Archives for June 2012

Ready to travel to Salamanca!

Greetings from US Leader, Marya

Hello ECI parents and participants!

My name is Marya Kahan and I will be your trip leader for your upcoming trip to Spain.  Most recently I worked for ECI as a tour director for a large group of Austrian students coming to the Bay Area to visit and practice their English. I loved getting to know the students and being able to see San Francisco through their eyes and experiences. Although relatively new to the ECI family, I have been involved in the international educational field for over 10 years. I have worked with a study abroad organization, an international educational travel company, and have lead trips to Ecuador and the Galapagos. I look forward to contributing my experience to the Salamanca program this summer.

An amazing experience ahead!

I am very excited to have this opportunity to go back to Spain. I traveled to Spain for the first time when I was 16 on a 3 week exchange program very similar to the program you will be going on. I loved Spain, the people, culture and most of all speaking Spanish and being able to communicate with the Spaniards in their language. Before I left I was nervous that my language would not be good enough to communicate but my family was so patient and not only did they help me my Spanish improved so much! This summer, I will have an opportunity to visit my host family sister while we are in San Sebastian, I have not seen her in many years and I am very excited about that.

A passion for travel

This first exchange experience really initiated my love for traveling and experiencing other cultures. Since then I have been to over 35 countries and can’t wait to get to the next 35. I have been living in San Francisco for 13 years and love it. I am eager to get to know all of you and experience Spain through your eyes. If you have any questions for me pre-trip, please feel free to contact me at

¡Gracias y hasta pronto!
– Marya Kahan, Trip Leader, Salamanca 1 2012

Bonjour et bienvenue!

Greetings from your Aix-en-Provence Trip Leader!

Bonjour students and parents! My name is Marion Phillips and I will be your trip leader in Aix-en-Provence. This will be my fifth summer working with American high school students in France, and my third summer leading a France trip for ECI. I fell in love with France during my junior year abroad in Paris, and returned there to do an M.A. I then spent three wonderful years teaching French at Lawrence Academy, a boarding school in Groton, Massachusetts. Currently I am pursuing a PhD in French Literature at UC Berkeley.


There is no better place to be than the south of France for the summer. We will be visiting historic sites and cities, taking in breathtaking views of Provence and the Mediterranean, and sampling delicious French cuisine. Students will be able to take their French language skills from the classroom to the marchés, cafés, and musées of beautiful Aix-en-Provence before having the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in French language and culture with host families in Hyères. Finally, we will get to know Paris, my adopted hometown. I look forward to meeting all of you and sharing this wonderful experience!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions at

À bientôt,

– Marion Phillips, Trip Leader, Aix-en-Provence 2012