When I was in graduate school I attended a People to People trip. My husband and I both have sets of grandparents that went on People to People trips way back in the day. Today, we feel secure sending our girls traveling with your organization!
Sarah Johnston, Parent of Californian Traveler
Back in 2011, I was contacted about attending People to People: Mediterranean Itinerary, and while I was initially hesitant I eventually went on the trip and it ended up being one of the most life changing and formative experiences of my life. It's been about 5 years and now I have a little sister who will also be traveling. Experiences like this really do change your life.
Croix Jackson, Student Traveler Alabama
I came away with friendships I know will last a lifetime, a greater appreciation for different cultures, and the yearning to learn more about them and see the world.
Maryjane Williams, Student Traveler Colorado
My daughter Amanda Valdes traveled during her High School years to Italy, France and Greece. I am writing to say that her experience was very memorable. She had the opportunity of making 39 new friends. A total of 40 children traveled none of which she had been friends with or ever met. The teachers that chaperoned the trip expressed the children would be safe, would have a great time and learn about different cultures all while traveling.
Amanda came back very knowledgeable of the countries she visited, and with many stories to share.
The family she stood with for a few days while on the trip introduced her to different kinds of food, along with some helpful words to make getting around France easier especially when it came to ordering her meal. The people in all three countries were very nice, and helpful and she felt safe always.
We can truly say this experience helped her to become even more mature and responsible. She was a total of 21 days away from home. Amanda went to Penn State where she dormed, became an RA of her building and graduated a semester earlier with a degree in Journalism. She has worked for CBS in NYC, and presently works for KCOY, KEYT, KKFX, CBS, ABC, FOX and a Local News Channel, in California as a Reporter. We feel the experience from People to People she will always cherish and we are grateful to her teacher who nominated her Mr. Jack Ciotti to become part of this program.
People to People is a program we recommend for any child to try and be a part of because the memories, friendships and cultures you experience while on the journey will benefit them in so many ways and help them see the world.
Victoria Noriega, Parent of Student Traveler.
It is 4:42 a.m. in Rome, and it is time to rise and shine. "Today is the day ...," as Wang Lung would say in The Good Earth. Well, it has been 21 days in Europe with my best friend, Marsha Wicks and my sweet PTPI family as well as plenty of other new friends. Spain, France, and Italy were absolutely wonderful. It did not rain a day, and EVERYTHING was first class. I am taking home 19 new friendships, first-hand experiences in cultural diversity, and memories of a lifetime. This trip has been one of the best I have traveled. The food, hotels, tour guides, coach driver, flights, and students and leaders have been superb. I have felt extremely safe and was given a hearty welcome everywhere I visited. I am proud to be part of such a grand organization that always puts safety, education, and fun into a perfectly blended program.
I especially send a big shout out to People to People International, Mary Barbara Capozzi, Judy Hassack, Charity Hakes, and all others at People to People International for providing the opportunity for students to enhance their awareness of the world and cultural diversity. As we know a passport full of stamps is priceless. PTPI is rocking, and is a first class organization. It is a bittersweet time for all of us as we head to the airport, for we have a unique bond and a greater appreciation for peace and world understanding.
As Bruce Springsteen sings, "Born in the U.S.A., I was born in the U.S.A." We are now homeward bound as we head to the land of the free and the home of the brave. I feel as though President Eisenhower would be extremely pleased. I wish you a great day and ask that you keep us in your thoughts as we travel to our respective homes. Dorthy, "There is no place like home," but it certainly is grand to check it out for one's self and to grow from seeing new perspectives. I am truly blessed! Good Day from Rome
Caption from blog of Kathy Hays, Student Leader
I honestly can't believe exactly one year ago I boarded a plane and took a trip that changed my life in every way. I made lifelong friends and memories and got to push myself outside my comfort zone every day. I'm so thankful I got to have this experience and got to accomplish so many of my dreams. Traveling to 8 of the most beautiful countries in the world and experiencing new cultures has taught me lessons I will carry with me throughout my life.
Caption from Facebook update of Amy Scrubbs, Student Traveler
Wow. Just wow. It's so hard to believe that it was only five years ago that I left for Europe the first time. Now, I'm back and I've had some of the best experiences of my life here. But, I honestly wouldn't have made it here if it hadn't been for the amazing People to People trip I took five years ago. I fell in love and always told myself I'd come back. And here I am. Now that the semester is ending and I'm faced with packing and leaving, I am looking back on everything with a different set of eyes. I hold the memories from People to People closer than I ever had. I think about everyone on the trip all the time and am always so excited to see what they have been up to.
I honestly don't have words for the impact that those 19 days with those 38 people had on my life. Thank you to Mary, Derek, and Andie for being our amazing chaperones and always laughing with us. Thank you to every wonderful person on that trip for being great friends and awesome travel buddies. Thank you to the amazing friends I met along the way. Thank you to the wonderful family who took me in for a few days and made me feel like I was a part of the family. Lastly, thank you to my family. Your support got me there five years ago and your continual support got me back here. Hopefully it won't take quite as long to get back here. I love you all and you always have a special place in my heart!
Blog from Maggie El-Baroudi, looking back on her travel days
One year ago today I stepped onto a plane by myself, to travel with about 50 other people I didn't know to 8 different countries. That day was the scariest day I had ever experienced, no doubt. Given that I had never traveled anywhere besides South Carolina (once), and I had never been away from my family for more that 2 days at one time. And now I was going to be gone for 3 whole weeks on my own. But it turned out to be the day my entire mindset and outlook on the world changed.
It was the day I started to look at myself differently and broke down all the imaginary "limits" I had unconsciously given myself throughout the years. I learned how to interact and communicate with people from all different kinds of cultures; many of them being very different that my own. I learned how to put myself out there and take risks to make these connections, and even thought they were so incredibly "scary" at the time they were also very rewarding. I stayed with a family in Germany for a couple of days and was able to go to their school with them. They were my favorite days of the trip. I saw how important it was to make connections and see the similarities between cultures and lifestyles rather than point out all of the differences. And many times, there really weren't too many differences after all. I learned new things about myself and found myself capable of doing things I previously thought I wouldn't be able to do in a million years. Such as take a trip 443 feet up the top of the London Eye with my fear of heights (and walk to the edge and look out the glass). I was also given the amazing opportunity to pull out invasive plant species in the German Black Forest.
I'm pursuing a degree in Conservation Biology and to be able to do something I'm passionate about and help the planet was just awesome. Overall, it was truly an amazing experience. So, before this gets too lengthy, I encourage you to go out and do something that scares you. Like really scares you. Take that opportunity that needs a lot of commitment. Go after that dream that seems too lofty. Or book a plane ticket to that one place you've always wanted to go to. It will be 100% worth it and you won't believe how much you'll grow as a person.
Quote from Facebook update of Makayla Marshall, Student Traveler
My homestay was amazing. They were so giving and they wanted me to be comfortable 100% of the time. I was initially nervous about the language barrier but this was never an issue. I was so welcome in their family. This was the most moving and memorable part of my trip.
Jessica Perez, Student Traveler Florida
I couldn't have had a better time this summer in Costa Rica! My experience with my new friends has taught me so much about Costa Rican culture, the spanish language, and about life in general! I would absolutely recommend that any high school student take this trip for a shift in perspective and an amazing summer!
Aaron Johnson, Student Traveler Kansas