Sending your child to summer camp abroad can be both nerve wracking — and exciting! Every year at Pali Adventures, campers come from over 42 states and as many countries to enjoy a summer full of fun and adventure. This diverse environment fosters a deeper cultural understanding and provides a truly enriching experience for all campers.
In recent years, there has been an uptick in families from Europe and other countries sending their children to international summer camps in order to help them gain exposure to different cultures, languages and other ways of living. If you live outside the USA, your child will have a great time attending a summer camp in Southern California where the climate is relatively mild and there is plenty of fresh air, lakes, and outdoor activities!
1) Visa & Passports
After you register for international summer camp, make sure you apply for a passport and/or visa with plenty of time before your camp session starts. To err on the safe side, check with your local government agencies to determine timelines and processes, and give yourself ample time to complete necessary steps. If needed, there are ways to expedite the passport process, though this may incur additional fees.
International campers typically travel on B-2 visas, which is the visa that most temporary visitors to the United States use. Visit the US Department of State website for all of the necessary details, including how to apply. The Visa Waiver Program (VWP) allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the U.S. without a visa for visits that are 90 days or less, as long as they meet certain requirements. Pali Adventures is unable to assist in the acquisition of a passport or visa.
2) Travel Arrangements for International Summer Camp
Campers traveling to Pali will need to book their own flights. It’s best to try and book direct, if possible, in order to eliminate layovers or the challenges of making a connecting flight. Upon arrival at the Los Angeles International airport, someone from Pali Adventures will be there to greet your child and a bus will be waiting to BRING THEM TO CAMP.
If booking a flight that has multiple layovers is the only option, talk to your child ahead of time to ensure they are comfortable and confident enough to navigate the airport(s). Many airlines provide special assistance for minors travelling alone. While it’s likely your child will experience some jetlag, Pali Adventures happily allows international campers enrolled in sessions 2-8 to come a day early in order to adjust, at no additional charge.
3) Language Barrier
Summer camp in the USA for international students can feel intimidating, especially if your child isn’t fluent in English. However, being in an immersive environment can help children to significantly improve their proficiency in a short period of time. While Pali Adventures does require a minimum English-level proficiency, some counselors are multilingual.
All of our camp counselors and campers at Pali Adventures speak the language of fun, so even if your child is shy to speak English, they will undoubtedly come out of their shell and make new friends!
4) Packing for Camp
It may be tempting to pack multiple suitcases for international summer camp, especially if your child will be attending for the entire summer. However, packing 2-3 weeks’ worth of camp clothing will likely be enough since laundry services are provided for campers who are staying 3+ weeks. Likewise, kids tend to re-wear their favorite pieces of clothing multiple times, so it’s better to PACK LIGHT THAN TO OVER PACK!
The camp store at Pali Adventures is also available for campers to pick up souvenir items and Pali branded items, as well as any necessary items that they may have forgotten at home, or items that were too bulky to pack such as bedding. As you pack, be sure to check the weather forecast to ensure that you bring the right clothing for Southern California weather. You can reference the Pali packing list for a detailed breakdown of what to pack.
Many campers coming from outside of the U.S. have never experienced anything like Pali Adventures summer camp. Visit the Pali website or head over to our camp Youtube channel to see what summer holds in store. International summer camp is the perfect opportunity to learn a new language, to gain greater cultural understanding, and to make friends from all over the world — while having the time of your life!
For more tips on how to prepare for summer camp abroad, visit the PALI BLOG.