What's special about your programs?: As America's premier global travel experience for young people, there are many reasons for this. We are not tourism—we strive to bring students an in-depth global learning experience, and we are part of 60-year tradition of overseas learning that began with the vision of President Eisenhower. Students benefit from balanced, cultural immersion while focused on the personal, educational and historical significance of the countries visited. And we have a lot of fun along the way!
I just got a letter---how was I selected?: First of all, families are invited, not selected for the program. We identify and invite students in ways that are very similar to a college admissions process. These paths include: referrals from educators; families who have contacted us in the past; students who are invited based on our work with organizations conducting academic surveys; students referred by other enrolled students; and referrals from alumni. But if you got a letter, you should reserve online, and come to the meeting! You will meet other families, our travel leaders, and a member of our national staff. One 40-minute presentation will save you a week's worth of research. There's no obligation.
Do you have financial aid or scholarships?: We are not planning to have scholarships or grants for 2017. Many of our students seek contributions from local sponsors or do fundraising on their own, as People to People has a strong tradition. But we do not have budgeted funds for scholarships this year.
What are the age groups?: Grade levels are divided as follows (Middle School = grades 5-8; High School = grades 9-12). Students in grade 8 can travel with either age group. We define the student's grade as the actual grade of the student in the year of travel. Certain programs are earmarked for middle school only---not every program is suited for this grade level.
How do I choose an itinerary?: There are three most important factors: your desired itinerary, your desired departure date, and your child’s grade level. It’s best to check itineraries closely---there is a wide variation of activities and program costs. It is vital that families make decisions early to enroll, as a number of our 2016 programs were waitlisted. If you want to know what’s most local to you, fill out our form on the web and we’ll give you the details.
What is the group size?: Most groups are approximately 40 students and 4 travel leaders. They will be met by our overseas travel manager and motor coach driver, and so the normal student to adult ratio can be as low as 7:1.
Where will my child stay?: In hotels, or carefully selected accommodations designed to match the local culture. Example: in South Africa, we would stay in a unique wildlife lodge on the edge of Kruger National Park. Many programs will also plan short homestays (1-2 days in length) working with local families who have been chosen by local coordinators---a big part of the People to People cultural experience.
What does the program cost and what is included?: The program cost is listed on the website at www.ecetravelsptpi.com/itineraries Just go to the itinerary of your choice, and download the pdf off of the website. Our program costs range from $2,990 for an 8-day program to Costa Rica up to $7,990 for a 22-day program to Australia, New Zealand and Fiji. The majority of our programs are $5,500 to $6,300 for 19 days. Costs will vary due to travel distances and other factors.
Our program costs are inclusive, which means no surprises for students during travel, and cover international airfare, 3 meals a day, all hotel and other accommodations, local transportation and motor coaches, entrance fees, local guides and a group travel manager in the destination country. Our program travel groups normally are 40 students and 4 adult teachers.
Not included is the cost of your flight from your hometown to our international departure airport (listed on the web), visas (if needed), passport fees, and any special costs to assist you during air travel to meet the group.
When do you travel?: 2017 departure dates range between June 18 departure to July 15 departure. Our number of groups is limited, due to the special nature of our activities.
Can parents travel with the programs?: Only for middle school programs (grades 5-8). Parents (or immediate relatives) can travel as observers and participants, but not as leaders. Program cost will be the same as a student traveler. Additional fees may apply for single-room supplements. Traveling adults must pass a background check and be physically capable of doing all activities. The program exists for students, and is not a tourist trip for adults.
How do you prepare my student for travel?: We will have two social events, and three pre-travel meetings prior to travel, during the spring months. For students living far from the main group of students, our leaders will engage you with social media, Facetime, Skype or other ways to connect. It's very common on our programs.
What are the deadlines?: We have been open for enrollment since May 2016. As our capacity is very limited, don't wait to apply. We have had heart-broken families who waited too long to enroll, and found no positions were available. We ask that all enrollments be in our office prior to December 5, 2016.
2017 Deposits and Discounts: To enroll, the deposit is $399. For discounts, there is a 4% alumni or alumni sibling discount (which ends on December 5, 2016). All of these are designed to encourage early enrollment, so we can plan ahead for all groups. All tuition will be due 60 days before the summer travel date.
How can I enroll?: You make a $399 deposit, which is part of your tuition. You go online on our itinerary page to click on the date of travel, and start the process. If you want help, dial 844.359.2020 and press 1. It will take you to our admissions team. It is best to use a laptop or desktop computer to enroll---our system doesn't mesh well with smart phones.
About Air Travel---How will I join my group?: You will be either part of a local group, or join an national group, with students from across the country. It depends on the itinerary you choose. On our website, each itinerary will have a departure date, and an international gateway city listed. Families enrolling from across the country will have a modest additional airfare to get from, say, Kansas City to New York ---to link up with the group. If we have a locally-formed travel group, then we would fly everyone as a team (with their assigned teacher) to the international gateway city. Please note: some 'unaccompanied minor' fees may be necessary for students in lower grades.