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People to People

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Has anyone's child participated in the people to people program. If so, I would like to know what you and your child thought of the program.

My dd received an "invitation" to the information meeting. They refer to the England/France travel/study program. I looked it up and it is 14 days long. She is in 5th grade. This particular program is for 5th/6th graders. I am not sure if they send invites to everyone or not (and if not, how she got selected). My dd wants to go to the meeting--although I am not sure that she would be able to travel for 2 weeks without me. She hasn't even asked to go to overnight camp yet. But, she wants to know what it is about so we will go to the meeting. If it is extremely expensive, it will be out of the question, but we will see.

Amy
post #2 of 11
My niece did this 2 yrs in a row. She did the European one one year and the Hawaii one the next year. The Europe one, they went to England, Ireland, Amsterdam, France, and I think one or two other places. If I remember right, they're about $3000. Parents aren't allowed to chaperone (not sure why.) She loved it and had a blast.
post #3 of 11
I did it in 8th grade. We went to Australia for 3 weeks and it was a really great experience.
post #4 of 11
I did it in 12th grade. We went to the USSR, and it was a great experience.
post #5 of 11
Rain got invitations from them, too, but it was really expensive and we found their rhetoric kind of annoying.

When she did a year abroad in Russia through NSLI-Y (which was free to us) and started talking to other kids who had done a lot of study abroad, she found that People to People had a poor reputation... because it was basically a tourism program, even though it tried to make itself seem like something more. So, if that's what you're looking for there are lots of choices (without the 'you're so special' hype), but if you want something more in-depth there are those sorts of programs too.

If you want to know the cost before the meeting you can find out... I think this is the program you're talking about - click on Apply for the price. From my city it would be $5000.
post #6 of 11
My friends 5th grade daughter just got an invitation as well. She's not sure how you get recommended in the first place either, but other women in our book group have children who've gone on their trips and enjoyed it. They assured her that if her DD doesn't go this year, she can go at any time--and indeed, so can anyone else who applies, is accepted, and can pay for it! 3 kids in her grade received invitations.

I was guessing that they pick the names of a few kids from "feeder" schools that are either on the honor roll or some some such.
post #7 of 11
Never participated but I have had the genuine misfortune of being in the same travel locations with those groups far too many times. DH and I traveled internationally a fair bit before we became parents, usually over the summer months.

We were truly appalled by the groups we encountered. They were poorly supervised and were a blatant and embarrassing example of the ugly American tourist (ugly refers to behavior not appearance in case folks have never heard that phrase...). It was not just a simple matter of "kids being kids". It was just truly awful--and this was not a single incident. Over the years we must have run across them nearly a dozen times in different locations and the experience was always the same.

For that kind of money, I'd say do something cool and inspiring with the family.

Holli
post #8 of 11
My son was "chosen" as well, and we had been quietly just independently homeschooling for a long time when that happened - there's no way he might have been recommended by anyone who could have meant anything to the organization. Like Dar, we were put off by the rhetoric, but I have to say they were awfully good at it - they really made it sound like an honor among elite students, which had to be just hype. They made it sound like a lot more than just a travel tour, but it really didn't feel like more than that. As it happened, we had just come back from a trip almost exactly like the one they were offering, so the costs were fresh in our mind, and we felt their price out of line. If a child didn't have an opportunity to do that kind of traveling with his parents, though, I can see where it could make sense. It's nice to hear people have had good experiences - but I do wonder what kind of real supervision there would be. Lillian
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the input. So far, we have only found a few people who were sent 'invitations'. They are all from the gifted program that my dd is in. So, I was assuming that they pulled from that list and maybe the state's testing or something. We feel that she is too young to go this year, but will go to the meeting to find out more. I know that there are lots of programs out there, and that she will want to do something similar in the future so I guess I will start learning about them now. We also plan on traveling internationally as the kids get a bit older.

Thanks again. I am glad to hear that the people who have gone have enjoyed themselves.

Amy
post #10 of 11
My 14 yr old DD was "invited" on a European trip as well. DH did some research on the organization and encountered a lot of dissatisfied parents. The trip was extremely expensive and we opted not to even attend the informational meeting after all the negative feedback we read.
post #11 of 11
My ds received an invite too, I'm assuming his name was given by friends who traveled a couple years before. We went to the meeting, and it was somewhat of a hard sell, but they made it seem as if there was a tough selection process including letters of recommendation and an interview. The kids are "selected" and become "ambassadors". The fee for the tour is "tuition". We decided together that ds was not ready for the massive amount of fund raising he would have to do (the trip was 3 weeks in Europe for ~$6500). And decided to check it out again next year. They called our house no less than 10 times in the week after the meeting. I finally took the call and told them we would not be doing it this year, even though the person on the other end was somewhat pushy. However, the kids I know that have traveled previously were happy with their experience. The extra year will give us more time to research it a bit.

Anyway, they do make it sound really selective. Not sure it really is.
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