Commonly Asked Questions
Do I have to be a St. Olaf alum or parent of a St. Olaf student to participate in Study Travel?
Since its inception in 1978, Study Travel has been open to the public. Thirty-six percent of Study Travelers are St. Olaf alums, 34% are parents of Oles and 30% are from the general public.
What is the age range of Study Travelers?
Study Travelers range in age from people in their late teens to retirees. Shared interest in the themes and destinations of Study Travel create common bonds.
What are the physical demands of Study Travel?
Although Study Travel is not "adventure travel" in the current sense of the term, a person should be healthy and fit to successfully participate in our programs. Airport transfers and transportation between cities are usually by private coach. All other movement is usually on foot and public transportation. Participants should be capable of walking up to five miles per day over possibly uneven terrain, climbing stairs that might not have handrails, climbing in and out of a variety of transportation vehicles, keeping pace with an active group of travelers on long days of traveling, dealing with the emotional highs and lows that can occur when experiencing a different culture, and being part of a group for several hours each day. People who have questions about the physical demands of a specific program should speak with the Study Travel director or program leader.
Can children participate in Study Travel?
Teenagers are welcome to accompany adults on Study Travel programs and participate in group activities.
Will I feel "left out" if I travel as a single?
A 30-something Study Traveler addressed this concern in her program evaluation: "As a single person it's great to have people to travel with. The other thing that's fun ... is that you're traveling with people who have similar interests, who are intending to travel in a way where they learn more than just surface-level sightseeing. I now have a group of friends that I continue to do things with after the trip."
I'm single but would like a roommate. Can you help me find one?
Yes! We put people in touch with each other and let them decide if they will be compatible as roommates during a Study Travel program.
You offer Continuing Education Units/Hours on every program. Does this mean we are required to attend lectures and take tests?
Study Travel emphasizes learning for the joy and excitement of it. Seminar discussions are offered daily, either by the faculty leader, guest speakers or guides. Sessions typically last 60 to 90 minutes. Groups visit historic sites, museums, art galleries or attend music or theater performances that illuminate topics discussed in the seminars. There are no required assignments or tests. Program leaders provide resource lists in advance for those who want to become more familiar with the history and culture of their Study Travel destination.
Continuing Education Units are available on request.Call 507-646-3629 to inquire.
Will I have time to pursue my own interests?
On every Study Travel program we strive to follow a "1/3, 1/3, 1/3" schedule with one-third of the day free for every two-thirds scheduled. Study Travel itineraries usually include one or more free days. These unstructured times allow you to explore your interests, pursue new experiences and savor the delights of different cultures.
Can I depart earlier or return home later than the group? Can I leave from a city other than Minneapolis?
Yes, and we will assist you with your flight plans. Airlines often allow a small percentage of "deviations" before imposing penalties. If you're interested in this option, contact us early. We'll obtain a proposed flight schedule and airfare and get your acceptance before reserving flights for you.
What is typically included in the program fee?
Based on double occupancy, the program fee usually includes
- Seminars by the program leader and guest lecturers
- All accommodations
- Breakfast daily and several other group meals
- Entrance fees Group tours
- Ground transportation (except airport transfers)
There is a supplement for single occupancy.
What is not included in the program fee?
Airfare is not included in the program fee. Participants are solely responsible for all expenses not specifically included in the program fee. Examples of excluded expenses are: airfare, transfers between the airport and hotel on arrival and departure, any passport and visa fees, any recommended immunizations or vaccinations, accident / baggage / trip cancellation insurance, beverages, laundry, dry cleaning, phone charges, room service or mini bar charges, expenses incurred during free time or non-group activities, and lunch and dinner, unless specifically included on program itinerary.
Is travel insurance included in the program fee?
No, travel insurance is not included, but we strongly recommend that Study Travelers purchase it. The first place to look is your current health and property/liability policies to see if coverage already exists or could be added as a rider. We provide the names of several companies selling travel insurance to help you begin your search, but we do not recommend any particular company.