Anyone know what People to People is?

Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 12:18 PM
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Anyone know what People to People is?

My son was just invited by letter to attend a 20 day tour of Europe per recommendation from a teacher from his high school. It tells us a little bit in this letter and on the web site, but not much.

It was founded by Pres. Eisenhower and supported by succeeding presidents. We have to go to a bunch of meetings to find out details, which we plan to do.

Just wondering if any of you informed Fodorites knew what this is about or have had experience with the program in the past. Thanks for your time.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 01:38 PM
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People to People is an interesting experience for young people and it is a legit organization, but it is a pricey way to do things. What we told our daughter when we received the invitation (years ago) was that for that kind of money, we could all go. And we did.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 01:48 PM
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There are lots of threads on Fodors about P-to-P - but the search function isn't all that terrific. From my understanding, it is an awfully expensive program.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 02:32 PM
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Hi Heavens,
My son's mother-in-law has been involved with People to People for years. She has escorted tour groups of students all over the world. All of the leaders have to be teachers, librarians,or have other experiences with leading students.. They have to have several recommendations. The students are expected to behave and dress properly. I'm sure it is expensive, but I feel that knowing this woman, it must be a well organized program.
If you would like me to contact her and ask specific questions, I will be happy to do so.
L
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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 02:47 PM
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wow! My daughter got a couple of invitations from P to P. I couldn't get
any first hand info about the organization, other that what they give, and was somewhat skeptical. Needless to say, she didn't go, but instead waited until we could all go, which we did.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 03:01 PM
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I remember everybody in my high school class getting "recommended" by their teacher.

I typed in "people to people" (quotes included) and got several posts

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...2&tid=34454273
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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 03:16 PM
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Our middle-school daughter was invited on one of these, a 20-day trip to Italy and France. She was very excited, but we told her it was too expensive and we would take her ourselves. For the same cost, we took her and her sister---a total of four of us---to Paris and London for a week.

It bothers me that the website promotes it as a way for high school students to improve their chances of getting into college.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 03:23 PM
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Both of my kids were "invited".

It seems a lot of kids are "invited".
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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 03:41 PM
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My niece and nephew and my daughter's friend have all gone on a people to people trip. My daughter was invited but we declined. She went to Germany with her German teacher on a class trip instead; it was cheaper, she was older, she got to do a family stay...many variables we preferred. The kids I know who have gone had good experiences as far as the travelling went, but there is little about it that can justify the "ambassador" label they like to market it with. The 3 kids I know who went made no lasting contacts with locals.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 03:47 PM
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I was invited to the P2P program in China 6years ago. I decided not to do it, as the more my parents found out, the more it sounded like other things (like YLC, NYLF, etc) which I refused to do on principal. We also skipped paying the money for things like who's who's (and a few similar ones in college).

In my eyes, it was just another resume padding "experience" where you pay a lot for the "honor" to put a recognized brand on your resume.

Your son can do much more volunteering locally (for leadership experience), and you can probably plan a family trip for the price of this "honor."
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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 05:08 PM
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I think it's kind of funny that they make a big deal about being invited to participate. But if you go to their website all you have to do is fill in a name and address and you can be "invited" to one of their informative meetings (call that sales pitch). Apparently the main requirement is that you have a nice bank balance.

Oh, yes, you can also nominate someone to be invited. It other words "please tell us your friend's name so we can sell our program to him too."
 
Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 05:35 PM
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I have had numerous "People to People" groups on my flights and they don't appear to be "dressing and acting properly". The chaperones on the flights appear to be drinking a few cocktails which (in my opinion) is not appropriate.My own kids were "recommended" by teachers for this program several years ago and as others have said above-if you can write a check, you are on the trip.Its considered kinda of a joke in the college admissions office circuit. Use the money and go on a terrific family trip instead!
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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 05:39 PM
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I went on P2P about a million years ago (1969!!!) My mom was a teacher and some of her colleagues were "chaperoning" (and I use that word loosely, LOL. ) Honest to God, I don't even remember any adults being on that trip, ours was a lively bunch and we careened thru Europe like wild banshees. We were in then-Communist Bucharest for the moon landing, that was surreal. We went to the Greek islands, Malta, Portugal (first time I ever got drunk which, of course, coincided with the first night of the trip), Spain, France, Italy (where an amorous tour guide literally charmed the pants off my roommate.) We stayed with local families in the Austrian countryside and also outside London, each time for a week and I remember our hosts encouraging us to eat, drink, be merry, and hang out in pubs! It was a 7 week trip, I had a blast, but I didn't absorb much culture, alas. Yes, I now know I was a moron, LOL. (The next 2 summers I did Europe on Five Dollars a Day! And it was really $5!).

My own kids have been to Europe several times with backpacks and rail passes but never on an organized trip.

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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 05:43 PM
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My son just got "invited" - he's 12!
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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 05:49 PM
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Hi Heavens:

I traveled w/ PTP in 1991. I went to the former Soviet Union to study Chemistry. I also received an invitation to go on a trip with them.

It was an eye opening experience, but very expensive at that time.

I had a great time, met some great people - both Americans and Russians, and totally broaden my horizons. I also learned a bit of chemistry!

TR
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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 09:25 PM
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I believe most of the objections to the P2P program stem from their representation of an "invitation" to make it sound a bit exclusive, when in fact just about anyone can buy this tour package and what is described as an "invitation" based on a "nomination" is really nothing more than a marketing technique. And to top it off, their prices are way high!
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Old Sep 23rd, 2006, 12:47 AM
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I replied to a similar post a couple of months back. My daughter was "nominated" in 2003.

FLYBOY, NORA S, namaka, I did as you, the following summer (2004), for the program's stated cost of a 12-day tour (plus about $1K), I took the entire family and had a great 19-day trip covering a lot more ground.

It does seem to be a higher-end trip but very pricey. It would be interesting to see if all those activities are as covered in the "sales pitch", er I mean meeting, came to fruition.

MvK
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Old Sep 23rd, 2006, 04:18 AM
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P2P is a business masquerading as an honor. It started as a non-profit and became for profit in 1967. They are listed on the stock market as AIME as a TOUR COMPANY/TRAVEL AGENT. Here is a link to the company information.
http://tinyurl.com/jcgrd

This comes up every year when school starts back and they start sending their expensive, over-priced "awards". It's despicable that they use kids in this way. It's always the kids that can't afford it that really believe this is an honor and try to fundraise for the trip.

Neo is right. Anyone can get this "honor". The only requirement is that P2P accesses your name and address.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2006, 06:33 AM
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I went in 1984 when I was a junior in high school. It is a legitimate organization. On my trip, we alternated a week of touring with the group, with a week staying with a local family. I had a positive experience, and am thankful to my parents for sending me. I kind of felt like it was a bit of a transition from childhood to adulthood. There's nothing like spending a week with someone who speaks no English to make you grow up! I would recommend at least finding more out about it.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2006, 06:41 AM
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Bob, I don't think anyone here is suggesting that a teen going to Europe is not a worthwhile learning experience. That's not the point. The point is, as has been shown above, that it is a "for profit" enterprise for a company to make money and not the reward or honor they somehow falsely advertise it to be.

If someone wants to spend a whole lot of money to send their kid to Europe that way, more power to them. In fact if you can afford it, there's nothing wrong with hiring a teacher off for the summer to take your kid for a private tour of Europe -- that would be a worthwhile experience as well.

But there are dozens of much more "creditable" ways that a teen can experience foreign culture -- including various home exchange programs through valid non profit organizations than this People to People group.
 

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