Tahoe Visit, Stanford, and Tesla Motors

Final blog from Local Leader Jennifer

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Google Tour

Students were treated to an unexpected and rare tour of internet company, Google, on Friday after their high school shadowing day. Using host family car pools from both schools, the group was transported to Google Headquarters, where they were given a tour by present and past Google Employees. A special thanks to Heike Schmitz for getting us “in” to Google. The students, together with the tour of the computer museum and Google, really go an “inside” look at Silicon Valley. We hope some of them may return someday for school or work.

Weekend Wind-Down

The weekend was another fun one for host families and students. Some headed out of Palo Alto for sightseeing, others enjoyed sporting events, and others relaxed at home with various activities throughout the weekend. The kids are all looking forward to reuniting with their loved ones at home, but also are enjoying their last hours here.

Devine Family Trip

Our family braved the forecast of snow to travel to Lake Tahoe for skiing and snowshoeing. Emanuel showed us how to ski FAST racing style, and we enjoyed showing him how to snowshoe but it was so WINDY that we called it quits after just a brief look at the scenery on the mountain top. We also took a “dip” in Lake Tahoe, actually we were walking to the water but misjudged where it actually started since it was covered by snow and ice. Emanual has a rare claim to fame that he actually swam and skied on the same day at Lake Tahoe.

Monday sun and the city

Today is sunny and gorgeous in the city. Classes b and c headed first to the Embarcadero, then democratically by vote decided we would all go through thru the financial district on our way to Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill. The climb paid off with breathtaking views from all sides. We took the campus wooden stairs down enjoying beautiful gardens and the sounds of birds.

Gold rush history

After a stop at the gold rush museum it was time for some free time where at least one student must shop for luggage so he can bring all of his purchases home.

Police and Fire Station Visit

Tuesday was a lovely day in Palo Alto and the students enjoyed a walking tour of the Stanford Campus. On the way to the main Quad, we stopped at the Police and Fire Stations where we learned about how firefighters live, about the gear they wear, some new high tech gadgets they use to make sure they don’t run out of oxygen, and more. At the police station the students verified their prior learning on Americans and guns, as they were informed that anyone over 18 can buy a gun if they have the money and pass a background check. Although there were several weapons that were displayed, the kids were allowed only to take photos, no touching.

Stanford Campus Tour

Then it was on to the main part of campus where we saw Palm Drive, the Roudin Sculptures in front of the Memorial Church, the bookstore and more. The students completed their evaluations of the trip on the desk of the lovely Tresidder Student Union in the sun.

Tesla and Stanford Mall

The last stops of the day were to the Stanford Mall, known for its lovely flower displays and a smaller group walked across the street to Tesla for a look around at the new electric Roadster cars, starting at $109,000. We were not able to test drive, only those who put a down-payment down are afforded that privilege, but we did get some great pictures.

Uneventful Trip to the Airport

Tony, the funny Italian New Yorker bus driver (we really want him to be our driver for the bus tour next time) picked us up and we headed to the airport for an easy check-in. I just heard that the students and teachers have arrived home in Vienna safe and sound. It was a pleasure to meet each and every one of the students, and I hope I will perhaps see some of them again in the future. Many other host families shared with me yesterday at drop off how great the experience was and how much they will miss their student.

We wish the students well! Thank you for reading my blog.
Jennifer Devine, Local Leader

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Return to the U.S. this summer with ECI!

Want more opportunities to improve your English and explore California? Then enroll in one of our summer immersion programs for European students. You’ll find all the details on the Edu-Culture International, Europe website.

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