Social Identity Resources

Travel provides incredible opportunities to learn about yourself, the world, and yourself in the world. But travel is also a deeply emotional experience that can bring different challenges to every individual based on the identities they hold and experiences they’ve had.

This resource is intended to help you think about how your intersecting identities can, and will, shape your experience as an EF student. Take some time to review our Social Identity Resources to hear different perspectives, learn about identity-specific resources, and prepare with helpful tips before you go abroad.

Questions about your
upcoming program?

Your dedicated Gap Year Advisor is here to help every step of the way.