People to People and National State Leaders Programs

<p>Does anyone have experience with the people to people ambassador program or the National state leaders programs? I'm always a bit wary when "honor" programs are are costly to participate in, so not sure if they are really an honor. Do colleges look favorably on these programs? Do you recommend participation or would it be better to do an academic type camp?</p>

<p>I attended CSLC's CSI program and loved it. Best 10 days of my life.</p>

<p>I also attended NYLC, but loved LeadAmerica more.</p>

<p>I would avoid P2P. They're considered somewhat of a joke (at least around here), and in fact some very bad things have happened on their watch, including the death of a student traveling with them. And I believe one returned suffering from malnutrition and emaciated.</p>

<p>Any program is better than just marinating during your summer, but do something you love. Not just because it'll look good to HYPS.</p>

<p>P2P, NYLC and any Leadership program are considered absolute jokes at my school. They accept anyone if you have the money to pay and colleges are aware of this.
I don't think any programs of the sort are going to affect college admissions, but a few of my friends go often and it's mainly tours. So go if you enjoy that sort of thing, but someone told me they're all hoaxes and colleges look down people who pay money for these "hoaxes". I personally feel like they do's like a mini vacation/tour around DC</p>

<p>People to People is considered an expensive but fun travel camp in our suburb. Some of the kids from wealthy families actually do "People to People" things and enjoy the trips (I know a girl - a friend of my daughters - who went to Australia and a boy - a friend of my sons - who went somewhere in western europe for soccer - Holland maybe), but I think everyone knows it is open to anyone who wants to go. If you had a really good experience on a People to People trip, you could write an essay about it, I suppose.</p>

<p>My son went to Australia at 15 with P2P and the experience changed him in a million ways. If the trip had been to somewhere else, we really would have re-considered, but how often can you get to go to Australia?
It was the beginning of a global awakening for him. He has studied 3 languages and is doing student exchanges. He hopes for a career in IR. It's all a part of the big picture that makes up who he is and what makes him special. Expensive, yes, but a joke--sorry no way</p>

<p>My neighborhood friend just got back from Japan from a People to People program. He basically stayed with a host family for 2 weeks and did tourist stuff with a group of other people. He said it was an amazingly fun time, but not too academical (unless you count the culture stuff).</p>

<p>froozle-in my experience, people who think it's a "joke" are the people who haven't gone, but "Know" people who have gone. (I'll even admit, I probably only think it of P2P because I haven't gone.)</p>

<p>If you only want it for college admissions, you probably won't enjoy it. But the people who go to have a good time and do something besides just marinate during the summer always have a fabulous time.</p>

<p>My daughter had 5 amazing P2P trips. PM me for any details. The program is not a joke! She has learned more about life and herself equals priceless!</p>

<p>candace-I'm glad your D had a great time. It's just that I would have a major problem going knowing about kids who have died while on their watch and have returned from trips malnutritioned.</p>

<p>I'd like to know how accurate that information is--Death and Malnutrition. While accidents can happen anywhere to anyone, I can't imagine why anyone would come back undernourished--there's plenty of opportunity to eat. Homestays don't typically last that long, just a few days, so even if a kid wasn't getting adequate food, which I can't believe, it wouldn't do lasting damage.</p>

<p>People to People and comparable programs aren't very selective at all. They usually target the top 10% of my school (more at more competitive schools) and try to whoo students with lots of paperwork. I know people who have had decent experiences, but on my family travels, when I see P2P groups they always look miserable being shepherded around, not really seeing anything that's not a tourist trap. They can be good experiences but aren't very impressive admissions-wise. Even my GC, who is a bit disillusioned about the college admissions process, has told many a student not to use their parents' hard-earned money on those programs.</p>

<p>Sorry, but until you've tried it yourself, you're in no position to assume it's a worthless program. It was a great experience for my son. Also, why must EVERYTHING be judged on how it will look to an Adcom? Can't kids participate in activities they find interesting without worrying about the "relevance" on their college applications?</p>

