Community Message Boards
Results 1 to 20 of 20

Thread: People To People Student Ambassadors: Anyone have experience with this program?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    768

    People To People Student Ambassadors: Anyone have experience with this program?

    DD (7th grader) received a letter today from People To People (student ambassador program). It stated she had been nominated for their program which involves travel and study in England, Wales and Ireland in 2006. The form and website look very official but this is the first we've heard of her "nomination". Maybe I'm too skeptical but it just strikes me as odd that the first contact would be in this form.

    Has anyone had any experience with this program (good or bad--I'd be happy to hear either)? We are "invited" to an informational meeting in November but I really wouldn't want her to get excited if it's a scam.

    BTW, she'd be just 13 at the time of travel. Doesn't this seem sort of young for a travel and study program?

    HELP!!!

    Debbie
    Unless you oppose the death penalty, don't tell me you're pro-life.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Washington, D.C.
    Posts
    3,457
    I don't have personal knowledge of this program, but I believe this was the program my boss's son participated in this summer. I arranged everything so I'll have to look back at the file. If it was, it was legitimate, but I don't know if his son enjoyed it or not. He is a bit older, though (16). I'll let you know tomorrow.
    Now, I don't know about you, but with me a feeling of fitness and well-being always lends extra zest to the cocktail hour ~ Christopher Hitchens

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    768
    Quote Originally Posted by jtoepfert100
    I don't have personal knowledge of this program, but I believe this was the program my boss's son participated in this summer. I arranged everything so I'll have to look back at the file. If it was, it was legitimate, but I don't know if his son enjoyed it or not. He is a bit older, though (16). I'll let you know tomorrow.
    I would really appreciate your help. I'm trying not to be too cynical but she does seem awfully young.
    Unless you oppose the death penalty, don't tell me you're pro-life.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    San Ramon, CA
    Posts
    12,858
    It is legit. My son was recommeded for it in 5th grade but due to some issues we didn't pursue it. Its EXPENSIVE and they offer NO scholarships. They suggest you 'fund-raise' if necessary. The informational meeting is interesting, they then do personal interviews with each child that is still interested.

    I know someone who did it through soccer (they have an athletic side as well) and her daughter enjoyed it.
    Democrats are Sexy. Who has ever heard of a good piece of elephant?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    19,680
    I was an exchange student through Youth for Understanding (YFU) way back in 1982 and was active in my high school's exchange program. I remember the People to People organization from that experience. I'm not familiar with the practice of nominating students for exchanges - we had to proactively seek them, but that doesn't mean anything. Have you spoken with a local field representative?

    ETA: If this is something your daughter is interested in, you might want to check out a variety of options for overseas programs, rather than just the one that contacted you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    768
    Tyra--It's interesting that price wasn't mentioned in the letter or on the website. I googled it and got a $5000 figure-- !

    Canice--We can reserve a spot at the informational meeting but I wanted to get some feedback before even going that far. I did send an email to find out who nominated her. I hadn't thought about checking with other programs. That's a good idea.

    I'm sure I'm overreacting but this sort of caught me off guard!
    Unless you oppose the death penalty, don't tell me you're pro-life.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    San Ramon, CA
    Posts
    12,858
    That price seems right, 3 years ago it was $4000 to go to Australia. It would be a great opportunity for the right child. I had reservations about Alex going away for so long since he is a picky eater (and would prefer to starve then eat something he didn't think he would like). He was accepted conditionally (they had some maturity issues which I didn't think were founded, I was more concerned about the eating). I asked him if it would be more disappointing to drop out now or at the end after he went to the classes etc. He thought it would be more disappointing to drop out at the end, so we didn't persue it.

    I still get an invite every year for him (and I never did figure out how they got his name).
    Democrats are Sexy. Who has ever heard of a good piece of elephant?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    19,680
    Tyra, one of my best friends is such a picky eater, all he ate as a teenager was Top Ramen. He still gives me a bad time because I refuse to have him over for dinner or cook anything for him at all. Anyhow, when we were in high school he spent his junior year in Germany, and boy did we wonder how he'd make out for 10 months! He was fine, he lived off potato chips and Marlboro's.

