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  • Report: #157590

Complaint Review: People To People Student Ambassador Program

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  • Submitted: Mon, September 19, 2005
  • Updated: Sat, October 27, 2012

  • Reported By:TRAVERSE CITY Michigan
People To People Student Ambassador Program
110 S. Ferrall Street, Spokane, Washington U.S.A.

People To People Student Ambassador Program Prohibitive cost Ripoff Spokane Washington

*General Comment: My Experience

*Consumer Comment: Fools gold p2p

*Consumer Comment: People To People Is Worth It

*Consumer Comment: People to People student ambassador trip cost

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: P2P Benefits

*General Comment: Student to Student Ambassador Program

*Consumer Comment: Parental responsibilities

*Consumer Comment: No Way in H....

*General Comment: Selection of Individuals for P2P

*Consumer Comment: Member/Alum

*Consumer Comment: The Other Side of The Coin

*General Comment: Great Time

*Consumer Comment: Students are nominated by teachers

*Consumer Comment: The program is not just for the rich

*Consumer Comment: People to people isnt a scam

*Consumer Comment: This report is not a off ripoff.. but it should be

*General Comment: Should have done your homework Dad

*Consumer Comment: UNLESS NOMINEES CAN BE 2 1/2 MONTH OLD INFANTS WHO DIED 13 YEARS AGO

*General Comment: Nominations are definitely NOT from anything other than a bought list

*General Comment: it was worth every penny

*Consumer Comment: It's Called Fundraising

*General Comment: People 2 People

*General Comment: People to People

*Consumer Comment: If you've "done your research," maybe you haven't.

*General Comment: Do Your Homework

*General Comment: I got two

*General Comment: For exceptional students??? ROFLMAO

*Consumer Comment: It is what you make of it!

*Consumer Comment: I called them

*Consumer Comment: Confusion, Confusion.

*General Comment: Look for real programs!

*Consumer Comment: Really, Shae in "Bullhead?"

* : story from an ex-employee

*Consumer Comment: P2P IS A FABULOUS PROGRAM!

*Consumer Comment: my daughter went to Japan

*Consumer Comment: So NOT a rip-off...

*Consumer Comment: People to People NOT a rip-off!

*Consumer Comment: lack of supervision on overseas trip

*Consumer Suggestion: No need for tears!

*Consumer Comment: I participated in a People to People professional program

*Consumer Comment: People to People is not a Ripoff

*Consumer Comment: PTP

*Consumer Comment: PTP

*Consumer Comment: PTP

*Consumer Comment: PTP

*Consumer Comment: My Obversations

*Consumer Comment: this is rediculous

*Consumer Comment: Parents mistake

*Consumer Comment: RE: NOMINATION PROCESS

*Consumer Comment: RE: NOMINATION PROCESS

*Consumer Comment: RE: The Nomination Process

*Consumer Comment: The nomination proccess

*Consumer Comment: You Have NO Idea - Same Teacher Leader Responsible on Tyler Hill's Trip Also Responsible on a Trip where another child died.

*Consumer Comment: scholarships for people to people

*UPDATE Employee: FOR ALL THOSE WHO ARE CONCERNED ABOUT PEOPLE TO PEOPLE

*Consumer Comment: I wish people would pay attention

*Consumer Comment: Amazing Trip

*Consumer Comment: People to people in california

*Consumer Comment: How many noticed that

*Consumer Suggestion: From PTP Alum....

*Consumer Comment: More of the same

*REBUTTAL Individual responds: A Clear Rip- Off

*Consumer Suggestion: A good idea gone awry...

*Consumer Comment: Awesome Experience!

*UPDATE Employee: great progam

*Consumer Comment: Thanks For Shedding Some Light

*Consumer Comment: My son went on the Australia trip

*Consumer Comment: Thanks!

*Consumer Comment: "Your child has been nominated ..."

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I took my 11 year old daughter to their "informative" meeting because no one would discuss the cost with me. As it turns out, the tuition for the Australia program is some $5,200 plus approx $800 for additional transportation, spending money, passports, etc. As I only work full-time at a clerical job, I had to inform my daughter we couldn't afford it after their presentation showed how much fun she would be missing. We weren't alone; I saw quite a few teary-eyed children on the way out - no doubt they also belonged to working-class families who couldn't afford the trip. My beef is the way they absolutely refuse to discuss costs until after their fluffy presentation. They should pre-screen the applicants according to household income as it certainly is a (maybe THE) deciding factor. It is so hard on the lower income children to get all psyched up just to hear "No, we cannot afford it".

It is a program for the priviledged and wealthy, not the everyday gifted child, and they should advertise it as such.

Jim
TRAVERSE CITY, Michigan
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/19/2005 11:56 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/People-To-People-Student-Ambassador-Program/Spokane-Washington-99202/People-To-People-Student-Ambassador-Program-Prohibitive-cost-Ripoff-Spokane-Washington-157590. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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0Author 68Consumer 1Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 General Comment

My Experience

AUTHOR: sunshineesays - ()

 I know you'd say you'd never let your children go to another country with strangers as chaperones. well, firstly of all let me say that before the trip, you have to go to meeting with your Delegation manager in which you learn about Travel Safety and about the country you visit and such, parents are allowed to go to these meetings for the same reason of getting to know the chaperone. My parents who speak very little Spanish and are very protective of me in ways that sometimes they don't allow me to sleepover at my own aunt'a house, met this woman (who spoke no Spanish) and were able to trust her.

That woman was one of the nicest women I have ever met in my life. The airplane trip to Australia was my very first airplane ride and I was not aware of my airsickness and I puked all over my carry-on and scarf. This woman came to me and she spent about 3 hours on a 17 hour plane ride, cleaning the vomit off my bag and scarf. She was able to clean the vomit off my bag and scarf entirely so, what did she do? She gave me her own scarf and bag.  

Although this program does have its bad sides, I will certainly travel with People to People again.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Fools gold p2p

AUTHOR: TomB - ()

This is to all of you people who have stated that you've either gone on, or sent your child on these so called great experiences. You are all FOOLS. Right from the get go, I knew this letter that we recieved was a load of crap. It had that stench of marketing all over it. Have we not all gotten the post cards in the mail saying you have won a trip, cruise, etc. All you have to do is call the number and reserve your spot. Then come to find out, it's a silly timeshare ploy, or magazine subscription play. This is no different.  Now that being said, the trip may be legit, as are the others, but how could ANY parent send a 12 year old across the world by themselves. Not me!! Not in this day and age, with all the negative going on. No WAY. 

I my honest opinion, the cost in a non factor. If this program was offered by a reputable company, organization, school, etc., it would be a different story. This is just a company out to make money at our childrens expense. Furthermore, I find it despicable that P2P uses the emotion of our children just to make a pretty profit.

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#3 Consumer Comment

People To People Is Worth It

AUTHOR: Anonymous - ()

I think we all have established that People to People is expensive but it is worth every penny. I am going on a people to people to trip in 2 weeks. So far I have gotten all the satisfaction I need. People to People is a great company providing a life changing experience for kids like me. I live in a middle class family. My mom is a director of nursing and my dad formally was a contracter, now owns a nutrition club. We aren't poor, but we aren't rich. My Mom has invested on giving me this awesome opportunity and it took real work. You can't expect to sit on the couch and snap up the trip you have to work and help eachother out. I didn't pay for the entire trip but I paid for about $1,000 of the $8,000 for a trip to Europe. i will be there for 2 weeks booked with full days of activities including Disney Land Paris. This company isn't just paying for airfare and events it is paying for hotel rooms and transportation across England and France. Regarding the selection of the delagates, I was selected by one of my teachers, a Delegation Leader herself. I'm not the smartest kid, but I am responsible and am capable of going on a trip and I think what they are looking for. What I have seen is good. Unless you have been on this trip please don't say that it is horrible, not worth it, and a rip off because how would you know anyway? If some of you don't the internet isn't always true. 

 

 

 

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#4 Consumer Comment

People to People student ambassador trip cost

AUTHOR: K. - (United States of America)

I also took my 11-year old daughter to the informative meeting.  Since I am working class (at a library) and not wealthy, the cost of the trip seemed unattainable at first.

After a family discussion and looking at People to People's fund raising ideas, we decided that my daughter can go if she's willing to work for it.  She has had great success with dog grooming/walking and bake sales.  So far she's raised $750.00 towards her trip, and it's only been two months!

People to People also has scholarship opportunities and a drawing to help pay the trip cost.  Without the payment plan and my daughter's initiative to pay her own way, we would never be able to afford a trip to Europe on our own.

I have to disagree with the original comment that these trips are only for the wealthy and the privileged.  We are neither; and now my daughter will be able to have a trip that is easily obtained by the privileged because of her perseverance and willingness to work to obtain her goals. 
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#5 UPDATE EX-employee responds

P2P Benefits

AUTHOR: Carrell - (United States of America)

I served as a 'teacher-leader' of five delegations, 2003-2007, traveling to the British Isles, Canada, Europe, and twice to Australia. I became involved in the program after one of my former students asked for a letter of recommendation. Since I had no prior knowledge of People to People, I did some investigation and determined that the goals and objectives of the program aligned with my own. Over the years, I have submitted the names of many candidates for participation and have solicited nominees from my colleagues. Additionally, I've asked youth leaders (Boy and Girl Scouts, coaches, church leaders, and club sponsers) to submit nominees. This program definitely lives up to its ideals. Students are well supervised by competent educators, engaged in pre, during, and post learning opportunities, challenged to investigate diverse cultures, engaged in cultural interactions, and encouraged to examine the values of democracy. Yes, travel does incur an expense, however, with the P2P Program, the end DOES justify the means! By the way, the teacher/leaders receive no financial compensation, devote hours and hours of pre-travel time to planning, lessons, and preparation; and are in a supervisory position 24/7 during travel. It's a labor of love for the educator, but seeing the world through the eyes of youth is the reward.
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#6 General Comment

Student to Student Ambassador Program

AUTHOR: New Englnad Mom - (United States of America)

I am not wealthy by any means--I'm a single mom. I took my teen to a meeting & it was indeed spectacular to see the possibilities. It is expensive but the experiences they get are so awesome. I went to the informational meeting, I also checked them out online before we even went to the meeting.  I got a rough idea of what it could cost. We sat down with family members & discussed the opportunity it offered & the expense. Everyone agreed to work together. This could be the only opportunity my child has for such experiences.  I think it is worth almost any price. We are already brainstorming ways to do some fundraising. They help with that as well. My child will get to fulfill a dream, learn about the places our ancestors came from, and fulfill a hope her dad had for her before he passed away.  We will do all we can to get her to the UK and the experiences that could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for her...and they do community service while there, meet important people.  It stinks that it is pricey, but they do all they can to help you with ideas for fundraising, looking into grants or whatever it takes to get that money. This also goes toward school credits & college credits later, not to mention how it looks on a resume.

It's too bad about those children. I took mine explaining that it might not be a possibility but we would get as much info as possible & go from there..do not have high expectations. She understood & she was fine with it. We are not privileged or wealthy. As mentioned, I took my daughter telling her NOT to expect to be able to apply. And then if we did apply, we still have the money issue. But they have assured us they will do all possible to help us raise the funds.
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#7 Consumer Comment

Parental responsibilities

AUTHOR: bnjessme - (USA)

As I read through your comments, one thing kept coming to mind.  Isn't it a parental responsibility to provide our kids with opportunties to grow and learn?  I will not feel guilty for providing my daughter with experiences when there are others suffering.  I have a heart for others and pray for those who need help, but my sole responsibility is to raise a daughter who is an asset to society and an active member of the community.  It takes experiences in life to gain these traits.  Yes, the expense for P2P is high but what it provides in regard to personal growth and cultural education is priceless.  Do not let society and it's opinions effect the way you raise your child, and certainly do not let guilt be the basis of your decisions.