<p>hello5-a lot of kids do. CC is just a skewed sample.</p>

<p>thanks hello5, my thoughts exactly. My daughter talked about her travels at all her college interviews and also wrote her essays about her trips. But she did not travel to impress a college.</p>

<p>Oops, sorry if I offended anyone. The OP asked about how much of an "honor" it was to be invited, and it's not a very selective program. However, some of my friends have had good times on those trips and appreciated the travel to a different country (this year, my participating friends went to Australia). Having not participated, I can't detail what was done each day. My guess is that some activities are fun and some less so (and that's probably what I witnessed when I saw groups during my own travels, the more boring stuff). </p>

<p>And deciding to go should absolutely be a matter of personal opinion, not for an adcom!</p>

<p>that's okay glassesarechic! My daughter's favorite trip was to New Zealand. Of course there were too many museums on some trips and yes sometimes they were dragged around when they were tired. But all in all the trips were great experiences.</p>

<p>No offense taken. I guess they do things differently at different schools. At my son's school you have to be nominated by a faculty member, then approved by the tour leaders. They only nominate about 20 kids and it's considered an honor to be chosen. Participants can then nominate others to go in following years, but most kids don't bother with that.
We receive all kind of tour/summer program info-- interesting, but too pricey.</p>

<p>Just wanted to add my two cents about P2P, based on my daughter's Europe trip between freshman and sophomore year. It's a very well-run travel program that unfortunately purports to be a lot more than it is. The invitation the student first receives is written in flattering terms that suggest the program is highly selective--it's not. If you can pay the freight and corral simple recommendations from teachers and friends, you're in. My daughter's school provided a list of "better" students for P2P to solicit, but then after her trip my daughter recommended a friend who was a completely average kid with mediocre grades, and P2P shot out an invitation to her immediately. And, to be frank, there were some real dummies in my daughter's group. P2P tries to put an educational veneer on the program by requiring every participant to keep a journal that the chaperones supposedly review, but few of the kids did more than scribble a few lines now and then, and no one cared. One aspect that particularly disappointed my foodie daughter was that almost all the meals they provided were American-style grub--hamburgers, pasta, chicken cutlets; P2P explains this is done because most kids turn up their noses at more adventurous fare--I thought it was a shame the program indulged this sort of brattiness, but guess they have to keep the kids happy or participation will suffer.</p>

<p>What I found to be the most ridiculous aspect of P2P was its claim that its travel programs help promote good relations between the US and other countries. It's pretty amusing to think that a bunch of upper middle class to upper class teens (it's hard for anyone else to participate, given the cost--P2P does suggest ways to help defray expenses, one of which was asking relatives to pitch in--can you imagine??) running around on a summer jaunt could do anything of the kind. If improving foreign relations is the goal, then given the current reputation of the US in the world, P2P has been a dismal failure!</p>

<p>On the plus side, if you want a very well-organized, well-supervised overseas travel experience that is led by schoolteachers from your community and includes a home stay, you probably can't do better than P2P. My daughter certainly broadened her horizons and particularly liked the homestay. Just don't assume there is any "honor" involved or that the world will be in any way improved by your kid's participation. As for college admissions, while some particularly intriguing anecdote from the trip might provide fodder for a college essay, I can't see how a P2P trip could in any way enhance an application.</p>

<p>Once again. different schools do things differently. Read the above post. I said my son considered it an honor to be nominated by his teacher, who are you tell me he shouldn't feel that way? Sorry if your daughter went with a bunch of brats--my son did not. The students nominated were the best and brightest in his school. He didn't do it to "enhance" a college app., but because of that trip, he now wants to major in IR, does extensive student exchange (through school, for cost!),interns in a foreign embassy, is studying his 3rd language and won a medal in the National Spanish Exam.
I think any App. comm would realize there's more to this than "fodder".</p>

<p>hello5-your S went for the right reasons. :) </p>

<p>I was interested at first, but like you said, different schools do things differently, and it's not an honor at all here. Like others, our school just solicits a list of the top whatever percent of our class.</p>

<p>Got another letter from P2P today inviting me to go for summer '09. Obviously I won't be going, but I'm very glad your S had a good time and that it showed him something he really wanted to do.</p>