Quebec FAQ by YZ6bgS05

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									Quebec FAQ
 1. Do I need a passport?
 No. You need a picture ID (student ID is fine, as is a driver’s license) and your birth
 certificate. If you have a current passport, you may use that instead of the ID and certificate.
 2. What does my birth certificate look like?
 It is typically a 5”x7”-ish or a full piece of paper with an OFFICIAL, RAISED SEAL and a
 signature. It is NOT the paper with your cute little inky footprints.
 3. What do I do if I can’t find my birth certificate?
 You must contact or visit the city hall in the city where you were born and request a new one.
 Different cities may charge different amounts. A photocopy is not acceptable…the copy you
 get must have an OFFICIAL, RAISED SEAL and a signature.
 4. How long does it take to get a birth certificate?
 Plan on this taking as much as two months, depending on where you were born, if you’re
 communicating by phone, email or snail-mail. BUT, if you go to the city hall in person, you
 can usually get it on the same day (and can take it home with you!)
 5. My mom is very concerned about the school holding my passport or birth
     certificate. Do I have to give it to you?
 Yes. We will ask for these items a few weeks prior to leaving and they will be locked in the
 school vault. They will be with Mrs. Carr or Mrs. Hodgdon at all times in Canada. You will
 get your documents back on the way home from Canada, and you are responsible for getting
 them back to your parents.


 Crossing the Border
 6. What is it like?
 The border patrol typically boards the bus and asks for our documents. We ask you to be
 quiet while they are on the bus. They may question a few people, everyone, or nobody. They
 may search every bag, a few bags, or no bags. Typically this does not take more than half an
 hour, but it may be several hours, depending on if the border patrol decides to search anyone.
 Just as if you were going through airport security, do NOT make jokes about bombs,
 illegal items or anything else of a sensitive nature. Border Patrol does NOT think this is
 funny, and it will delay our departure...
 7. What happens if someone brings something illegal on the trip?
 If the border patrol finds an illegal item or substance, you WILL be detained in jail. There is
 nothing that Sacopee Valley High School can do to assist you. We will contact your parents,
 and leave you behind. It will be up to your parents to hire an international attorney and come
 get you. You will also be subject to all school rules while we are in Canada and will have to
 answer for any misbehavior on your return.
 8. What things am I not allowed to bring?
 Border patrol will give you a list of items you are not to bring across the border. If you
 question an item, leave it home. You can not reclaim confiscated items. Do not attempt to
 bring tobacco, alcohol or illegal drugs into Canada. Do not bring any very valuable items that
 would be a hardship for you if lost or stolen.
 9. If I have had legal problems in the past, will I be allowed to pass into Canada?
 Your entrance into Canada will depend on the exact nature of your legal record. You will
 need to see Officer Taft and he will look into that and be able to tell you.
The Bus Ride
10. How long does it take to get to Quebec City?
Typically 7-8 hours.
11. What kind of bus are we taking?
We have hired two charter coaches that each have a bathroom.
12. Can we bring food on the bus?
Yes. Please clean up after yourself.
13. Are we stopping on the way to Canada?
Yes. Once at the border and once for lunch. We typically eat at Burger King or McDonald’s
and you are expected to pay for your own lunch. The restaurant will accept American
currency but will probably give you Canadian change. We do NOT take bathroom breaks,
but there are bathrooms on the bus. Make sure you go before we leave, and at the restaurant.
Otherwise, use the bathroom on the bus…

14. What are we allowed to bring on the bus?
Bring snacks and drinks, playing cards, appropriate movies on DVD, travel games,
headphones, and any other thing you would bring on a car ride. The bus is equipped with a
DVD player or you can bring your own portable player. Be aware that anything you bring,
you must carry…and the bus does not often drop us off in front of the hostel. NO SVHS
LAPTOPS WILL GO TO CANADA FOR ANY REASON.


Health
15. What happens if I become ill or injured?
Before we leave, we will ask that you give us your insurance information so that we can
provide that to the hospital, should you need to visit.

16. I have to take medication. Can I carry that with me?
You may carry medications for which you have a prescription; the prescription must be
clearly labeled on the bottle or container. Scheduled medications should be held by the
chaperones or the nurse. If you are not sure about your medication, ask Mrs. Carr or Mrs.
Hodgdon.

17. What if I have a headache/stomachache or other ache or pain and I just want
    Tylenol or Tums? The nurse or one of the chaperones can give that to you.

18. Are there drugstores near the hostel?
Yes. If you need cough drops or feminine items, you can get those there. Mrs. Carr and Mrs.
Matthews will also have some of those things, should you need them.

Clothing and Supplies
19. What should I bring?
Mrs. Matthews will provide you with a comprehensive list of items to bring. She knows what
she’s talking about, so bring what she says to bring! Of particular importance are a HAT,
MITTENS or GLOVES, a warm COAT, and BOOTS, not sneakers! Wool socks, Long johns
or Under Armor are a good idea as well. It is cold in Quebec. It is very cold in Quebec. It is
super cold in Quebec. Be prepared or you WILL be miserable.
20. Are there things I should NOT bring?
Yes. Do not bring expensive items that would be a hardship to you if they are lost or stolen.
Obviously, you must not have any illegal substances, nor should you have any kind of
alcohol or tobacco. The hostel does not allow you to use your own pillow or blanket for
health reasons, so if you bring those for the bus, they must stay in your footlocker in the
hostel and not on the bed. Avoid bringing an excess of “stuff”, since you are responsible for
it, you have a limited amount of space, and you have to carry it to and from the bus, which
may be parked several blocks from the hostel.