Our daughter is leaving for the trip of her lifetime and at the age of 11, we hope it is the first of many.  She expressed her desire to live life through experiences, not just textbooks...can we deny her that? Not with a clear conscience.  It is kids like our daughter who will make changes in our world.  As a side note, we are not what would be considered "wealthy."  Our daughter has applied for scholarships, come up with fund raising ideas and has developed a list of people she can contact to share this opportunity with via a sponsership.  If you want your child to be all they can be, do not hold them back with your shallow thinking and accusations.  Money is definately NOT the deciding factor, desire and dedication are!
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#8 Consumer Comment

No Way in H....

AUTHOR: linda davis - (United States of America)

I received a letter for my homeschooled 15 year old child who immediately felt more special.  Thus, I called to learn who had recommended him as the letter stated.  I was told that his name was derived from the American Student List but the customer representative had no contact information on this referral source.  Essentially, they bought the mailing list and how my son's name got on it, I will never know.

But here's what I do know, the letter's presentation appears official not like the marketing tool it actually is.  In addition, cost is tucked away. So, in that regard, it is misleading, and anytime an organization is willing to mislead a potential customer, the customer should back off.

The local meetings take place at a private college that rents out its space.  I had hoped that there was a relationship but according to the college there is none.  So, I called again and asked who or what reputable and well known institution, namely government, can affirm your authenticity; no she said. Well then, have you received letters of reference or accolades from some of the schools who have purportedly referred these children, I asked; N again she said. 

Well, that was enough for me. If a college or university were sponsoring this educational experience, I would welcome it and pay, but P2P is no college, and my state government has never heard of it.  I called the Department of Education and its staff were not familiar either. So, there is no way in h... I will send my son out of the country under these conditions.

Linda Davis
Jackson, MS

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#9 General Comment

Selection of Individuals for P2P

AUTHOR: Gayle - (United States of America)

I am probably posting incorrectly here but here it goes.  After reading all of the posts I found it interesting how many people had set up accounts for their children with Wells Fargo...my daughter just received a letter so I had to see what was up and ended up here.  I find the link with this bank and P2P letters disturbing.  If I could prove or know more concretely there is some sort of connection I would yank any and all accounts we have there (and I still may after I think about it a bit).  I guess my bottom line is that I cannot send my child across the world with strangers who may or may not properly chaperone her.



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#10 Consumer Comment

Member/Alum

AUTHOR: ranwolf - (United States of America)

I have traveled with People to People almost 10 years ago when I was in high school and I have to say it was one of the highlights of my life and gave me memories to last a lifetime. Yes the tuition is expensive, but it isn't geared towards privileged youth as other have commented; I came from a hard working middle class family and my parents wanted me to have this once in a lifetime opportunity. The program offered loans and the money isn't collected upfront, but rather in payments throughout the year. At one of our meetings we were given ideas of how we could help raise funds such as bake sales, car washes, ect. I remember sending out letters to local businesses with information about the program and asking if they would like to make a contribution; many of them replied with checks, money orders and requests that upon my return I give a speech about my experience and what I gained from them. If I had a child who had an opportunity to participate in this program I wouldn't hesitate. I have nothing but praise for this program.
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#11 Consumer Comment

The Other Side of The Coin

AUTHOR: MPL in SC - (United States of America)

My daughter has served as a Student Ambassador with P2P three times, and was active with the program for over 4 years.  It is NOT just for the rich.  We certainly are not.  My daughter fundraised 100% of her costs, all three times.   In fact, most students do some amount of fundraising.  Most raise 50% or more.  P2P provides resources, ideas, and other tools to help students and families make it "doable".  About the costs:  at one information session, a travel agent/parent after seeing the itinerary and what all they would be doing, where they would be staying, etc., stood up and said that she could not put together the same "package" for anywhere near the P2P price, even with her professional discounts and her child would be going, in part because it was a very good value in her professional opinion.   If you and your student really want to make it happen there are ways to do so.  The question is, Are you willing to work for it?  
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#12 General Comment

Great Time

AUTHOR: donkeyson - (United States of America)

I went on the Australian Adventure several years ago. My family and I went to the meeting, and decided that we would pay for it. It was around 8 thousand dollars with spending money included. I managed to pay for over half of the tuition through donations and fundraisers. It was well worth the price. I am actually trying to find a way to pay for another trip. I received a letter today inviting me to go to Australia again. The only stipulation is that I have to find a way to pay for it myself. I am going to try to find several scholarships and get as many donations as possible. These trips are worth at least twice what they ask to be paid in life experiences. It changed my perspective on life, and created many life long friends.
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#13 Consumer Comment

Students are nominated by teachers

AUTHOR: Karen - (U.S.A.)

As a teacher I can tell you that I have nominated many worthy students for the People to People program. My students who have traveled with People to People absolutely love it.  Students are nominated by a variety of methods, teachers, scout leaders, clergy, coaches, etc.  People to People does use mailing lists and does not attempt to hide this fact, but the mailing lists they use are from educational mailing lists - students who would potentially be good student ambassadors.  Students are required to get three letters of recommendation, go through an interview, and then also have monthly meetings.  Students who are not good candidates obviously slip through the cracks, but as I teacher I never nominate a student I would not travel with myself!
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#14 Consumer Comment

The program is not just for the rich

AUTHOR: Karen - (U.S.A.)

I just wanted to respond to this comment.  The program is not for the rich - yes, it is expensive, yes it would certainly be helpful to have a lot of money and not have to fund raise, however I know of many students who have fund raised every penny of their tuition.  I know several student ambassadors whose parents were suddenly unemployed, or students from a single parent home who raised the money to go.

The People to People organization, as well as the teacher leaders are very helpful with fundraising and fundraising ideas.  If a student wants to go bad enough they may need to fundraise, but it is very possible - some students do start saving one year and then wait until the next year to go on a program.

The programs are amazing - I know several people whose children went when my daughter went - we are all just middle class people and had to work hard to send our children, but realized the value in this program - the growth in our children was hard to believe - this program is simply amazing if your child gets in with a good delegation with a great teacher leader!
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#15 Consumer Comment

People to people isnt a scam

AUTHOR: John Marelin - (United States of America)

my son is 16 years old and he was able to go on a p2p program with me and his mother unemployed. How? He worked for it. he deserved the trip. He got a job and he went on www.p2ppayyourway.com for helpful hints about how to fundraise. My son went on a trip to europe that costed 8,000 dollars and he was able to raise it all. People to People makes the payment process easy and they do give you extensions on your trip payments. the fact that you say that the price isn't on the website isn't true because it is. You can also call them and ask them questions about the tuition. The fact that you say that these trips are for the rich is incorrect because my family is middle class and we could afford it. Hope this was helpful.

    John
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#16 Consumer Comment

This report is not a off ripoff.. but it should be

AUTHOR: Consumer - (United States of America)

This report is less of a ripoff and more of a good old fashion bate and switch. People to People uses the "timeshare technique" to get you and your kids to their "presentation" in order to sell you their program. It's a little sleazy, yet most sales tactics are so the way i see it, no harm no foul. Be glad you didn't actually go.

I went on P2P's Paris & Switzerland tournament trips back in 2000 when i was a sophomore in high school. It was fun, yet like most of you, i felt there was a few things that were off.

First, who nominated me, and how did they know i played basketball? I had just returned from playing in the National AAU tournament, where i was asked to submit all types of age verification and personal information. I assumed they got my information when i arrived and seen two other kids who i know made it to the tournament.

Second, they never said anything about price and their program has a high price tag. Now that i look back at everything its hard for me to figure out where all the money went. I recall paying around $4500 - 5000 for the trip (which my globe trotting grandmother seemed very expensive). That price tag included the following;



  • Post 9/11 air fair to Round trip to Paris
  • A charter bus
  • 3 night hotel stay in Paris, 4 in Switzerland
  • 5 dinner meals
  • breakfast
  • practice gym rentals
  • tournament admission
  • a boat ride in Paris
  • a trip to the beach in Switzerland, and
  • a translator/ tour guide
I paid half the price of this for a guided trip across Italy and Greece last summer. The flight and hotel couldn't have been more than $1500, and being that they were buying in bulk, probably less. The 5 free meals were meal tickets for the cheapest meal at some rinky dink fast food place. I remember none of the adults ate there, they just waited to find some real food. the breakfast was included in the hotel stay (i asked). The trip to the beach was free, the boat ride we paid for ourselves. Clearly when you start to look at the numbers, there must be a big mark up on these packages.

In addition to this, we were placed on teams just by picking random numbers. I was actually told by one of the coaches "don't take these games too seriously, they really dont mean anything. they mean less than you know." He was clearly trying to erase the image that P2P gives you of being a "nominated" special athletes. Its really just a vacation that allows you to play ball.

For me it was a really fun experience, even though the main person who was running the trip was extremely rude and literally tried to lock us in our hotel at 7pm every night (im sure that was more of a personnel problem).

All in all P2P is over priced, they misrepresent their intentions in order to bate ad switch you, but it was really fun to meet people from around the world.
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#17 General Comment

Should have done your homework Dad

AUTHOR: Mom - (United States of America)

Yes, the People to People program is expensive - by anybody's standard - minus the 5% elite that can afford anything. It was your choice to take your daughter to that program. Nobody forced you to go.
A little bit of prior research would have told you the approximate cost and the Rip Off incident would not have happened.
As for paying for the trip, if you had really wanted to make it happen, could have been accomplished. Most of the students that go on these types of trips, are not from wealthy families. But.....they see something they want and they work for it.
One local student held a golf tournament and raised most of her money - and she, nor her parents, had never set foot on a golf green prior to hosting the tournament. The People to People web site gives many ideas regarding how to raise the money.
Next time, do a little prior research and get creative and think outside of a knee jerk reaction. Not only did your daughter miss out on the trip, but she missed out on learning the value of working for things that are important. Seems like you taught her to give up and point fingers.
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#18 Consumer Comment

UNLESS NOMINEES CAN BE 2 1/2 MONTH OLD INFANTS WHO DIED 13 YEARS AGO

AUTHOR: Jen - (United States of America)

My close friend called me today to ask what to do.  She told me of receiving this letter from PTP for her 2 1/2 month old baby who died in infancy 13 years ago.  She called the number on the letter and asked the person on the other end how the nominees are made, especially since she lives in Oklahoma, HOMESCHOOLS her 16 yr old son and the child died 13 years ago in Michigan.  The lady said that teachers or anyone could make a nomination for a child.  It was then that she told the lady she was lying and explained her situation.  She promptly offered to take the name and number off their list and apologized.  Lying is just not acceptable by a company.  Please know that, trips or not, this company appears to make it a policy to lie to their customers.  I wouldn't want to knowingly use ANY company with practices like that for fear of how they handle other things...especially, in this case, my child.
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#19 General Comment

Nominations are definitely NOT from anything other than a bought list

AUTHOR: Concerned Parent - (United States of America)

