The lack of education is something I observed while running educational tours for North American students in Europe. There were no standards to speak of. The great differentiator was always the educator(s). I had groups of wealthy kids who brought their parents' credit card with them and treated Europe like a giant shopping spree, as did their teachers, with zero interest in local culture. On occasion, I also had small groups from underserved communities who had scrimped and saved for years to come over and were hugely knowledgeable and interested in everything... Once, I met a kid from Kansas City who spoke perfect unaccented French yet had never set foot in Europe or Quebec. Another group was so unstoppable I split the sole of my boot (!) traipsing around Paris with them because as soon as we were done with the official schedule, they wanted to go explore and I was more than happy to oblige. Meanwhile, the Canadians--all of them from state schools--were always so polite, thoughtful, and curious regardless of where they came from. You could sense they were getting a better kind of education (and likely parenting) across the board. Lastly, I have no plan to ever move back to the US, at least not until there's gun control and universal health care. Hopefully you still have my email address? If not, jot it down from my bio and please do let me know if you're ever in Europe. I wish you every strength with the pandemic, it's hell for health care workers worldwide but America's situation is... I have no words. Take care and thanks for stopping by. ;-)

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