From Feb. 19-24, the Prep Guidance and College Counseling Department will host a West Coast College Tour in California, open to students of all grade levels.

The annual college tour, led by guidance counselor Jessie Bayag, offers students an opportunity to visit schools of different locations, sizes, and interests to give them a taste of the different types of universities around the country. In the past, the department has hosted trips to the Northeast and Mideastern coasts, and plan to rotate each area every three years.

“By opening the trip to underclassmen, the idea is for students to have the chance to visit all areas of the country before senior year when they have to decide where to apply and attend college,” said Bayag.

Depending on expressed interest, the group will visit colleges from a preselected list of 14: University of California Berkeley, University of California Davis, University of California Los Angeles, California Polytechnic State University, University of San Francisco, University of California Santa Barbara, Claremont Mckenna College, Harvey Mudd College, Occidental College, Pepperdine University, Pomona College, Santa Clara University, University of Southern California, and Stanford University.

“We want to take students to places they wouldn’t usually visit with their families, while introducing them to smaller schools rather than just the big name brands,” said guidance counselor Connie Ernsberger.

The tour is organized and directed by the Education First travel company, starting in San Francisco and ending in Los Angeles. Not only will participants visit universities, but also certain tourist attractions throughout California, such as the Golden Gate Bridge and Rodeo Drive.

“I participated in the tour last year and am planning to again this time around,” said junior Andrea Baumgartner, “I think it’s a great way to visit many colleges in a short span of time and get a feel for student life on campus.”

The trip will cost roughly $2,000: including airfare, transportation, hotel accommodations, meals as specified, security, guided tours, and all gratuities. Families of students interested may enroll online at efexploreamerica.com/enroll using the tour number 1868485ST or by phone at 1-888-333-9756 by Dec. 16. For more information, contact bayj@gulliverschools.org.

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