I love my son, but he is nowhere near a "top student".  The letter we received in the mail today marks the second year in a row that my son has been selected for this amazing opportunity. I have another child 1 year older who has always received good grades and admiration from teachers. No letters have been received for them at all. The two of them do all of the same things, always have with only one exception. My son plays soccer (futbol to you non USA residents). He is pretty good and the year before we started receiving the letters we sprang for him to attend the British Soccer Camp that came to our area. Its a day camp with leaders who are high school/ college aged kids from Great Britain. My guess is that this is how his name got picked. They must sell their list and P2P bought it. This is absolutely the ONLY pogram myson has ever been involved in that my other child has not... anyone else in here have a child in the same program?
Needless to say, after reading about the deaths and negligence there is no way in heaven or hell that my child will attend this. My most important job as a parent is to protect my child. Maybe he will get to go to Australia someday, but he'll either be an adult, or with his family. Not with some people that sent out a letter full of lies.
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#20 General Comment

it was worth every penny

AUTHOR: Tiphany - (United States of America)

hi i am a 17 year old student from florida i just recently ended my people to people trip and loved every second of it. i could not believe how much the delegates were on top of our safety and made sure we attended everything on the itinerary. i averaged out everything we did price by price and it almost came out to double of what my parents would have paid just for me alone. yes it can be pricey but they give you fundraising options so that every child has a chance to attend. one of the girls on my trip raised every single penny and had plenty of money to spend on the trip. it was a wonderful experience thanks to my wonderful leaders jodi margaret naomi and debbie who made sure we had everything we needed and if one of us even felt a little bit sick they were on the phone with our parents to let them know. i am coming on here because before i went i saw all these horrible reviews and i am so glad i did not pay attention because all the bad reviews were by parents that never attended any of the meetings and all the good reports were from students that had already attended. i encourage people to people to any student! i absolutely loved it and plan on going again next year
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#21 Consumer Comment

It's Called Fundraising

AUTHOR: Jason''s girl - (United States of America)

My family is far from wealthy but I was able to go to China for seventeen days the summer of 2006 with People to People. The trip was right at $6,000 and there was no way my family could afford that on it's own. So my mom helped me organize and do fundraisers. I had friends from school that would help me do the fundraisers and I also asked my church family for help with them.
My trip to China was amazing. I would go again in a heartbeat. The trip was well worth my hard work to get myself there. Yes, the trips are expensive, however, it teaches the child to work for what they want and to see the value in hard work and rewards especially when mom and dad cannot just fork over those amounts of money. 
Bottom line the People to People trips are not that out of reach for less than average income people. Just be inventive and get off your bum and raise the money.
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#22 General Comment

People 2 People

AUTHOR: Issa - (United States of America)

I am a former student amabassador, my mom now and at the time of my trip back in 2006 had been on social security. I hadn't known about the scholarships and loan programs, so we raised all the money ourselves, my sisters had pitched in when they could but other than that most of the money that paid for my trip came from fundraisers and donations from members in my community.

Like many my mom had said we couldn't afford it but my mom was determined to send me to Australia, it was a couple thousand dollars but we managed to raise the money, we sold my dreamcatchers and other crafts that I and my sisters had made. I don't regret how much we owed to friends and family that loaned us money and helped to send me on the trip, I brought something back for each and every one of them, sent them several postcards from each of the cities that I went to.

I wasn't the least bit surprised to see that there were a couple hundred kids at the informative meeting, as the letters went out to several different cities in my state.

The point is, these trips are once in a lifetime oppurtunities, with the P2P program I got to see things that from what I understand aren't usually open to the public. I got home and my life had been changed, my family does't regret that we had to do several fundraisers to get even the $400 deposit.

I got home from my trip and knew that nothing would be the same anymore. I was right, my family had encouraged me, my neighbors had helped all that they could. While I was in Australia I learned so many things that I won't look at the Great Barrier Reef the same way again, I look at the Sydney Opera House and think: 'Wow, five years ago I was inside being amazed at how huge the place was inside.'

If you had the chance or get the chance to understand what I'm talking about than that is awesome, don't take the chance away from your child simply because of tuition.
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#23 General Comment

People to People

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (United States of America)

I'm amazed at all of the negative attitudes towards P2P.  My son is going on a trip this summer and yes, I am fronting the cost for him - you can call him a priveleged child if you wish.  But the fact that I can front the cost for him is because of my own hard work and effort.  When I was growing up there is no way that I could have afforded a trip like this - I wasn't one of the "priveleged" children.  But instead of sobbing in my Wheaties over it, I went to college and worked to get to a point in my life that I could give my child something that I never could have had.  Being under priveleged inspired me to work hard and build a career, which is exactly what you should help your kids do in order to go on one of these trips.

It's so tiring to listen to people complain that they have nothing and can't do things that wealthy people can do.  I didn't become wealthy because I complained about being poor.  I became wealthy because I applied myself.  Why don't you teach your kids that value and maybe they won't end up like you 20 or 30 years from now!

As far as the nomination process, why are you all so upset over this.  Who gives a crap whether your kid was nominated or not and by who.  I thank God my son was "nominated" by someone because we wouldn't have known about the program otherwise.  As far as him being special, well he is special, because he knows about the program and he's excited about going overseas.  That's pretty special at 13 years old.

Stop whining, start acting and set a better example for your children!


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#24 Consumer Comment

If you've "done your research," maybe you haven't.

AUTHOR: carolinembee - (United States of America)

This report adresses a lot of the problems I hear about People to People: expensive tuition, "rip-off," and nominations. I have been on a People to People trip, and so has a friend of mine. For starters, the tuition is going to be expensive. Anyone who has "done their research" on any sort of European of other globe-trotting program would know that a $6,000 price-tag is the norm. I can testify that my current high school (which obviously isn't profiting) offers a week-long trip to Italy at the cost of a little over $2000. People to People's European program which covers a much greater deal of land area and more importantly is three weeks, not one, costs $6,000. If you do the math, its a very appropriate price, especially considering all of the plane tickets, tourist sites, and food involved. (2000 dollars * 3 is to 6000 as 1 week * 3 is to 3 weeks, see what I'm getting at?)

For families where the price is an issue, People to People offers and introduces many scholarship opportunities and is extremely helpful in helping YOU raise the money. I've been on many a school trip where I had to sell raffle tickets or sit in front of Kroger selling some item to shoppers to pay my way. Every meeting I went to we talked about fundraising, parents in the group teamed up, kids even took the initiative and babysat or made crafts to help pay; the environment was one that really encouraged us to pay at least some of the tuition, regardless of whether our family had the money to. Its not like People to People is setting children up for disappointment, they are extremely encouraging and give parents and children the tools they need to reach a goal.

The second major problem I hear about People to People is that children get letters and there names are wrong and various other things of that nature. I've even heard people try to slant that many of our country's presidents have been on the board! Thats ridiculous! President Eisenhower did found it! It was founded to help bridge the cultural gap during the Cold War. They do have to mass market themselves to be able to end up with enough children to go, its a fact, things like that have to happen, but teachers do nominate kids to go. Recall the friend I mentioned earlier? In 6th grade I specifically REMEMBER our science teacher ASKING her to go. So there you have it, a teacher nomination that no one can slander.
I hear a lot of people saying People to People is a scam, and I had the time of my life when I went, so it does hurt me to hear those remarks. It is expensive, and sometimes, by accident in distribution, you may get a bogus letter, but don't write off the program so quickly. It is a wonderful experience, and if you apply for scholarships (do note if you ask and present yourself, local companies and banks might support you) and have the drive to raise some or all of the money yourself, its a quite attainable, and extremely valuable experience. You learn a lot and you won't ever forget it.
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#25 General Comment

Do Your Homework

AUTHOR: annie - (USA)

There are several programs intended to attract certain categories of kids. These range from travel programs such as People to People, to expensive summer courses at IVY league universities to high end summer camps such as equestrian, cheerleading and sports camps. All these programs can be classified as having inflated prices and target kids in certain income groups, geographic areas, and talents. In many cases you can get the same services at a local park or city run program. Not all kids go to high end camps in the summer and not all kids go on expensive youth trips either. Before getting your kid's hopes up it is the responsiblity of the parents to do their homework. Do some internet research on the cost. My son got the same letter from P2P and before we even went to the orientation program I did a quick search and found out the price. Another quick search got me to airfare costs from SFO and further searches got me to hotel and average food costs in Australia, including entrance fees for the places the kids would visit.

 Yes, the cost was more than if we had planned the trip on our own, but the experience of going with a group of same age kids and the behind the scenes places, they'd have access to was worth the extra cost. I would never had even allowed my son to attend the first meeting if we could not afford the trip, weren't prepared to let him go for 3 weeks, or felt the other kids were not in his peer group. All the kids going with him this summer go to neighboring schools in our area and all the kids seem to be of similar backgrounds. All are from working class families that know how to manage thier discrentionary income to give their kids as much educational and extracurricular enrichment experiences as possible. These parent wear od durable clothes, not the latest fashions, drive older cars, and simply value quality over quantity.
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#26 General Comment

I got two

AUTHOR: nhargraves8440 - (United States of America)

Dear Jim,I understand, My 11 year old daughter was sent not one, but two of those, one to go to Australia, & one to go to Ireland,Scotland,England, & Wale. or however  you spell it. My daughter is failing classes getting D's & F's... I find it stupid that they send this letter to me saying that she's invited to go to these countries & to study them. I had nothing to do with them in the first place, & they find my address? It makes no sence. Clearly they bought our address & names, including my daughter's name  from this "restraunt, or place" that's cheap. I don't like the fact that some people don't look at the reviews before they do something with their own money, if they get a letter like this.My daughter was dissapointed when I told her it was a scam. Clearly, it's about time that someone needs to fall during the meeting, break their leg,  & sue them. Who would want their kid pouty, crying, and disapointed for how long!?! Thanks For filing that report.

 

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#27 General Comment

For exceptional students??? ROFLMAO

AUTHOR: Greg - (United States of America)

I just want to say to the people that say this is for exceptional students, that is a bunch of hogwash. My son got straight D's and F's this last year of school and did just as bad the year before even being kicked out of school for 45 school days for fighting.

I got the letter for him this year, and so did a good friend of his. I was thinking about sending him, but am pretty much against it at this point. I would rather see him go into a foreign language class and be an actual exchange student or take him to Europe myself than send him through this program from what I have read so far.
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#28 Consumer Comment

It is what you make of it!

AUTHOR: Karen - (U.S.A.)

I have been a teacher/leader with People to People for six years.  The program is expensive - no one is denying that - however the value you get for your money is well worth it and over the years I have had many students who fund raised their entire tuition.  I always make an effort to help all students in my delegation fund raise - however I can't do it for them.  I always say if you want it bad enough you can do it!  In a program the size of P2P there are always going to be criticizers and those who are disappointed, but look at the thousands of students from all over the US who travel with P2P each summer.  You will see that the number of dissatisfied people is minimal in comparison to those who are satisfied - why else would there be so many alumni students who travel over and over?  Some comments above say that the interviews are just a formality and that no one is turned down - that is not true - I have turned down many students who I did not feel were mature enough for the program.  Some posts above say that it is a program for privileged and wealthy - again not true!  Lastly, some above say that students are not nominated by teachers.  Again - not true!  I nominate students all the time.  Students who I feel are excellent and who I, myself, would not hesitate to travel with earn my nomination.  Nominations are also secured through alumni students and lists such as scouting, church, and other reputable agency lists.  This is an education program in which safety is stressed.  No program in the world could guarantee 100% safety - but if you compare it to other student travel programs who send as many students abroad each year as this one does - its record is exemplary!
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#29 Consumer Comment

I called them

AUTHOR: Tracy - (U.S.A.)