    Oh, and about the cost: I went to the Netherlands for a summer (don't recall: 6 or 8 weeks) and back in 1982 and I believe the cost was $1600 or $1800.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    770
    Debbie,
    My nephew (in 6th grade now -- he'll be 12 years old later this month) participated this summer. His trip was to England and France, and he was gone for 2 weeks. He had a blast, but he said many of the kids were homesick. He's been visiting DH and me for entire weekends since he was a baby, though, plus one set of grandparents live far away (so he'll visit them for a week or two at a time), so I think he's more used to being away from home than many kids his age.

    His parents told him he needed to raise half of the funds (their idea was to gauge how serious he was about going) and that they would match that money. He wrote a letter that he sent to family, neighbors, sports coaches, etc. explaining the program and asking if they could "sponsor" him. (He ended up earning more than the trip cost -- but then, we have a pretty large family. ) People to People, I believe, gave him a template to use.

    I know that he (and his parents) had to attend monthly meetings before the trip that covered all sorts of things -- from how to most efficiently pack your suitcase to what they'd be doing each day to how they'd call home. They also had assignments for each meeting. I remember one was a group report on the culture of one of the places they'd be visiting.

    Hope this helps. If there's anything specific you need, I can certainly try to find out.
    Jodi
    "Life is under no obligation to give us what we expect."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    768
    Yeah, the idea of not knowing how they got her name bugs me.

    Jodi--What you posted sounds similar to the letter we received--the meetings, etc.

    I think we may attend the informational meeting and take it from there.

    Thanks all!!!
    Unless you oppose the death penalty, don't tell me you're pro-life.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    4,122
    DD was invited to attend at the end of 8th grade. We didn't give it a second thought due to the price, but I am not sure I would have had her participate at that age anyway.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Philly Burbs, Pa USA
    Posts
    1,981
    I know three kids that have gone. Two loved it and one got homesick. It is costly.
    They have to be nonminated by a teacher so it is a honor. They were also older. Seniors in highschool.
    Patty

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Northern VA
    Posts
    1,925
    Quote Originally Posted by luv2run
    Yeah, the idea of not knowing how they got her name bugs me.
    My DD, a 6th grader, received the letter too and the same thing bothers me. I think she was invited last year too. I'm suspicious- if it truly was a "nomination" wouldn't they tell you who submitted your name? And if someone did, I'm a little irritated that he or she is sending out my DD's name and address without our permission. Knowing my DD's elementary school, no one would do that.

    I think my DD is too young to go without a familiar adult. I would have all kinds of nightmares about it.
    Positive emotion trumps negative emotion every time. - Inception

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Dedham, MA
    Posts
    2,355
    Quote Originally Posted by tbb113
    That price seems right, 3 years ago it was $4000 to go to Australia. It would be a great opportunity for the right child. I had reservations about Alex going away for so long since he is a picky eater (and would prefer to starve then eat something he didn't think he would like). He was accepted conditionally (they had some maturity issues which I didn't think were founded, I was more concerned about the eating). I asked him if it would be more disappointing to drop out now or at the end after he went to the classes etc. He thought it would be more disappointing to drop out at the end, so we didn't persue it.

    I still get an invite every year for him (and I never did figure out how they got his name).
    This concern is never ending My son went on at BIRTHRIGHT trip @ 21 (actually, he turned 21 on the airplane somewhere in the middle east!) and I still worried the whole 10 days he was gone! He claims there was NOTHING for him to eat except bread and rice! I fully expected he would finally try some things being gone for so long, but he didn't. He got back to college and quickly put back the 7 lbs he lost while on that trip!
    Since then, however, he has expanded his food choices somewhat- so there is hope.

    I do think some kids are ready for an experience such as the one on-topic here earlier on, and others need a few more years to mature. There's no "set cronological age" for these experiences, but rather emotional and social age.