Money
21. How much money should I bring?
Plan to bring around $100. You can bring less but know that you will have to cover lunch on
the first day, breakfast and lunch on the second and third days, and supper on the way home.
22. What will I need to spend my money on?
Lunch the first, second, and third days, breakfast the second and third day, and supper back
in the USA on the way home the third day, so plan for six meals at around $10 each. Some
students eat a big breakfast the third day, eat snacks back on the bus and buy supper on the
way home. It’s up to you. You may want to bring extra money for souvenirs and keepsakes,
or pocket money for the pool table and snacks at the hostel.
23. Where can I change my American currency to Canadian?
You can change some of your American currency in the US at a bank or you can use a
Canadian ATM or the exchange near the hostel. It is typically less expensive to change
money IN Canada rather than here at home. We’ll check on the exchange rate before we go.
24. Do stores in Quebec accept American currency?
Many do, some do not. Plan accordingly. Also, although there may be a favorable exchange
rate for American currency, retailers in Canada typically change money 1:1 and give you
Canadian change. That means your US dollar will not go as far.
25. Can I use Canadian money in the US?
In the border towns like Jackman, yes. We may or may not stop in Jackman. If you have
currency when you cross the border, plan to use it in Skowhegan where we stop for supper,
they will accept Canadian money. Otherwise, you can exchange it at a local bank (if you
have a substantial amount, or you can keep it as a souvenir or use it the next time you visit
Canada. Canadian coins under $1 are generally accepted in the US.

Electronics and Phones
26. I would like to bring my very expensive laptop/camera/iPhone/iPod. Am I allowed to
    bring it?      Yes, but be aware that you should probably NOT bring anything that
    would be a hardship should you lose it. There are lockers in the hostel rooms for you to
    lock up valuables, but you will need to provide your own lock. NO SVHS LAPTOPS
    WILL GO TO CANADA FOR ANY REASON.
27. How much does it cost to make phone calls and texts from Canada to the U.S.?
This depends entirely upon your cell phone plan. Many carriers charge upwards of $1 per
connection and $1 per minute for phone calls and $1 for each text. It is a VERY good idea to
call your carrier before you leave and verify the charges for Canada. When you call, get the
name of the person you speak with as well as their operator number so that if you need to
dispute charges later, you can specifically reference the phone conversation you had.
28. Are there outlets in the rooms or bathroom?
Yes. There are several outlets in each room and several in each bathroom. You will not need
special adapters for your appliances. We strongly suggest that you share appliances with
others as you can easily overload a circuit. Also, sharing will keep you from having to carry
several appliances.

The Hostel
29.Whose room will I be in, and do I get to choose?
Yes and no. You will fill out a roommate request form and I will do my best to honor it.
There are no guarantees - we do not know until approximately 2 weeks before the trip which
rooms and how many beds we will be assigned. Some rooms have 4 beds, some have 8.
30. Are the rooms co-ed?
No. Girls room with girls and boys with boys. There are obviously NO exceptions to this
rule. Also, you are not allowed to even enter a room of the opposite gender. This is stated in
your behavior contract/permission slip. We do try to separate girls’ rooms and boys’ rooms
by hallway, but again, that also depends upon the configuration of rooms we are assigned. In
general, all rooms will have a same-gender chaperone.
30. When will I find out my room assignment?
When we arrive at the hostel, and not sooner.
31. Can I have food in my room?
No. The hostel expressly forbids food in your room. There are snack and drink machines in
the common areas only on the first floor. You can eat food and have drinks there.
32. Can I use my own blankets and pillows?
No. For health reasons, the hostel does not allow you to use your own bed linens or pillows.
The hostel does provide you with all sheets, blankets, and pillows that you need. The rooms
are very warm and you can potentially get extra blankets should you need them.
33. Does the hostel have internet access?
Yes. The cost to access the internet is around $2 per day. You pay for a password at the front
desk and can log into the internet on one of their PC’s. However, you will be very busy and
not spending much time in the hostel, so it is not likely that you will have much opportunity.
34. If I bring my own laptop, can I access the internet for free?
No. You will still need to pay for access.
35. How many bathrooms are there? Are they co-ed?                There are several bathrooms
on each floor, with multiple stalls and private showers. They are not co-ed.
36. Does the hostel have a policy about noise?
Yes. Quiet hours are after 10 p.m. and will be enforced by your chaperones and the hostel.
You don’t need to be asleep (although we suggest it! You’ll be busy!) but you do need to be
aware of the other people in your room and in the hostel in general.
37. Is the hostel safe?
Yes. The hostel is a very safe place, otherwise we would not stay there. However, it IS like a
hotel in that you will be sharing common areas, bathrooms, and hallways with people you do
not know. You must wear pajamas when you leave your room, keep your room door closed
and always carry your key. As with any place you visit, use caution with people you don’t
know.

								
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