Called just to ask to see how expensive it is. seriously.  I could find NO info whatsoever on the website about how much it was even after signing up for their presentation.  I was shocked at the price; but I admit that it would be a good experience for any student THAT CAN AFFORD IT.  Real folks usually can't.  I know we can't.  I am torn between conveniently forgetting about the presentation meeting or just outright saying NO.  I do not want to dash my son's hopes of getting to go and me being the bad guy for not trying to send him. Or get myself into debt trying.

I might add that my son is 14 1/2; has taken no entrance exams or anysuch thing, a less than average student, does no extracurricular activities, plays no sports etc etc.  I am still confused as to why he was picked.  No teacher has nominated him either.

While I do not think that this is a "scam"; I believe that this company should be looked into for their deceptive practices/wording with the letters they send out.  I do not believe that is what the founders of this organization intended.

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#30 Consumer Comment

Confusion, Confusion.

AUTHOR: McCooeyAlex - (United States of America)

I actually am a 16 year old girl, I just got my "nomination" in the mail yesterday for the ambassador program and I just need some real information about the trip. I realize it's expensive, but what good opportunities aren't these days? I almost went on a trip with my school last year to France that was $3000, and even though it was expensive it would have been beneficial to me. Unfortunately I moved. Now, I have this letter next to me and I'm ondering, what opportunities will I even get from this program, other than travel. Will I get credits? Will it go twards college? I'm just about to start my junior year and these are all things to think about. I'm seeing both positive and negative comments and I just need some clairty.

Thanks [:

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#31 General Comment

Look for real programs!

AUTHOR: AaronF - (United States of America)

Look folks, whether you are talking $2000 or $6000 we all know in this economy this makes the difference between making your mortgage payments or traveling overseas.  If you are fortunate and blessed enough to be living comfortable and can afford this kind of money, I offer you another more reasonable suggestion.

There are programs that family members and friends have participated in and my parents have been involved in the organization and coordination of for over 20 years now.  For the cost of this 3 week program, the program I speak of will allow the student in the age range of 16-19 spend an entire YEAR in the host country.  This includes their insurance, airfare and all associated costs (excluding passports).  They will be immersed in the culture and lifestyle of the host country in a way you cannot even imagine.  The kids are paid a monthly allowance by the program and spend the year with 2-3 host families who will care for them as their own child; food, clothing, etc.  Whatever is needed to live.  I've known of many host families who will take the kids on family vacations around the country to give the kids even more experience they would not otherwise experience.

To find more about the program(s), do a GOOGLE search for 'Youth Exchange' and look at the first couple on the list.  The top one on the list is one of the most reputable in the world and has one of the longest track records for not only experience but (in this day and age), safety!

If you are willing and able to spend the money to send your child overseas, then do yourself a favor and do your research to make sure you get the best possible experience and bang for your buck.
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#32 Consumer Comment

Really, Shae in "Bullhead?"

AUTHOR: OnTheFence - (United States of America)

Shae,

I'm a parent who WAS considering looking into this opportunity after my 10 year old was "nominated," presumably due to her excellent SAT score (oh, wait...she's a few years away from taking the test yet!), or her teachers' recommendations (nope...didn't happen)...Ok, like others on this forum, she recently opened a bank account!

Anyway, it was still tempting, since "ALUMNI"S HAVE A BETTER VOCABULARY AND WRITING SKILLS BECAUSE WE ARE REQUIRED..." if I may quote you.

Thank you for taking the time to "criticize the lesser intelligent individuals that don't know much about the program," which would include me, I suppose!

I'm guessing you are another "40 year old PR expert," to quote an earlier post, and that the decision was made to "dumb down the responses" from those in favor of the program, since early on they all sounded WAY too mature and professionally-written!

We will pursue other opportunities for our kids!

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#33

story from an ex-employee

AUTHOR: virginia teacher - (USA)


I worked for the People to People Student Ambassador Program from 2003-2005.  I can inform you of the positive things about the program as well as the negative things about the program.

First the positive things:

The trips are really good trips.  They are well organized and full of activities.  There is a "Delegation Manager" on all of the trips that handles the logistics of the trips.  The teachers are there to take care of the students and to deal with behavior issues such as drinking, etc.  The homestays are a really good way to make friends from other countries and to learn about the culture.  The homestays that were organized for the three trips that I went on were organized by a church, the person who owned the travel company that we traveled with (not P2P--and we stayed with his friends and family), and a teacher at a school.  The only "negative" homestay experiences I have heard of were when my students were staying with European students who drank while the student was staying with them (the drinking age in Europe is lower). I have spoken with teachers who have taken trips with other companies (the ones that market to foreign languange teachers) and have heard that those companies are not as logistically organized as the P2P tours.

Now the negative things:

The company is for-profit.  I was told when I worked there that the Student Ambassador program was sold off to a for profit company some years ago (I do not remember when, but the teacher in charge of me had worked for the company when it was not for profit.  But they present a not-for-profit front.  They act like it is a big honor to be nominated for the trip, but in reality they will take anyone who is nominated.  Yes, the students go through interviews, but if there is a concern about a particular student, it is hard to get the student rejected.  They also market the tours as if there are plenty of scholarships on hand and that it is easy to do fundraising.  It is not that easy to fundraise.  Some people have not heard of the company and some people question the "honor" part of it.  One year I had a large group of students.  There were many of them from the same school which made it even more difficult to fundraise. Some people are good at fundraising.  I had one low-income student that got the money for his entire trip.  Some people are not good at it.  If you are not good at it, you probably will not come up with the money through fundraising.   I really hated to organize the first meeting because that was where I told parents the truth about the company. 

The company acts like a for profit company.  When a teacher writes a recommendation for a student, they will usually ask that teacher to also nominate students.  They ask teacher Delegation Leaders the same thing.  When I worked there, they would send me a letter stating that I may not travel the next year if I did not nominate ten students.  I never nominated students.  My friend, who has more recently worked for the company, has been pressured by the teacher leader above her to nominate students.   The company also does not want anyone to know that they are for profit.  One year they posted posible questions and the answers that the teacher leaders should give out.  The answer to the question: Is P2P for profit?  was that they were not.  

The teacher delegation leader's only payment for all of this work is the "free trip".  The teacher has to work all year and her/his payment is the trip.  This could make some teachers quite reluctant to "stay back" with sick students.  You really have to get to know your teacher leaders well.  If they do not seem responsible, it is not a good idea to let your child go with them. 

I really wish the company would stop their deceptive practices.  I really thought that the trips were really good trips.


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#34 Consumer Comment

P2P IS A FABULOUS PROGRAM!

AUTHOR: Jennie - (U.S.A.)

Yes, it is pricey. You have to be willing to raise the money. We are a middle class family, struggle every day to make the bills. We raised the 5K+ plus and 1K spending money for our son to go to Australia. Yes, the price is a shock at the meeting, and we didn't like it either, but the experience was second to none. Jet lag! Oh yeah, but the experience will stay with him forever! Unlike most 6th graders, he was mature enough to go. My youngest wasn't, so now that he is in 12th, he is off to Ausie next summer. Can't wait to see his pictures and hear about his trip!
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#35 Consumer Comment

my daughter went to Japan

AUTHOR: Penny - (U.S.A.)

People To People programs are good. however I agree that the price of the trip should be known. I guess that many people would get up and leave the presentation if they knew the cost up front. i=I just sent my daughter to japan for 2 weeks last month. plus gave 800.00 to spend. we are average family. the main reason she was able to go was her DAD knew many people,and 85 percent came from donations. It was a great experience for her. I worked hard in getting the money.I do feel for kids that would like the chance to go on a trip and become a ammbassdor. I wish they would help more kids that do not have away to go. mmaybe some one should come up with a solution to help these kids penny timmerman
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#36 Consumer Comment

So NOT a rip-off...

AUTHOR: Craig Chapman - (U.S.A.)

To whom it may concern:

I've decided to post this rebuttal, because it was this very same site that first gave my wife and me pause about whether or not this opportunity was either real or appropriate for our son. If we hadn't dug deeper, hadn't found unsolicited, independent confirmation that this was a good program and then made the decision to follow the process and decide for ourselves, then we might've chucked the letter in the trash and never given it another thought; our son would have then missed out on the experience of a lifetime.

At the risk of being blunt on a couple of points: the fact that this site refuses to delete rebutted reports under any circumstances is in my opinion, irresponsible.

Second, by reading the comments of those complaining of the cost, let me ask this: if your son or daughter were accepted to Harvard, or Princeton, or Columbia, or Oxford, or Cambridge or any of the other fine educational opportunities that exist in the world today, would you expect the school to foot the bill? Of course not! To suggest that they or any other organization should...is frankly outrageous. Reality check: while your child is special and unique, unless they're the next Albert Einstein or Stephen Hawking, they won't merit the kind of consideration that likewise merits a full scholarship...anywhere.

Third, if you think kids as young as 6th grade shouldn't be traveling abroad without their parents...I agree! Which is why we've told our 7th grader that he won't be going until he's 15...just like his older brother. But there are those parents out there who would disagree with me; they deserve the opportunity to parent in the manner that they see fit, and give their children the opportunity to travel.

Now, for anyone who's interested in reading the first-person account of a real People to People Student Ambassador, totally unfiltered and written as-it-happened by both him and me (his father...I had to cover when he was out of cell range), including some things that frankly weren't so positive yet were well-handled by P2P, please point your browser to http://www.catapult2canberra.com

In short: my 15-year-old son just returned two days ago from the Australian Discovery Experience (his first time traveling abroad, and the longest time he's been away from his family), and apart from a severe case of jet lag, I've never seen him happier, more grateful or more mature. My wife and I have never been prouder of him.

Now mind you, we're not what you would call "rich." And raising the money was tricky to be sure. But if you've got some creativity, the will to do it and some time to invest in your child's future, it's totally doable and totally within reach. We raised the funds in 120 days by approaching friends, relatives, businesses...anyone who was interested in playing a role in a fundamentally-formative experience in a young person's life.

Yet even 72 hours before the deadline, we still were several hundred dollars short and were working with the P2P program office to find an alternate experience he could transfer into; they were most accommodating and assured us that everything we had paid in by that point would be fully applied to whatever experience he chose...including a shorter 10-day trip to Sydney and Cairns (Introduction to Australia). But amazingly, an angel sponsor came through in time and he was able to take advantage of the full 17-day experience with his local delegation. In the end, all we had to pay for out of our own pocket was spending money, clothes, luggage and toiletries. Even his iPhone and cell phone bill were sponsored during this, the most challenging of economic times in 80 years.

So please, let's not tear down an entire program because it's perceived to be beyond the reach of some, or because one young person met an unfortunate end while on his experience abroad. I acknowledge that if it were my son, I might not be seeing things in the same perspective and would be no doubt devastated by his loss. But sadly, thousands of teens die every year in automobile accidents and while no less tragic, it is nearly always because of the poor judgment of a single individual and nobody else. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that the same is true, in the regrettable case of Tyler Hill.

Let's remember: life is not risk-free, nor is it all-expenses-paid. But for those who can recognize the opportunities available to them and seize the moments at the times they come...many things are possible. But, if for whatever reason one's reach exceeds their grasp, then there's always the future. Moreover, anything can happen to anyone at any time, so be at peace with yourself, those you love and the decisions you make on behalf of your children.

That's what a program like this teaches, and I am grateful for the People to People Student Ambassador Program. I encourage anyone reading this to decide for themselves. But for my own part, I wholeheartedly endorse them and give them a 4.5-out-of-5 stars for the program and the experience.

Sincerely,

Craig C. Chapman
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#37 Consumer Comment

People to People NOT a rip-off!

AUTHOR: Tndrsroni - (U.S.A.)

My daughter was nominated by my aunt who is a school teacher. I, also, am raising my nephew who is the same age as my daughter who would benefit from the program. I am a single parent living on a fixed income and I found all the information that I was looking for on the p2p website including the cost of the program and ideas for fund raising.

If finances are the problem, why not save for two years. You do not have to be nominated. You can sign up on the website. Go to the informational meetings and make sure that this is something that the child wants to do and not just you.

If you feel that your child may be homesick...try with shorter trips away from home and see how it works. I have on child entering college in the fall and I started working his freshman year making sure that he had an impressive college application. He is going to on grants and scholarships. The other two will go the college at the same time and they are participating in all the volunteer opportunities and service project opportunities that the can, along with their academics, sports and other school clubs.

This teaches them time management, organizational skills, and how to help others. It also keeps them from being bored and getting into trouble.
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#38 Consumer Comment

lack of supervision on overseas trip

AUTHOR: Risa H - (U.S.A.)

Below is a letter I sent to the families of all delegates traveling to Europe with my son.

Dear Parents of Delegates,

I had a phone conversation with Wanda Lashbrook from the P2P national office. My conversation with her was so upsetting that I am still trembling and felt I had to share this information with you all as I would want someone to share it with me.

Please note first of all, that the reason I sent my son on this trip was that he had such a wonderful experience on his first People to People trip two years ago to Australia. Justin is a Scholastic and Citizenship Honor Roll student, and, nonetheless, a newly turned 14 year old boy.

On July 4th, at the BBQ and dance, Justin and another delegate were able to leave the event and go to an unsupervised location, making a decision which was in violation of their Ambassador Pledge. This I will not deny. As a result, Justin has lost his free time for the remainder of trip, was forced to write numerous letters of apology, and will have to shadow a leader the remainder of their time in Europe. I have no problem with there being reasonable consequences to my child's behavior. However, the fact that two children were able to separate from the group and to remain unsupervised for an undetermined amount of time is very disturbing. Even more disturbing is that I just learned from Ms. Lashbrook that P2P believes I should not expect them to know the whereabouts of children under their care at all times during trips to foreign countries and when confronted with such an occurrence will vehemently deny any wrong doing on the part of P2P or delegate leaders.

While at a planned event my son and another child went missing for a period of time. However, since their absence went completely unnoticed, it is unclear exactly how much time passed. It is about this incident, which the leaders learned of over a week later, that I was contacted by Kristi and felt compelled to contact the P2P organization. Ultimately I was put into contact with Ms. Lashbrook who is responsible for writing the policy concerning delegate behavior and discipline.

During my conversation with Ms. Lashbrook I voiced to her my concerns that my son and another delegate could disappear from the group and remain unaccounted for an unknown period of time (there is only the children's report of the time away). I told her that I was appalled that my child would be unaccounted for over any amount of time in an unsecured location overseas.

In response to my concerns, at first Ms. Lashbrook actually suggested that the supervision was indeed adequate. However, confronted with the fact that this took place at a P2P sponsored event with children from 2 different delegations, it was difficult to deny that the children, by definition, were obviously not supervised closely enough. Ultimately, Ms. Lashbrook made the following comments that will prevent me from ever sending my son on another trip, my daughter on a trip, or nominating any other child (these statements were written down at the time of the conversation and while they are not direct quotes, they are VERY close paraphrases):

Statement 1: It is impossible for 4 leaders to watch 40 children at all times.

Statement 2: The children are free to go to the bathrooms on their own so he could have easily snuck off without a supervisor realizing he was gone.

Statement 3: The delegates are required to sign a contract stating that they understand the behavior policy of P2P and thus any misbehavior by the children on the trip are their fault, and not the responsibility of the delegation leaders.

Statement 4: Given my son violated a P2P rule, my parenting skills are to question, not their ability to supervise children.

If I were told any of these statements ahead of time, I would have never sent my son overseas with this group. I would never send my 14 year old son to a foreign country without the expectation that the leaders would be able to keep constant track of my child with the exception perhaps of when they are to be sleeping in their rooms at night. I was assured at a pre-trip meeting and at the airport in a public statement by the delegation leaders that the delegates would NOT even be able to go to the bathrooms on their own without being accompanied by another delegate. I do not deny that my 14 year old son made a poor decision. However, he has never engaged in this behavior under my or anyone else's supervision. He is a 14 year old (legally a minor), so signing a contract does not release the leaders from responsibility and liability for actions the delegates may engage in while under their care. If all it took was a contract to regulate the behavior of an unsupervised minor, adolescence would be a very easy period of time for parents and I would not have needed to pay People to People for adult supervision during this trip.

Ms. Lashbrook's comments suggest that parents should not expect that delegation leaders will always supervise their children at unsecured locations in foreign countries. In fact, they rely on the pledge by children for their protection, not the supervision of adults. I would have never sent my son on a trip overseas if I knew that P2P did not take responsibility for their supervision at all times. After all, how long does it take for a child to experience harm if they are on their own in a foreign country? What amount of time is acceptable for P2P to not provide for the protection and supervision of my child?

I thought you all should remain informed consumers and to have this information before making any future P2P plans for your children.
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#39 Consumer Suggestion

No need for tears!

AUTHOR: Graham - (U.S.A.)

Jim, I was saddened by your take on the People to People Student Ambassadors program. I stumbled across your letter quite by accident while searching for something else and was compelled to write a response before your letter wrongly influences any parent's decisions for their own child(ren). Granted, these trips are expensive, but what these kids are getting in return will benefit them for a lifetime. The value can't be determined in terms of dollars. My son was a Student Ambassador when he was in high school. Like many families, we were not in a financial position to afford such a trip - that's why it was necessary for us to work, seek sponsorships, and yes, do without a few things to make it happen. Many, many kids earn their own way. People to People encourages these young people to contribute to the process of making this dream a reality. You would be amazed and encouraged by the number of kids from lower income families who have NOT been daunted by the cost because they fully understood the importance of being a part of something this worthwhile. They simply weren't afraid of learning how to finance this kind of adventure and following through.

These travels offer young people opportunities not available to tourists or the general public. At times, they will experience events and locations "off limits" to all but a select few. All of our ambassadors represent our towns, states, and the United States of America on these trips, so they are groomed for leadership and educated about the different cultures and lifestyles of their destinations.

After a child is accepted into the program, there are many months available to them for preparation - which includes time to raise funds for the trip. (People to People will even work with the parents or guardians with payment plans) When my son went for his interview, I waited outside with other parents and students. While I was waiting, I met a young man who, as a rising Sophomore, had already been on THREE People to People trips and had paid for ALL of them himself by fundraising and working around his neighborhood! Shortly after the events of 9/11, America was reeling from grief, but united with renewed patriotism. This kid, understanding the impact of the event, sold small American flags and financed his entire trip that year.

After going through the educational and financial preparation for the trip, my son had more confidence and had gained an "anything is possible - even for ME" attitude - something that changed the outlook of our entire family. Upon returning from Europe, he was more mature in his thinking, had greater interest in the well-being of the world, and for the first time, the potential of his personal contribution to making life better for others and himself. He has made lasting friendships from the experience.

Jim, I hope you will reconsider your position on this great organization. Your daughter is still young and has plenty of time to prepare for this rewarding challenge. Go to their website and learn what they are all about. The benefits far exceed what you will even see there.

There are too many occasions when we, as parents, place unnecessary limits on opportunities for our children because of money. It's often easier to say "We can't do this because we can't afford it", than to question, "How can we make this happen?" I can assure you, People to People Student Ambassadors is NOT an organization that caters to the "priviledged and wealthy". There will certainly be kids whose parents can simply write a check and that will be that. Those are often the ones who never quite understand the correlation between wanting something and being willing to do what is necessary to accomplish it. Working together made our family much closer because it sent a message to our kids that together, we can accomplish anything. We are now quite hesitant to use the "don't have the money" card with our kids. They know if we want it, and it's worthwhile, we can do it. This change in mindset has helped us in many areas of our lives.

I should probably add, that starting early is key because Murphy's law can and does happen occasionally. Two weeks before the trip, my son's camera equipment was stolen. He had to choose between spending money and a camera. He bought the camera. My son had $300 to take with him on a three week European trip! I'm dead serious. Another child on his trip had under $100 and no camera. These kids become family, Jim. Everyone looked after everyone else. Those with less cash - SHARED with each other!! My son's account of the experience would make you cry and redeem your faith in the values and compassion of our young people. With little money, he was still able to bring his sister and us some gifts, and had learned to budget. He has never since "expected" us to provide him with things that he wanted. To this day, he rarely asks for anything he doesn't need. His dad and I still chuckle about the transformation. Another plus is earning high school and/or college credit at the same time. Colleges give strong consideration to P2P Ambassadors in the admissions process. We've heard many, many testimonials from parents who think P2P should be required by law!

I give substantial credit to my son's People to People experiences for providing him the chance to better understand himself and others - and for giving him the confidence to believe in himself. He has often said this was among the greatest and most memorable experiences in his life. Books couldn't possibly teach what he learned on the trip and the months preparing for it. I ask you, for your daughter and for your entire family, please speak with parents whose children who have actually gone through the process rather than listen to disgruntled parents who heard a dollar amount and gave up immediately. You will never regret what you will be doing for your child - or for yourself! NONE of us have, I assure you.

Oh, just a note, remember the kid with no camera and very little money? She ended up with as many pictures as anyone because they all shared their pictures on-line when they returned. AND, she came home with a new sweatshirt - compliments of her new friends.
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#40 Consumer Comment

I participated in a People to People professional program

AUTHOR: Smurphy - (U.S.A.)

I don't think it was a rip-off. It was not cheap, but the accomodations and other aspects of the trip seemed to me to be worth what I paid.

I have travelled quite a bit, usually not on tours or organized things, so I think I have a pretty good basis for comparison. I usually travel in the most thrifty way possible.

Now I'll have to admit it's probably pricey for a working-class family, but there are suggestions for fund-raising on their website.
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#41 Consumer Comment

People to People is not a Ripoff

AUTHOR: Wax - (U.S.A.)

Yes, it is true that People to People costs a lot of money, but in comparison to the cost you would pay to travel on your own it is very low. I went on a trip to Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France, and England. Each time I traveled there were many opportunities presented by People to People to help pay with costs such as fund raisers, garage sales, etc. The cost is worth it, and there are ways to find the money. People to People is an amazing program and should not be thought of as a Ripoff.
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#42 Consumer Comment

PTP

AUTHOR: Ny10 - (U.S.A.)