    (BTW Tyra, the BIRTHRIGHT program is wonderful and totally free- they take care of everything and even give kids an international phone card to call home Hopefully, the program will still have funding when your boys are older (18+). There are many types of trip options- Adam was on an "outdoor experience" type with an enviornmental group, with lots of hiking, climbing, biking, etc all over Israel.)
    http://www.savedarfur.org/content
    ______________________________
    Ellyn

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    3,949
    Quote Originally Posted by Jodi
    Debbie,

    His parents told him he needed to raise half of the funds (their idea was to gauge how serious he was about going) and that they would match that money. He wrote a letter that he sent to family, neighbors, sports coaches, etc. explaining the program and asking if they could "sponsor" him. (He ended up earning more than the trip cost -- but then, we have a pretty large family. ) People to People, I believe, gave him a template to use.

    I know that he (and his parents) had to attend monthly meetings before the trip that covered all sorts of things -- from how to most efficiently pack your suitcase to what they'd be doing each day to how they'd call home. They also had assignments for each meeting. I remember one was a group report on the culture of one of the places they'd be visiting.

    Jodi
    My neighbor's son went this summer as well. He is 11 - he LOVED it. He did say there were a lot of homesick kids as well but he is very independent. His parents did something similiar to split the cost - he got "sponsored" by family and friends as well. It was very expensive but the whole family believed it was worth the experience.

    My cousin's daughter has been accepted for next summer - she is 11 as well. My cousin knows of People to People and it is well known in her school and apparently is a big honor.

    Each family/child is different - it is a chunk of time away from family and you do have the expense. I guess you need to weigh all of your options. Good luck!
    Charisse

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    San Ramon, CA
    Posts
    12,858
    Quote Originally Posted by eas11
    (BTW Tyra, the BIRTHRIGHT program is wonderful and totally free- they take care of everything and even give kids an international phone card to call home Hopefully, the program will still have funding when your boys are older (18+). There are many types of trip options- Adam was on an "outdoor experience" type with an enviornmental group, with lots of hiking, climbing, biking, etc all over Israel.)
    I'm thinking about it for Michael (my older son). He choose not to go with the Federation after 10th grade since it conflicted with football camp. I think he would be willing to go in college and I love the fact that its free vs the $4000 that the trip through Federation I'll have to see what Alex chooses to do when he is eligible for the federation trip (3 more years)
    Democrats are Sexy. Who has ever heard of a good piece of elephant?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Missouri
    Posts
    7,088
    I know many families who have participated in the program, although most of the kids were older (high school) when they went. They all were very positive about the experience.

    I don't know what it takes to get nominated, but from the number of families I know who have received letters, I would suspect it is within reach of many students....relatively good grades and perhaps some attention to extracurricular activities. Both of my kids have received letters, DD in 5th grade (last year), and DS for the last several years.

    It IS expensive, but if you want to send your child on a trip to a foreign country, it may be as good as other programs. If sending your child to another country is NOT something you had in mind to do at this time and at this age, I would let it go. There will be other opportunities later on, and very possibly from the same company. I tend to question how much my kids would really get out of a trip overseas at age 12 or 13 as compared to going when they are older. JMHO.
    kathyb


    Less rhetoric, more cowbell!

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Atlanta
    Posts
    1,452
    Did you daughter sign up for or participate in the Duke University TIP program? I think that's how they got both my daughter's & son's names. I don't think they were actually "nominated", so to speak. My son is only in 5th grade and we just got something from People to People for him! My DD really wanted to participate, but we didn't consider it seriously because of the price.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Gaithersburg, MD
    Posts
    1,299

    AFS Option

    When I was in high school I participated in a program called AFS that has been around since the 40's. They match you with a host family in your destination country and you can spend the summer or the school year with them. I learned a lot about Turkey, my host country and really learned so much. I think at 13 she is too young, but maybe when she is 16 she would like to do this program. You learn so much more with a local family than on a tour.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Lone Star State
    Posts
    20,722
    Funny how this gets brought up again when the kids are all in college or nearly there.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •