Abbey Road Programs

Abbey Road Programs

About

Abbey Road Programs provides several summer programs for high school students. From study abroad, to language and cultural immersion, to student travel around Europe, Abbey Road is proud to offer it! With program locations currently in Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Austria, USA, Canada and the Czech Republic, high school students have the opportunity to see the world, experience life abroad, and learn about regional languages, art, history, and culture. Abbey Road even offers schools and education organizations the option to customize a program! Check out Abbey Road Programs' main site for more details.

Founded
2001
Headquarters

8266 Fountain Ave., Suite B
West Hollywood, CA 90046
United States

Reviews

Default avatar
Barry
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Overall, I cannot think of anything that I would have made the program any better than it was; everything was really perfect. In the town of Nice, there was so much opportunity to learn. Old Nice was filled with shops and markets, where the venders rarely could speak any English. Near Old Nice, in Garibaldi Square, I made friends with some local skateboarders, who not only gave me an opportunity to learn colloquial and slang French, but also provided some great action photography for my elective course. And when we were not in the town area, my friends and I would go down to the beach, get gelato, do some shopping, or learn some more French with our educators.

Every weekend we would take day trips to different towns nearby. From Antibes we could see the Alps, others gave a fantastic view of the French countryside or the Mediterranean. St. Paul de Vence even gave us a view of all three at once! Some trips were to the beach, others to old medieval style towns, and we even took a trip to Italy for a day. The day trips were really fantastic because they let us experience not only our “home” town, but others as well, many of which were actually quite different.



One of the most amazing things is that everybody got along. From the start, we were all friends, and we got along like one big family. Some people were from US, Canada, and other countries, and we had no problems getting along wonderfully. I was friends with everyone on my trip, and ended up spending my time with all of them at some point or another. It was truly a perfect group of people. My trip with Abbey Road was the best experience of my life. I had so much fun learning and experiencing France first-hand.

The teachers were fantastic, the other kids were fun to hang out with and as excited and enthusiastic as I was, and we were in what I now consider the best place on Earth, while experiencing other cities as well. It was the perfect situation, and the people running the program were extremely accommodating, telling us that anything we wanted to do would be seriously considered. And these suggestions often came to fruition, which led to an amazing experience for everyone on the trip. My travel with Abbey Road was perfect, and I wouldn’t change a thing.

Default avatar
Woody
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My daughter is the entire world to me and to place her in the hands and trust of people we do not know took a lot of salesmanship on Abbey Road's part. Rachel had a wonderful, safe and educational summer and at no time was I fearful of her safety. Someone from Abbey Road staff was always on hand, from second #1 at Kennedy Airport to the conclusion of the program, in our case me meeting Rachel in Boston. She loved her experience at the Leadership Academy program in Suffolk University. Rachel came home bright and energized and with a renewed confidence. She was very proud to be able to participate at a college level program and I am hoping that this will continue into the school year. Once again sincere thanks to Abbey Road Programs for the remarkable job.

Default avatar
Sabrina
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I started Abbey Road the summer after I stopped going to summer camp and I was looking for something to do that would be both productive and fun. My mom found it online and she sent me the link and I thought it looked like a really fun and educational thing to do. When I first decided to do Abbey Road, I was deciding between the Nice and the Western Civilization program. I chose Nice first because I was taking French however this summer I wanted to take the opportunity to go on Western Civilization program. 



I used to live in Europe when I was little. I lived in Belgium and England for a couple years. My parents and older sister have all these memories of us visiting all these places, but I can’t remember any of it. I really wanted the opportunity to explore Europe and the Western Civ program offers that. You get the chance to see and learn about the best parts of all these great countries. 



The staff was really great, helpful and informative. For class, usually we had a reading in our packet that corresponded to the place we were visiting that day. We would either do the reading the night before and go discuss it onsite or read it onsite and discuss it there. I really liked this style of learning because when you’re a traditional classroom and you’re reading an excerpt about St. Catherine of Siena for example, it’s not really all that interesting. However, when you read the excerpt about St. Catherine in Siena at St. Catherine’s Cathedral in Siena and you see the head St. Catherine, it just has a much bigger impact. I feel like I can recall text better and I feel more comfortable with the history. This is an academic summer program. It’s not just an excuse to wander around Europe. You get to experience another place and you absorb and learn about the culture. You are taking classes and actually learning something instead of just being a tourist. You are actually engaging in a bigger experience than just a vacation. 



Western Civilization program exceeded my expectations! I have been recommending it to people when they ask me about my summer.

What was your funniest moment?
I really liked how everywhere you walked in Rome there was something of historical significance and the whole city is just beautiful. I would wander around and get lost and then just find my way again and it wasn’t stressful, it was beautiful.
Default avatar
Penelope
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

What I discovered was that learning to be independent wasn’t as hard as I had thought, at least, with all of the helpful program staff it wasn’t. It felt like learning how to ride a bicycle for the first time- you teeter off on your own, but there are always arms there to catch you if you fall. The Abbey Road staff gave us just enough independence to try and learn how to live on our own, how to budget money, and how to do our own laundry, but they were always there to help us as well. Things like grocery shopping on Mondays or having cooking groups on Wednesdays taught me skills that I took home with me, like preparing a healthy meal and budgeting.

Abbey Road also improved my people skills. When living in apartments with 3 or 4 roommates, conflicts are inevitable. Throughout the program the staff was always there to sort out major issues, but they put a lot of emphasis on dealing with personality conflicts in an independent, mature positive way. It’s likely that I will have a lot of roommates in my life, and the Abbey Road staff taught me valuable communication and problem solving skills so that I can fix small issues and avoid conflicts with people in the future.

My experience with Abbey Road was so amazing and made me so much more confident as a person that I would love to return one day as a staff member and give students that same experience.

Default avatar
Beatrice
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

I had a fabulous summer in St. Laurent, France. I stayed with 3 other American girls in a French home. My host family was really great. They were very welcoming. My host mom was good about asking us about foods that we wanted to eat. She also served us traditional french foods that we sometimes liked (lol!). She did send us a packed lunch but I do admit that we often grabbed a bite at the local cafes, which was a lot of fun.
We had language class most mornings but had lots of time after that to do other things - explore, go shopping etc. I also took a gym class (totally optional) which was fun. Our trainer had us doing all sorts of exercises - and I am not the exercising type! Other kids chose to do other activities.
On weekends we went on lots of excursions to other places in France and we also crossed into Italy for a day. I made so many good friends. This was my first time overseas and I felt safe and supported the entire time.
I didn't actually end up spending much money while I was there, which made my parents happy. Everything is really provided by the program. I spent a small amount on pastries, coffee etc and a bit on gifts. But I did not have to worry about money at all for the day to day type things.
I really have no complaints at all. The home stay worked well for me - I really wanted to meet a French family and take in the culture. It worked out perfectly.

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
I would be open to the experience. Don't be disrespectful or ungrateful just because things are different than you are used to.

Programs

Displaying 10 - 10 of 10

Alumni Interviews

Alumni interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with verified alumni.

Annaleise Hendrickson

Annaleise Hendrickson is a sixteen-year-old who lives in North Carolina. She attends public school and dances competitively in her free time.

Annaleise Hendrickson

Why did you choose this program?

I chose Abbey Road programs because I was looking for a residential language immersion program in Nice, France, that was relatively inexpensive and had an emphasis on adult supervision. Abbey Road was a great value program; I liked that we stayed in a residential dorm but spent the weekends exploring the south of France. I liked the French classes and the emphasis on free time as well.

What did your program provider assist you with, and what did you have to organize on your own?

The program did a great job organizing all of the trips and excursions. The staff organized all of our transportation and event tickets when we went on trips. I never had to worry about buying my own train tickets. Almost all of the meals every day were organized by the program. Lunch and dinner were often cooked in the residence. Breakfast was up to the students, but the program supplied the students with a kitchen stocked with food to make breakfast.

What is one piece of advice you'd give to someone going on your program?

If you are looking for a language-intensive program, this might be a little too mild for your taste. My listening and speaking skills improved vastly because of the language immersion, speaking and ordering in French often, and my personal work at tutoring hours and commitment to studying. However, this program has much more focus on culture and personal growth than I was initially expecting.