My son's friends got letters; they were recommended by their teachers. So I contacted PTP and they sent me a recommendation as well. It was not hard to get or exclusive; I am sure their acceptance rate is 100%. I did not send my son on the trip as I could not afford it and I am sure the trips could be made at a lower cost. Their travel has quite a premium. Having said that, I know someone who did the Japan trip, someone else who did the Australia trip and someone else who went to another location. All 3 boys loved the trips, were well supervised and enjoyed their chaperone. They were kept so busy, they had no time for getting into trouble and they learned a lot.
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#43 Consumer Comment

PTP

AUTHOR: Ny10 - (U.S.A.)

My son's friends got letters; they were recommended by their teachers. So I contacted PTP and they sent me a recommendation as well. It was not hard to get or exclusive; I am sure their acceptance rate is 100%. I did not send my son on the trip as I could not afford it and I am sure the trips could be made at a lower cost. Their travel has quite a premium. Having said that, I know someone who did the Japan trip, someone else who did the Australia trip and someone else who went to another location. All 3 boys loved the trips, were well supervised and enjoyed their chaperone. They were kept so busy, they had no time for getting into trouble and they learned a lot.
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#44 Consumer Comment

PTP

AUTHOR: Ny10 - (U.S.A.)

My son's friends got letters; they were recommended by their teachers. So I contacted PTP and they sent me a recommendation as well. It was not hard to get or exclusive; I am sure their acceptance rate is 100%. I did not send my son on the trip as I could not afford it and I am sure the trips could be made at a lower cost. Their travel has quite a premium. Having said that, I know someone who did the Japan trip, someone else who did the Australia trip and someone else who went to another location. All 3 boys loved the trips, were well supervised and enjoyed their chaperone. They were kept so busy, they had no time for getting into trouble and they learned a lot.
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#45 Consumer Comment

PTP

AUTHOR: Ny10 - (U.S.A.)

My son's friends got letters; they were recommended by their teachers. So I contacted PTP and they sent me a recommendation as well. It was not hard to get or exclusive; I am sure their acceptance rate is 100%. I did not send my son on the trip as I could not afford it and I am sure the trips could be made at a lower cost. Their travel has quite a premium. Having said that, I know someone who did the Japan trip, someone else who did the Australia trip and someone else who went to another location. All 3 boys loved the trips, were well supervised and enjoyed their chaperone. They were kept so busy, they had no time for getting into trouble and they learned a lot.
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#46 Consumer Comment

My Obversations

AUTHOR: Josh - (U.S.A.)

I've just read the many comments from others regarding P2P.

I've also reread the first letter received for my son. What it said in summary is he was invited to travel and study in several countries in Europe. He would join other high school students from the area who are eligible for P2P. All students must be invited annually and it is a one time offer

My first thought when we received the letter was how did he qualify since they said he was eligible? He is an A/B student but there are others that I found out that are straight A students that did not receive a letter. So I figured it must not be based on grades especially since one of his friends whose grades are C & D's also got a letter.

I called and asked the P2P folks how he was selected and they said someone nominated him. Who? They didn't know. Why? They didn't know.

I suspect some are right in how their children are nominated. We opened a checking account for my son this summer and the letter showed up soon afterwards. At the time I didn't think anything about it but I'm sure the "selection process" comes from some mailing lists they buy.

Since I have traveled to most of the countries on his itinerary I figured the cost around $6000. That seems to be right from the comments on here.

(Our first meeting was canceled due to Hurricane Gustav so didn't get to ask any questions yet.)

Also since we've traveled out of the country we've always purchased trip insurance and again from the comments here it seems that P2P may be making a profit from selling of this insurance. Is that good or bad, I don't know.

I don't mind him taking the trip but at this time I'm uneasy with the process they use and the lack of specific information I am able or unable to obtain. I have a page of questions to ask and will wait to make a decision after I get answers.

One of the questions I asked when I called them was who were the "local educators" and "chaperones". Was told they didn't know yet! A little disconcerting right off.

And before we decide to spend $5-10 thousand on this trip we'll certainly look into the entire family traveling there. (I've been to Lucerne, traveled down by train thru the Black Forest along the Rhine to Paris for a heck of a lot less and observed the things they speak about learning. Lucerne is not a great place for kids unless they're very mature.)

So the answers to my questions and research on doing our own trip will decide for us.
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#47 Consumer Comment

this is rediculous

AUTHOR: Xxkariexx - (U.S.A.)

Im 15 years old about to be 16 in two weeks. I am a sophomore. About a week ago i got a letter from people to people inviting me to go to Japan during the summer of 09

I got SO excited. I stared freaking out! I have never flown in my life and one been out of the country for about 5 hours. I have always loved Japan and dreamed of going! I thought that this was going to be my opertunity to mature in ways that i had never dreamed of.

My dad works at a machine shop and my mom was recently fired from her job as a waitress, we live in a cramped apartment in a bad neighborhood, what money that we might ever have goes to my tutition at a catholic high school. We are not unfimilure to the monthly eviction notices on our door and warnings that our gas and electric will be shut off.

I knew that it would cost something but i figured that if it was as big of a foundation as it made its self seem to be that the would get grants and stuff like that to and therefore lower costs......

I met with my school counsoler today to see what she new about them, she told me that they were very well known and very well regarded and got me even more excited. i still wondered about the cost. We looked at every possible thing that there is on there site and the most that there was about price was "register for you local meeting" or something along those lines.

So during my math class i decided to do a little research of my own. I google People to people cost......

I was devistated when i found people that were saying that there trips cost around 9 thousand dollars.

Then i found people that had people that were saying that they had earned money through different things and hardly had to pay anything. I saw a tad bit of hope.

I got on ptp's website again and looked at what to bring if you go.
if i were to go it would cost me at the very least $200 in things that they tell you to bring, then by the time of the trip i would be 16, a passport for ages 16 and older are $85.....
and then the recommended $20-25 dollars PER DAY for "spending money" added in to all of that......
it is just crazy....

there is now way that in a commutnity like mine that i would ever earn any money let alone THAT much money
and there is no way that we could ever afford that, i am still going to insist that my parents go to the meeting seeing as how they are already registered and all but i am not going to psych myself up anymore.

i guess that my dream of flying and getting out of the country and going to Japan is crushed!

Sorry this is so long but this was sort of my venting
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#48 Consumer Comment

Parents mistake

AUTHOR: Marge - (U.S.A.)

I understand parents may be upset by the cost of the program, but to some extent the upset children are the parents fault. What adult receives a letter inviting their child to go on a trip to France, Japan or any other country and lets themselves or the child hope the trip is all expense paid unless it says so. I have one of the letters and it says nothing along the lines of all expense paid, when I received it I naturally assumed it would cost around $5000, as do most other international trips for students depending on the length of the trip and the location.

From what I understand the company does in fact choose students based on reccomendations and TEST SCORES(ACT) they want kids who have a chance of being leaders, but being invited isn't some kind of award, its an opportunity and the kids still have to apply to be let in (as it says on the website). Most people with even an ounce of common sense would understand that an international trip, even for a good student is not free, parents need to explain that to their kids before the informational meeting. I'm sure thousands of students go on people to people trips each year. It's ridiculous to allow your child to think (unless the company said otherwise) that he/she is being given a $3,000-$7,000 trip because he/she scored well on a state test, or because his/her teacher or friend thought to nominate him/her.
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#49 Consumer Comment

RE: NOMINATION PROCESS

AUTHOR: Jodipo - (U.S.A.)

So, I have read all the comments here, and there seems to be an idea that this is a program a kid has to be smart or special to get into.

Try again. If you think you got a letter cause you are special your wrong. My son got a letter. He is a D student, and a troublemaker at school. We are poor as well, so money is the deciding factor.


My son got the letter for the simple fact of... he opened his first checking account last month. With Wells Fargo, who supports the program.

yeah, real special.

If you want your kids to lear about europe, a 2 day trip to a country isnt going to do it anyway so just spend the money and fly the both of you to a different country and stay a week or more. It will cost the same and your child may actually learn mroe than where their mall is at.
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#50 Consumer Comment

RE: NOMINATION PROCESS

AUTHOR: Caroline - (U.S.A.)

My son has also just received a letter from P2P.
As Teresa from San Francisco stated, my son's letter states that he is "invited to travel and study in Eastern Europe in the summer of 2009." He is informed that he is "eligible" and that "all students must be invited annually, so we are pleased to offer (blank) this one-time-only opportunity to travel on a 2009 program."
The letter goes on to give us a PIN number to use on their website to reserve our seats at September's informational meeting.
The entire letter gave me the impression that my son was nominated by someone. As he is an incoming high school freshman, he has not taken any college prep. tests yet.
Our neighbor's son went six years ago and had a wonderful time (and I remembered that she said it was expensive), but I never asked for specifics regarding the mission of these trips.
Personally, these trips sound like something we as a family can put together on our own for a lower cost. Having traveled throughout Europe for six weeks, I know that savings can be had (and still have fun and stay at nice places).
We are planning to attend the meeting and will keep an open mind, but I think our family of four can spend two weeks in Hawaii next summer for the same price or less, with careful planning.
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#51 Consumer Comment

RE: The Nomination Process

AUTHOR: Teresa - (U.S.A.)

Joff - our family recently received a letter from P2P and our letter was not worded as yours. The company solicits children from ages too young to have taken the PSAT or SAT.

Our letter (Word for word): Blank has been "invited" to travel and study .... Join students from the blank area who are "eligible" for People to People. All students "must be invited" annually. We are please to offer Blank this "one-time-only" opportnity to travel on a 2009 program.

Then the letter directs the invitee to visit the www.studentambassadors.org website. The website then discusses the invitees nomination and selection process, the selection process implies the invitee must apply to attend and the invitee must posses some outstanding attribute to be selected/invited to travel. No one really has to be "invited", especially since the website allows any individual to "nominate" themself, if they so desire to want to attend one of the events, they can.

There is nothing wrong with the company profiting, I believe it's the deceptive marketing practice ... of "you're child posses some outstanding attribute, which we recognize, therefore, we've invited your child, not just any child, to attend". The company is really just a travel agency and any child can attend and many seem to travel often (many summer trips).
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#52 Consumer Comment

The nomination proccess

AUTHOR: Joff - (U.S.A.)

This is only going out to the people who are nashing on the "nomination proccess" if you had actually read your letters they say "we have identified your child (name here) as a result of their participation in the college board student search service, the organization that admisters the SAT and PSAT." so if you were to read the letter you would know this. also as for the prices use some common sense people nothing is for free anymore as for the scholarship and fundraising oppurtunities why not try and write some letters to the local exchange club as mine sent a fellow boyscout to the world scout jamboree which was roughly $7000 myself i just fundraised my butt off. Please note that i have directly quoted a letter that i have received myself.
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#53 Consumer Comment

You Have NO Idea - Same Teacher Leader Responsible on Tyler Hill's Trip Also Responsible on a Trip where another child died.

AUTHOR: Momsy - (U.S.A.)

I will try as Tyler's mom not be emotional here.

Tyler had EXCELLENT CONTROL of his diabetes and migraines. He was an A honor roll student and Rugby MVP. He did not have BAD diabetes. There is no such thing. You either have it or you do not. He asked to go the hospital and was denied.

The same delegation leader on his trip, Sue Stahr, was also on a trip where another student died in New Zealand of a train accident and she reported in her deposition that she intends to travel with PTP next year.

The teachers get to go for free if they get 10 students, they get to bring a friend if they get 20. They are most interested in touring foreign cities, rather than safety. The company definitely does not have a solid safety record. Children have been molested at home stays, lost, killed, injured and sick. Yet the company does not tell the wholed story.

