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The Organization People to People and your child, is it a scam?

Updated on July 18, 2012
The logo for people to people
The logo for people to people | Source

Good Idea or Bad Idea

Recently I received I letter for the parents of My daughters first name with my Maiden name attached to it. Automatically it sent up a red flag but I opened the envelope to see what this was all about. The organization did their to make sure that they would come in a professional manner (subtracting that the child's name wasn't correct.) with paper that was as heavy as card stock and a very professional looking header.

So I read on. Apparently my child had been nominated by one of her teachers, this was hard to believe as they had her name wrong and some of her grades are less than passing. They were stating that this was an honor and that she would be a student ambassador, now that would be an honor. So I started considering thoughts were maybe if she was in high school, but she is 11 years old. As I continued to read on, I noticed that there wasn't a price or any statement pertaining to where the funding came from, another red flag. My stomach was turning, so I did what everyone does in this day and age...I facebooked it. I knew my mother and various relatives would chime in, giving me more feedback, my mother immediately jump down my throat...not the reaction I wanted, I was hoping that she would see that I had decided yet and offer her opinion and advice. If she would have read it and then reread it she would have seen that I had already thought this was a bad idea. My cousin in lives in Seoul, Korea thought that it wouldn't be a bad idea, she lives with her family in Korea as implants, so she knows the joy of experiencing other cultures first hand. My mothers knee jerk reaction didn't make me feel like if I said "no" that I was doing it for the right reasons. So I went to my aunt for advice that would come from a calm mind.

As we were talking, she brought up several good points. She asked if I had Googled it, I had and I found their website which appeared to be professional, but in all honesty any good coder can design a professional website. But then this time while I was typing in the keywords for Google I noticed in the drop down suggestion menu the three keywords had the word scam attached to it. So I clicked it and what I found was eye opening.

There were several concerns about this program that I thought about. Who would my children be with? Apparently Leaders or Chaperons. My next line of thought was could I chaperone my my child? No. So who can are the Chaperons? They are usually teachers from your area? How much does it cost? Up to $6,500. Would this really benefit my daughter? Maybe. And how was she selected? Turns out that they select kids in general areas and also ask 33 year old adults to be student ambassadors. I cannot account for the mistakes in mailings.

So what were the experiences like for other children? Some were so glad to have experienced it and others felt like they were treated unfairly. A few have died on trips. (Huge red flag!)

Some parents love the program while others share horror stories. From what I have gathered it is all how well you know the team leaders. So you might want to get to know them in the coming months of the trip.

Plus I am not thrilled with the chaperone to student ratio for elementary School it is 5:1, Middle School 10-1, and High School 20:1 . Please do your homework and research the Organization fully before making a decision. I am going to be researching them further. Over the next couple months in hope to help other families making a decision.


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      Shania 4 years ago

      I am sorry but People to People seems like a scam to me. Anybody and everybody gets the letters and is mistakenly told they were recommended by a school teacher, which is a FRAUD in my opinion. Also when me and my whole family can go to London for less then that$6500, Pray why on earth will we shell it out for just one child. It is like a highly priced travel agency and nothing else. We went to London as a family for less than that and saw much more...

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      Annie 4 years ago

      Yes I have heard of People to People Student Ambassadors. Both my best friend and my boyfriend have traveled through People to People. I also am lucky enough to be a Teacher Leader through the program. Last year was my first year with P2P. I traveled with students in 5th and 6th grade to England and France on the Tale of Two Cities program. I, as a teacher, learned tons and had an amazing time. I know my delegates did as well. Certain behavior was expected of the students and if it was not met, there were consequences (shadowing a leader, phone calls home, etc).

      To address some of your concerns, the leaders are teachers from around the area. We go through about 8 hours of training in the end of summer and even more training in the spring before the trips begin. We are all certified in CPR. Meetings are held monthly so leaders can share information with parents and delegates. Parents and leaders get to know each other well and the students get to know each well through the meetings. There are social gatherings planned and a Bon Voyage party for the delegates as well.

      While on program last year we got to do some AMAZING things! We visited the Eiffel Tower, Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, the Louvre, met with a former member of Parliament and learned all about British government, dined with King Louis XIII, had an acting lesson from a British actor, and many more things. Some of these things are things that a normal tourist would not have the opportunity to do or see.

      This year I am taking a group of delegates to Western Canada on the Wonders of the Canadian West program. Both myself and the students are very excited.

      I definitely recommend this program. It is costly, but we do a lot of fundraising and work together to raise funds. You won't regret sending your daughter on a People to People trip.

    • Erin Boggs1 profile image

      Erin Boggs1 6 years ago from Western Maryland

      I just feel like some people might just go "wow! what an amazing opportunity!" Meanwhile,there is some important info on those sites that will allow for people to make the best choice for their children. And well give people the right type of ideas about questions they will want to ask when they go to their initial family meeting.

    • shea duane profile image

      shea duane 6 years ago from new jersey

      interesting info!