About the trip

The Canadian-American Center offers a yearly field-trip to Canada’s capital city, Ottawa. This trip is an exciting opportunity for UMaine students to travel to a foreign country and experience Canadian geography, history, culture, politics, and social identity first-hand! This year’s trip will take place November 3-5, 2017.

This year is also Canada 150 – the 150th anniversary of the founding of modern Canada. Come join us as we explore the official narratives and histories during this year of celebration, but also alternative and critical perspectives about the very nature of Canada and what it means to be Canadian. In short, it’s complicated, much like Canada itself. We have been fortunate to receive sponsorship by Ottawa (De)Tours, who are covering the full cost of the historical walking tour! 

We aim to make this trip affordable. The registration fee ($175) covers all transportation costs*, entry fees* to museums and historical sites, and hotel accommodations at Les Suites Ottawa. Students are responsible for their own meal costs.

Join the Facebook event to connect with other participants!

 

*Cost and fees associated with “optional” or unscheduled events and transportation are the participant’s responsibility.

Preparing for Travel

Before you leave:

  1. Make sure you have a valid passport or passport card.
    • If you need to apply for a passport or passport card, consult the Dept. of State website for more information.
    • If you are not a US citizen, please ensure you have proper documentation to cross into Canada and return the US. Contact the Office of International Programs for assistance.
    • A record of certain civil or criminal offenses may prevent you from crossing the border. 
    • The University of Maine bears no responsibility for refunding trip costs to participants who are refused entry to Canada for any reason.
  2. Register online by Sunday, October 15, 11:59PM.
  3. Estimate your expenses and exchange enough money into Canadian dollars before leaving. If planning to use a credit or debit card, inform your bank of your upcoming trip to Canada. Be aware of any foreign transaction fees you may incur by using a debit/credit card in Canada.
  4. Find out whether your health insurance will cover you in the event of a medical emergency in Canada.
  5. Find out what extra charges, if any, your mobile phone carrier may charge if you send or receive calls/texts/data in Canada. We recommend putting your phone on Airplane mode if you do not want to incur international data & roaming costs.
  6. Think about whether you might want to save money by using the full kitchen included in your Les Suites room, instead of eating all meals at restaurants.
  7. Do bring the following items:
    • Valid passport/passport card
    • Cash for meals, souvenirs, and evening activities in Canadian dollars
    • Health insurance card
    • Medication if needed (clearly marked with original prescription labels)
    • Snacks and entertainment for the long bus ride to and from Ottawa
    • Suitable clothing, including warm layers and comfortable walking shoes. Early November temperatures in Ottawa range from 30-50 degrees Fahrenheit but can drop below freezing!
  8. DO NOT bring weapons or tobacco products. Attempting to cross the border with these items could result in you being left behind!
  9. Arrange to be dropped off at the Canadian-American Center (154 College Ave) at 7:00AM on Friday, November 3. Otherwise, you must park in the Steam Plant lot or another nearby lot for which you have a valid parking pass.

While you are in Canada:

  1. If there is an emergency in Canada, dial 9-1-1.
  2. Remember that any charges for laundry, phone calls, room service, etc. at the hotel are YOUR responsibility.
  3. The legal age to consume alcohol in Ottawa is 19 years. If you choose to consume alcohol, do so responsibly. Please be aware that crossing back into the US with alcohol in your body is considered possession by consumption, and therefore is illegal if you are under 21 years of age!
  4. Keep receipts for anything you purchase in Canada and know how much you spent during your trip, in case you are asked to declare your purchases at the border.
  5. Have your passport ready when we return to the border. Crossing back into the US entails a very strict and detailed customs check. Be prepared to answer any questions you are asked honestly.

Itinerary

Friday, November 3

 7:00AM: Meet at Canadian-American Center (154 College Ave)

 7:30AM: Bus departs from Canadian-American Center

 1:00PM: Stop for lunch in Magog, QC

 4:00-5:00PM: Arrive at Les Suites in Ottawa

Saturday, November 4

 8:30AM: Depart Les Suites for driving tour of Ottawa

 9:15AM: Arrive at Parliament 

 9:30AM: Parliament guided tour

10:45AM: Depart Parliament

11:00AM: Arrive at Canadian Museum of History. Private meeting with museum officials.

12:00PM: Lunch break in Canadian Museum of History cafeteria

12:30PM: Individual exploration of Canadian Museum of History

 2:00PM: Depart Canadian Museum of History for Parliament Hill

 2:15PM: (De)Tours alternative history walking tours: Nostalgia and Narratives 

 4:30PM: Bus departs Parliament Hill for Les Suites

 5:00PM-10:00PM: Optional evening activities, TBA

Sunday, November 5

 9:00AM: Meet at Les Suites lobby for check-out and departure

 1:00PM: Stop for lunch in Magog, QC

 8:00-9:00PM: Arrive in Orono

 

Itinerary is subject to change.

Trip sponsors

Ottawa (De)Tours

Lodging Information

Les Suites Hotel Ottawa

We will be staying at Les Suites Ottawa. Students will be accommodated in Premier Two-Bedroom Suites at quadruple occupancy. Rooming requests (groups of 2, 3 or 4 students) must be submitted at time of registration, and will be subject to availability.

Description

Our Premiere Two Bedroom Suites at 1000 sq. ft. are newly renovated and offer a queen size bed in the first bedroom and a queen size bed in the second bedroom with the double pull out couch in the living room which is separate from the bedrooms. There are two flat screen TV’s in each suite (42” in the living room, and 32” in the bedroom). They feature plush duvets, pillow-top mattresses, and upgraded bathroom products. Plus, as with all our suites, you get the convenience of a fully equipped kitchen and ensuite laundry facility. Our business amenities turn a suite into the centre of efficiency. They come with a working desk and chair, cordless speaker phones, wireless high-speed Internet, CD alarm clock and an in-room safe large enough to hold a laptop.