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Final Article on Confederation Internationale des Etudiants Deals With Travel Department--Habicht and Foote Will Lead Harvard Groups


The following is the last of the series of four articles written for the Crimson by Mr. Frantz Deak, vice-president of the Confederation Internationale des Etudiants. In the other three articles Mr. Deak has dealt with the history, organization and some of the activities of the C. I. E. In the following article he will describe the most important of the committees under the C. I. E., namely, the Travel Department.

The leaders of the C. I. E. were aware from the very start of the movement that the best way to eliminate existing animosity and create an atmosphere of good will and mutual understanding among the students of different countries, is to bring people into personal contact, so that they may learn to know one another. In European countries and I suppose in the United States also, the intellectuals form the basis of the national life. The students of today will in a few years be the leaders in the political, economic, cultural, and social life of their countries. They will, therefore, have a considerable influence in the formation of public opinion and tendency in every manifestation of the life of their nations.

Create Travel Bureau

Thus it may easily be understood why we see the chief activity of the C. I. E. directed toward bringing students together by means of student exchange, student tours, summer and winter camps, international student conferences and so forth. These student exchanges and tours were organized in the beginning by the National Student Unions. As this new migration of students increased, it became necessary to coordinate their various activities; so the Warsaw Congress in 1924 decided to create a permanent Travel Bureau in London.

Our London office took up not only the matter of coordination of these student tours then existing in Europe, but immediately began to investigate how it would be possible to facilitate them. Considering the bad financial situation in Europe, many students would not be able to travel if there were no decided reduction of expenses. With every dollar and every pound sterling which was cut off from their traveling expenses, just so many more students are able to take part in the beneficial work and gain a personal contact with their foreign fellow-students.

Fares Are Reduced

Thus the Travel Bureau brought about reductions in rail-road fares and in visas. Through the intervention of the League of Nations Committee on Intellectual Cooperation, student groups composed of from six to ten persons travel in Europe today with a 50 per cent reduction on rail-road fares. We were even able to secure a reduction of from 33 to 50 per cent for individual travelers in some of the countries. Our attempts to obtain reduced rates on visas which otherwise amount to a considerable sum, were also successful. Most of the European governments grant visas gratis or on a reduced rate to our students.

Our last Council meeting decided to introduce an International Student Identity Card. This document, issued by the C. I. E. and distributed by the National Unions is a kind of student passport. It serves as an introduction to the foreign student bodies, and, as it bears the approval of the League Committee on Intellectual Cooperation, we hope that all reductions which we have so far obtained will be granted upon presentation of this Identity Card.

Guests Teach Hosts Language

The Travel Bureau also takes charge of all kinds of individual intercourse. In 1925 it arranged about 1000 correspondence exchanges among students throughout the World. The idea of tuition visits proved very popular. A student of one country by this system is a guest of a family of another country, teaching them his language in return for his room and board. Many such visits have been arranged through our London office between Great Britain and the Continent.

Since last summer the Travel Bureau itself has been organizing student camps and tours. One of these camps was organized last summer in Denmark, and during the Christmas vacation winter sport camps were conducted by the Travel Bureau, one in Switzerland one in Austria. This summer the camps will be near Geneva.

The first inter-continental tour was an entire success. The tour was conducted in January and February of this year and was arranged for 157 South African students. The itinerary included visits to a number of European countries with visits to Germany and Switzerland optional. The cost of the entire trip for each person, including the ocean trip from Cape Town and back, was slightly over $300.

400 Americans Will Tour

A similar inter-continental tour is planned during next summer for 400 American students. The proposition was made by Mr. John Rothschild, President of the Open Road, who took over the organization in the United States. After the founding of the American Student Federation an agreement with the Open Road was reached where-by the tours are conducted under the auspices of the American Federation. The C. I. E. instituted a special bureau for this tour in Paris called the American Travel Department. All European Student Unions welcome the American students, and through their effective cooperation 12 itineraries have been worked out. In parties of not more than 12, under the leadership of European fellow students, the American travellers will have the best opportunity to get acquainted with the countries which they visit.

Two Harvard Groups

Two groups are already being formed at Harvard, one under the leadership of Max Habicht, a special student at the Law School and the other under H. W. Foote '27. Habicht, who is active in the C. I. E. will lead a groups to practically all the Baltic--States, also including visits to London, Paris, and Geneva. Foote will take the Danube tour, including South Germany, Austria, Czecho-Slovakia, Hungary, and the Balkans as far as Constitinople. I should like to emphasize that all these tours are entirely different from the much-advertised and steriotyped tours of profit-making organizations. Everything is done by and for students and the aim is always that which I have pointed out in my preceding articles.

If we summarize the above matters we must come to the conclusion that the C. I. E. chose a restricted practical activity in order to promote good will and understanding among the younger generation. Let me close in showing you briefly the real importance of this movement.

Brings People Together

When you look at Europe, you see two important tendencies affecting classes, nations, and races. On the one hand you find very strong movements to separate peoples. We can mention a few of those, for instance, the growing nationalism of the Far East; the political revindication of the countries lost in the World War: the problem of national minorities in Central and Eastern Europe; the Soviet Russia's policy, and so on.

But on the otherhand, you see much more general tendencies to bring people together. The most important of these is undoubtedly the League of Nations where 55 nations are trying to find peaceful solution of their internal and international difficulties. Whether the work has been well done or not is open to argument, but the movement is but very young and it is the duty of our generation to prepare the field and form the basis for this activity. I see the importance of our movement on this point, and in the difficult undertaking for which we are certainly responsible to the future, we would welcome the cooperation of the American students The traditions of the United States will help to bring about this cooperation, for this country has always taken a leading part in promoting peace and understanding between classes, nations, and races: and this will be, I am sure, for the benefit of all nations of the world.

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