I WILL. This is what is most important for you to know. If you or your child travels abroad there are no laws to protect them, because there is no jurisdiciton. They are in a foreign country. See www.tylerhill.org

GOD BLESS ALL THE YOUTH who travel abroad for international understanding with the valued intended by President Eisenhower. You should be able to do this without profiting EPAX a for profit traded on DASDAQ as People to People Student Ambassadors.

I pray for the day....

In Peace,
Sheryl
Tyler's VERY EXTREMELY PROUD MOM
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#54 Consumer Comment

scholarships for people to people

AUTHOR: Xoalliboballyox - (U.S.A.)

I have been on a people to people student ambassador program. i just read a complaint about the cost of the program and that this program is only for gifted wealthy children. Well, it is not. i was invited to go and i paid for it myself. At the time of this program my mother was undergoing chemotherepy and radiation for breast cancer. Because of this financial constraint i raised the money to go on a student ambassador program myself. All it takes is a little bit of effort and some time. If your child really wishes to go on one of these programs, then he or she should most definately raise the money themselves. It made me appreciate this trip so much more because i paid for it myself, and it wasnt something my parents just gave me. This program is most definately not a rip off. It opened my eyes to a world outside my own, and has changed my life forever.
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#55 UPDATE Employee

FOR ALL THOSE WHO ARE CONCERNED ABOUT PEOPLE TO PEOPLE

AUTHOR: Shae.applepie - (U.S.A.)

For all those who have ever gotten an invitation in the mail to be apart of the Program IT IS A GOOD PROGRAM, my name is SHANNON YEOMANS, I AM A PEOPLE TO PEOPLE ALUMNI, I AM 16 YEARS OLD. First of all I'd like to criticize the lesser intelligent individuals that don't know much about the program. ALUMNI"S HAVE A BETTER VOCABULARY AND WRITING SKILLS BECAUSE WE ARE REQUIRED.

And for someone's comment I read, 300 dollars a day, thats because we have TICKETS to everywhere we go, the PLANE TICKET is AT LEAST 1000 depending on where we are going, WE HAVE A CHARTER BUS, That is one of the most expensive tickets you can have on the trip, especially to places like EUROPE where they are concerned about their environment, based on the fact that scientists say that we will only have 15 more years on Earth if we keep treating it the way we do.

When People to People student Ambassadors go to different sites, the sites are usually reserved FOR THE AMBASSADORS. I MET THE QUEEN OF ENGLAND LAST YEAR. I climbed the Eiffel Tower, I created Life Long Friends. If you don't believe me I have proof. My life changed after this experience.
I'm not from a rich family, my parents could care less about where I end up in life, but my aunt wants the best for me.

One of the last points I'd like to make is about the student that died on the trip last year, People to People, when you first become apart of the program, have you sign forms, for activities, insurance, waivers, and HEALTH forms, I'm sure NO ONE out there knows this but the parents of that child FAILED TO PUT ON HIS HEALTH FORM that he was EXTREMELY DIABETIC, so the leaders didn't know what was wrong with him, and the boy didn't bring any medicine with him, as he should have done, so IT WAS THE PARENTS FAULT. And there will be a case regarding this incident, and I'm 100 Percent sure that People to People WILL WIN. My Email Address is (((ROR redacted))), I'm sure there are people out there that what to challenge my argument, go right ahead. I WILL PROVE YOU WRONG. Have a great day!

CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.
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#56 Consumer Comment

I wish people would pay attention

AUTHOR: Pink Champagne - (U.S.A.)

If you people payed closer attention to what the organization was telling you, instead of concentrating on "$6,000!!! @.@" the whole time, you'd notice that these trips are cheaper than you'd think, and attaining the money is easier than you think also.

Yes $6,000 dollars is a good deal of money when you are just thinking about it and not what you're buying with it. If someone offered you a brandnew three-story house, completely furnished, and with a pool in the backyard for $6,000 you'd flip you're lid and take it in a heartbeat (if that's the kind of house you wanted). Why? Because that's cheap. It's a deal you might not find anywhere else. The same goes for a 3 week trip around Western Europe. Again Think about it. You're child is staying in ONLY the BEST hotels and being fed the BEST food and being taken care of by the BEST people who know what they are doing. Not only that but they get to experience what the rest of the world has to offer. They get to see how eveyone else lives from day to day. They get to have an experience that could change their view on the world, and one day effect how they change it for the better. Now how is that NOT worth $6,000?

I say this because I am a newly excepted member, and am going to be a Student Ambassador this summer after I graduate from high school, and when I went to my "info meeting" I listened when they were telling us of ALL the different and EASY ways we could come up with the money we would need. Like everyone else before has said: Fundraising is the best way to go. And its easier than you think. There are also plenty of companys and businesses in you community that if you would just go to them and show them what kind of a wonderful world changing event they would be involved in, not to mention how good it would make them look to their public, they would be more than happy to help (and sometimes fully) sponsor your trip.

And I'm sorry you feel (or felt) so sorely about this program, and I hope that my words did not offend you. I just want you to understand that if you open your ears more before you make a hasty decision you will almost always find a way to make what you want possible.
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#57 Consumer Comment

Amazing Trip

AUTHOR: Olivia - (U.S.A.)

This year is my first year with people to people. But my Friend when on a trip overseas with people to people said it was the best thing she ever done!

Yes it is expensive but I know it will be totally worth it! Think about it 3 weeks for 6,000 isn't bad. My school trip to Spain for 1 week cost 3,000. People to People offers so much more. I am going to England and France with high school students. I will get to meet a member of Parliament and have a homestay! Other trips offer Full-on. Full-on you get to repel off of a castle or zip-line in New Zealand. Not to mention getting to stay overnight in a tent at Warwick castle.

I am so excited for this trip. I don't understand when people say it is a rip-off or a scam. It is not. I just came back from my first orientation meeting and met all of the great people I will be traveling with! It was a program that President Eisenhower created to promote peace through understanding. He thought that students were the best Ambassadors! If you still do not believe me go on youtube and you can watch videos that people had on this trip!

Also on another note, someone who has been on a people to people trip since they were in 5th grade told me this. The reason why they don't tell you the price till the Info Meeting is because they want you to come and understand that there are ways to get money for this trip. You can fundraise money by having bake sales or yard sales and so much more!!

If you are considering a trip go to the Info Meeting and apply!!! I have made some many friends from my first meeting!! I am so excited for my trip!! Just remember p2p offers so much more then a real vacation! At the meeting Alumni came up and talked about how much the trip changed them. People said they step out of there comfort zone when they did Full-On in New Zealand which was the trip last year to Australia, Fiji, and of course New Zealand! I hope you all consider p2p a great opportunity and take it!
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#58 Consumer Comment

People to people in california

AUTHOR: Julie - (U.S.A.)

I have read these comments and think that most of the people are just upset because they think that they would get something for nothing...that's not the way the world works. As for many letters sent out in my daughters school only four letters were sent out one to a former ambassdor the rest on the honor roll...as for not telling you I knew it would cost because I am not naive...

as for homeschooling you still have to go in to take test to make sure your son is passing state standerds maybe he made an impression...and I knew who nomanited my daughter because we asked. and for the cost these kids go to things that you never could get into plus stay at more expensive hotels...and the health insurance that cost exter one child that will be going again this year is because they got sick last year and had to return early so the refuned her and she is going this year.
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#59 Consumer Comment

How many noticed that

AUTHOR: Thomas - (U.S.A.)

these "P2P Alums" write in VERY mature styles for their stated ages?

Consider "I'm 14" Seton - De Pere, Wisconsin.

This person writes with the product knowledge breadth and style of a 40 year-old PR person.

Now if a 14 yr-old is this mature, they are also mature enough to see that their maturity, which we presume was attained as a result of their P2P experiences, would confer on them a considerable competitive advantage over less mature 14-year-olds. So why would they then dilute that competitive advantage by encouraging other 14-yr-olds to shed their own immaturity? This 'apparently alturistic' effort makes little competitive sense to me.

My wife went to Europe with the AFS (American Field Service) during the summer between her junior and senior years in high school. She was NHS, editor of the school paper, etc. The AFS was, as I recall, quite selective. Her father could also easily afford whatever the AFS expenses might have been. So maybe everyone wants to compare P2P to AFS?
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#60 Consumer Suggestion

From PTP Alum....

AUTHOR: Seton - (U.S.A.)

I'm 14 and I've traveled with PTP frequently. Yes, I agree, it is rather expensive. Unfortunately, something that often goes unmentioned at those meetings are the fundraising opportunities. There are also opportunities for scholarships. Some scholarships can be awarded based on financial need; others will be chosen by the student writing an essay.

Nevertheless, the trips are well worth the money. In response to the post above mine, People to People truly is working to build the road to peace. It depends on the organization that you travel with. There are three components to the People to People program. This particular trip that is being discussed here is with the People to People Ambassador program.

-Ambassadors focuses mainly on immersing student leaders, not just kids :-) into different cultures. It offers them the opportunity to become a well rounded person and to meet other student leaders much like themselves from around the world or nation. The CEO is Jeff Thomas.

-Sports Ambassdors is based on the sports that your team leader is interested in. I'm sorry, I don't remember all of the sports given, but you are given the opportunity to play your sport in another country with team leaders from all over the world. While I haven't gone a Sports Ambassadors trip, I have met many people who have nothing but good things to say about it. Delegates are chosen based on their leadership ability on the team--whether or not they're "good". They will play regardless of their athletic ability.

-People to People International (PTPI) is the base of PTP, as it was the very first part, founded fifty years ago by former US President Dwight D. Eisenhower. This part of PTP is non-profit, unlike the Ambassador programs, in which you can hold stock.

Jennipher, this is the part of PTP that works toward "Peace through Understanding". If you are interested in promoting this, this is the program for you. It is also the least expensive. Trips range from $500 to $5000.

They are VERY selective of student leaders, as each event that takes place happens only once every year. The two major events that take place are the Global Youth Forum (GYF) (which occurs in a different city each year) and the Global Youth Forum Humanitarian Conference (GYFHC).

The 2006 GYF took place in Kansas City, MO and the GYFHC will take place in Casablanca, Morocco. This is by far my favorite part of the organization, becuase it really shows how you, as a young person, can make a difference in the world.

In addition, you are not invited or nominated to attend these conferences. You apply yourself and then send letters of reccomendation. The President and CEO of People to People International will make the final decision.

There are also other things, such as Operation Iraqi Children (you just get the school supplies, you don't go to Iraq), Peace Camp, Student Chapters (I'm the President/Founder of my local student chapter), and many other things. There are also many scholarship opportunities with PTPI.

I myself have recieved scholarships to attend Global Youth Forums (there have been five; I got a scholarship for the last one in November, which was in Kansas City, MO, and I got the Mary Jean Eisenhower award, which included free tuition to the next GYF in Chicago). The age requirement for a GYF is 13-18 and the age requirement for a GYFHC is 16-18. I'm sorry, I don't know what it is for Peace Camp, but I am more than willing to find out for you.

People to People is an amzaing organization that has changed my life completely. I would be more than happy to answer questions for someone that wants to know more about PTP or PTPI. I am full of fundraising ideas, and within the next year, my student chapter MAY offer some scholarships to students interested.

I don't want money to deprive your student or team of this awesome, life changing experience. It saddens me to see that there are people that think negatively of People to People, and I am working hard to change that view.