What does an average day/week look like as a participant of this program?

Classes are from 9 to 12 am, lunch and dinner are scheduled with the program, and trips and excursions happen on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and day trips happen on the weekends.

Electives take place in the afternoon on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Most of the other time in the day is scheduled free time.

Going into your experience abroad, what was your biggest fear, and how did you overcome it? How did your views on the issue change?

My biggest fear was interacting with people. I'm naturally introverted, and I'm one of those people who had trouble ordering my own food and interacting with strangers. Going on this program forced me to dive into unfamiliarity, speak to strangers in my non-native language, and meet tons of new people. I am much better now at interacting with people thanks to this program.

The biggest question I had was: what do the accommodations and facilities look like?

Each student gets a single bedroom and a private bathroom with a closet, mini kitchen (with a sink, stovetop burner, and a mini-fridge), twin bed, desk and chair, and a well-needed fan. The rooms are small and not air-conditioned. There is a communal kitchen that the staff supplies with basic groceries and snacks that are free for all students. I was incredibly happy with the accommodations; I loved having a room to call my own at the end of a long day.

Staff Interviews

Staff interviews are in-depth Q&A sessions with program leaders.

Drew Harweger

Job Title
Director
Drew received his B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Political Science & International Studies (2010) and his M.Ed. from Loyola University of Chicago in Secondary Education (2012). Drew currently teaches history at an inner-city high school on the southside of Chicago.
male headshot

What is your favorite travel memory?

While an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, I helped to establish the university’s chapter of Global Law Brigades. The student organization aims to empower disadvantaged and vulnerable communities. Focusing on Latin America, I led our first trip to Panama. We stayed in the rainforest with the indigenous Embera Puru tribe for two weeks, immersing ourselves in their culture while also constructing law documents to protect their land and guarantee federally-funded infrastructure. I enjoy being able to meet new peoples in foreign lands while also empowering others.

Which destination is most underrated? Conversely, which is most overrated?

Jerusalem, set within the juxtaposed Israel-Palestine conflict, seems to be a place many are reluctant to visit despite its pivotal role in human history. From my experience, there is much to uncover from the diversity of its peoples and the ancient places encompassed in the city. As a destination, therefore, I think it has been underrated. Conversely, I found Berlin to be quite overrated. Although the dichotomy between East and West Berlin are still discernible, the whole city seemed to be under construction and so, many of its own destinations, limited.

What do you believe to be the biggest factor in being a successful company?

Staying ahead of the curve is necessary to any success. The world is ever changing, which means they are always new obstacles that require new solutions. Asking the right questions in order to solve those problems will lead any company to success.

How have you changed/grown since working for your current company?

Abbey Road Programs has given me an avenue to teach my content - history - in the places which they occurred. Transcending the classroom to the real world, I have realized how much more important it is to uncover stories of the past rather than simply covering them. Connecting to the people that made history can have a profound impact on students that relate to their life.

What unique qualities does your company possess?

My company can adapt to demand, learn and grow from previous experiences, and it loves what it does. Other companies may possess one or two of these qualities, but rarely does one have the ability to do all three. As a result, Abbey Road Programs will stay on the frontier of travel-study programs. With their experience and mindset, they will only continue to be a premier education service.

Describe a time when you felt especially proud to be part of your current team.

Last summer my colleague and I took fifteen students across Europe in approximately two weeks. At times I took the stage and taught the students on site, while at other times he took the stage. It was in the latter's moments that I sat back and watched the students learn. This may seem to be a rudimentary process, but it is truly powerful to watch students learn. As a teacher, I never have time to sit back and observe that process of empowerment.

What is the best story you've heard from a return student?

At their young age it is rare that the students are able to reflect on their experiences and connect significant historical patterns, the bigger picture, to their own lives. Last summer, while sitting at the Prague airport as the beginning of our return journey home, I had a student reflect in such a manner. She remarked that there are many unintended consequences of conflict, and that it is difficult to get out of that cycle. "Sometimes you have to decide if you want peace or justice," she said.