It will be my pleasure to be able to share with you many of my experiences as a tour group leader on various programs, including several that cater to seniors. I am Jim Becker, a retired teacher from the University of Northern Iowa; I spent 35 years teaching French and Spanish and coaching.
I hold a certificate as a Travel Agent having passed the national exam although I have never practiced in an office. I simply "wanted to know what a travel agent knows" so I might be a better tour group leader, as well as for my own personal travels. I hold a BA from Cornell College in Iowa; my MA is from the Sorbonne in Paris and I spent two years in a PhD program at Ohio State University studying Foreign Language Education.
I wish to share from my many experiences and help make your travel more pleasing and comfortable. I have been a tour group leader for a dozen Elderhostel programs in France (now called Road Scholar) focusing on Food and Wine, two Smithsonian Associates programs in France with an emphasis on Paris and Provence, and a Scandinavian Seminars trip to England and France called France and England: Friends or Foes? Each catered to seniors who love to travel and who consider themselves to be lifelong learners.
In addition I have led ten trips to France each time with 45 high school students. I have traveled to South America (Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Ecuador) and to Japan with 200 educators as a Fulbright scholar. On trips to the Dominican Republic, Mexico, Guatemala and Ecuador I served as a dental assistant on Christian Medical and Dental Society programs. Each trip has taught me a great deal about travel and I wish to share my experiences that may enhance your travels and make them more enjoyable.
While I have mentioned three specific programs for seniors above I will attempt to bring into focus other programs that you may wish to consider. The Internet is a wonderful means of exploring and searching for programs that fit your interests and pocketbook.
I invite you to access my language website and travel website for more information about my life interests.
University of Northern Iowa