In Peace,
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#61 Consumer Comment

More of the same

AUTHOR: Jennipher - (U.S.A.)

We too have been receiving invitation letters from P2P for the last couple of years for our daughter. I have always tossed them in the garbage, yet the England, Ireland, Wales content peaked my attention and this time I actually read the letter and showed it to my 14 y.o. (big mistake!). We went to the meeting expecting a select group of students chosen based on something special. Good grades are not something our daughter has going for her so we thought the "nomination" was because of her "ambassador" type personality. There had to be 300-400 people at this meeting! So much for a "select few". Yes, yes, yes, the prices were atrocious! But what really made me wonder was even if we paid for one quarter of it, how could a 14 y.o. raise the other four grand in approximately 7 months. (Maybe a year and 7 months.)

Then, my husband made the comment that there are kids suffering from leukemia and cancer trying to raise money for medical bills and there are families that have lost children, parents or houses and are looking for monetary help, how could we send our kid out there asking for money for an overpriced vacation?

Okay, all that aside, what if she sold crafts and held dinners, etc. and busted her butt selling and fundraising and still came up short? Do you think that P2P would applaud her for her efforts and kick the rest in? No, that would be our job; something we are not prepared or equipped to do.

Food for thought...friends of ours also got a letter for their kid too. Our friends were "buying in" to the whole "nomination" factor and felt disappointed that we had been getting the letter for the last four years. Both her kids are brainiacs and have always been active in many clubs etc. so I could understand her disappointment that this was the first nomination in her family. My thought on this phenomenon is that their economic situation had recently taken an upward swing and they just bought their first new car in 10 years or so. Maybe they got a credit card. Who knows what the tip off was, but it's a mighty strange coincidence.

I have not read one bad review on anyone who has gone on this trip. I know my kid would have a great time...but don't sell me a package of goods--give it to me straight! P2P is a travel agent for kids--not an ambassador program for world peace.
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#62 REBUTTAL Individual responds

A Clear Rip- Off

AUTHOR: Mike - (U.S.A.)

I am not one normally taken in by these kind of deals but the initial letter stating my child's nomination had all the appearences of a Government backed program that gives young kids an opportunity to gain cultural experience at what one would think is a do-able price.

I brought my kid to the meeting and quickly realized the nomination concept was crap. No one from my daughter's school ever had anything to do with this program nor have any of her friends.

I nearly walked out at the beginning after reading the "tuition" fees just prior to the onset of the meeting. A spokes woman from the main headquarters goes into this colorful presentation about the trip and it's educational benefits and then shows a DVD of all the activities the kids will be doing on this Australian Outback Discovery. Out of the corner of my eye I could see my kid drooling... every 5 minutes she would lean over and anxiously ask me what I thought.

As she concludes the presentation by lining up a bunch of kids who have gone on trips, I began reading through some of the fine print. I found it a little curious hardly any mention was given to the fund raising methods the book says they will provide. After reading a bit, I found that you have to cough up the $400 deposit first.

The price of the trip as listed is $5,399.00 plus an additional $465.00 for the airfare between Miami and LAX. There is also $125. charge for Delegate Protection Plan insurance. The cancellation policy in The Terms and Conditions is also very interesting. If for some reason you need to cancel 119 days of departure you lose the $400 deposit. If you cancel 59 - 45 days prior you lose 25% of the "full" refund. If you cancel within 44 - 30 days you lose 50%of the full refund. If you cancel 14 days or less prior to departure you lose the entire investment!

If you add up the total costs it comes out to almost $300 a day for the 20 days!

I searched prices as if I were to do this trip on my own with my girl and we both can go for almost the same amount of money that includes hotal lodging (3 star) and a rented vehicle (economy).

Money not withstanding, in this day and age of terrorism, I am not sending my 12 year old daughter off to the otherside of the planet without her parents and only four adult delegates who are in charge of watching 39 other kids.

This is a nice thing for rich people who want 20 days vacation from their kids. This is a "for-Profit" business venture. Do not let the .org fool you.
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#63 Consumer Suggestion

A good idea gone awry...

AUTHOR: Paul - (U.S.A.)

This program was at one time very worthy and laudable. Unfortunatley, the world has changed, and let's face it - NASDAQ traded companies have a bottom line that matters every quarter - and guess what? It's not based on sending semi-priveleged American kids on what's the word... oh, yeah - ambassadorial missions overseas. This is at best a roll of the dice. I liked the earlier comment about the cat. My dog was also selected, but I wasn't that surprised as she is an Australian Sheperd, and is very well regarded in the neighborhood!
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#64 Consumer Comment

Awesome Experience!

AUTHOR: Shannon - (U.S.A.)

In response to your complaint, I had the opportunity to go to Europe 6 years ago with the People to People Ambassador Program and here to tell you, it was well worth the money paid for the trip. It is far from being a program only for "priviledged and wealthy" children.

My mom is a factory worker and my dad is a trucker and many of the people who went on this trip came from your average working-class family. Because my dad is a trucker, he was hauling fruit from Florida at the time and I sold oranges to make money for the trip and many of the students who attended with me had also raised money in some sort of way.

You are right, the program is expensive and yes, they do fail to tell you the price upfront...but it is a great program--I have met a lot of great people, seen a lot of places and did a lot of things I doubt any average 16 year old kid has done (and I have over 15 rolls of film to prove it!).

I had the opportunity to go because I raised money and my parents saw a good thing. It wasn't because of a handout from "wealthy parents" -- my family has never had $6000 laying around to spend.

And for the "nomination" issue, being "nominated" does not necessarily mean you can go. There is an interview process you do have to go through in order to get accepted. I got the same paper 8 years ago saying "you have been nominated" and I have yet to find out who nominated me (which I highly doubt anyone nominated me). I think it is very random in sending out their brochures, which I think is a good thing--it gives average kids the chance of a lifetime.

Here's something else to think about.
I went to France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria and Spain for 30 days for $5000--airfare, meals, and accomodations included. I saw the view of Paris atop the Eifel Tower, saw the Mona Lisa through the bulletproof case at The Louvre, visited Chateau de Versailles, traveled down the Seine River on a riverboat, saw Notre Dame.

Traveled to Barcelona, sat in the stadium where the 1992 summer olympics were held, got the chance to see a lot of Antoni Gaudi's extraordinary works in the city (including La Sagrada Familia). Traveled south to Cordoba to visit a bunch of Moorish Mosques dating back to the 13th century. I visited Zurich, Switzerland, sat in on an official briefing at the United Nations, visited the American Red Cross headquarters, stayed with a wonderful family in Austria, among SO much more!

Let's not forget one more thing--I even spent some days in ice caves and hiking up the side of a mountain in the Swiss Alps. Oh yes, I even spent my 16th birthday at the Hard Rock Cafe in Madrid, Spain, having the waiters sing 'happy birthday' to me in Spanish!

Point being, for the money spent, I got to do a whole lot and got a lifetime of memories to hold on to! I highly doubt I could do all that again for $5000. If I could, I would!
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#65 UPDATE Employee

great progam

AUTHOR: Jimmy - (U.S.A.)

I have just recently traveled with p2p student ambassadors to china . Yes it is expensive... my total expense for the trip was close to 6000 but that payed for everything. And my mom paid for the trip by herself. And yes there is a way to pay for it....Student Ambassador program offers grants and loans.. all you have to do is research. Also at the meeting they tell you how much it is in the booklet with your application.
As I stated above I traveled with them last year and i had a blast, and i plan to travel again this summer.
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#66 Consumer Comment

Thanks For Shedding Some Light

AUTHOR: Isabella - (U.S.A.)

Jim from Michigan-- Thank you very much for posting your report. You really helped shed some light on this organization for me. When I recieved my 'invitation', I was VERY much excited about exploring other countries, in my case Ireland, England, and Wales. The letter really led you to belive that this trip would be all expense paid, after all they mentioned presedents as honory chairmans.

My hopes were sky high unitll I visited their site saying there was a tution fee. My parents assured me that you couldnt put a price on education, and that they would find a way to put me through P2P.

After reading other peoples reports on the price of this "honor", I've come to the decsion that I no longer want to go. I loved how P2P gave you the run around with the price: they dont tell you on the letter, they dont tell you on their website, but they tell you after their "ralley", that way your parents can crush your heart after you hear all the fun things you could have been doing.

I also loved how they NEVER tell you who nominates you. You would think they'd tell you so you could give thanks to the teacher or former ambassador.

They NEED to have scholarships or something because my family is working-middle class. There's NO WAY we could POSSIBLY AFFORD THIS!!!!
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#67 Consumer Comment

My son went on the Australia trip

AUTHOR: Jim - (U.S.A.)

The trip was everything that was promised. He had a terrific time. The trip was very well-run, and the kids were monitored very well. My mother-in-law looked at the itinerary, and said that taking that trip on one's own would be much more expensive.

There is a long series of meetings for the kids before the trip begins so that they know how to behave on the trip, how to pack for it, and something about the country they are going to.

The cost is up there, but if you can find a way to swing it, it is a terrific experience for your kid. My wife says she's heard something about scholarships; you'd have to ask People To People about that.

I think the "nominations" are real. Only 2 kids from my son's school were nominated (him and one other kid), and both are top students.
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#68 Consumer Comment

Thanks!

AUTHOR: Natalie - (U.S.A.)

I was just trying to do some of that research that some talked about doing about this organization because my son's teacher spent three weeks asking co-workers and administrators about the letter I had recieved. Here's what she wrote back:

"Okay, I cannot find anyone who really knows anything specific about this program. I have asked all of the administrators, counselor, team members and I have come up empty handed. I am sorry that I could not be more helpful.

Sincerely," (left the good teacher's name off the internet.)

To hear that deceased children are also receiving this letter (see other postings) and children who are not even in school are too, I think we'll skip the whole thing entirely. Frankly, I was concerned that they scheduled the meeting here for 9/11 and no one at the school knew anything about it...just a mother's fear of terrorism I guess.

I had already told my son that I thought it would be a blast and that I was coming too if they'd let me...but that we would have to know more about the price. Nothing indicates that parents can go too, even if they can pay...and It'll be a cold day in hell before my child dives the Great Barrier Reef before I do anyway! I think we'll just save our pennies and head on down to the Caribbean again this year. Maybe Australia in a few more years :-)

Thanks for the heads up!
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#69 Consumer Comment

"Your child has been nominated ..."

AUTHOR: Laura - (U.S.A.)

As far as I have been able to find (by asking administrators at my daughter's school, checking with other parents, and searching the internet, children are NOT nominated by teachers or anyone else for this program.

My daughter, now 19, has received these letters for years. Our address on the envelope was slightly off (one digit). Lo and behold, most "offers" addressed to my child -- modeling schools, scholarship offers, summer camps for the "gifted" -- have the same incorrect address. I think this program buys their mailing lists from Pizza Hut or a fast food birthday club or something.

Now my sons are getting the same "your child has been nominated" blah, blah, "exceptional student" pitch from People to People. Well, folks, my youngest son is a kindergarten drop-out whom we have homeschooled for the last six years. There is no teacher anywhere in sight to nominate him. And while I know that he is brilliant -- everything he knows he learned from video games and The Simpsons -- there is no one on this planet who would have nominated him as an ambassador. He thought the letter was hilarious and blew it a big raspberry!

This kind of pitch targets parents who want to think that their child is special, chosen. Wake up, parents -- they want your money. Check into the company -- it is a for-profit business. HELLOO!

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