<p>Has anyone had experience with Putney? My parents want to give son a trip for graduation and he gave them a Putney brochure. They're the sort of grandparents who will just do it without much discussion, so if I should be aware of anything not obvious from the catalogue, pelase let me know soon.</p>

<p>My daughter went to Amherst College the summer before her junior year with a Putney program and then went to Cuba the summer before her senior year. I thought she got more out of the Cuba trip than the Amherst program....Both programs were very well run with responsible and academically impressive young adults teaching/chaperoning/organizing the programs. I was a little nervous sending her to Cuba, but it was a great experience for her. I would definitely consider sending my younger D on a Putney program when the time is right. Only downside is the $$$, these are pretty expensive programs.</p>

<p>Thank you Momjd. Is your D interested in creative writing? The Cuba program seems especially appealing because of the writing component AND because it's....Cuba :) Did you go along with her to Miami or did she take that leg alone? My son is a senior.....so this is his last chance to try Putney. Your feedback is more than appreciated!</p>

<p>My daughter did two Putney summer programs back to back, both of them community service projects. The first was in Dominica and the second in Costa Rica. The kids lived in a group house, did some valuable projects, and got to know the people in the community (not to mention one another -- in very close, primitive quarters). Well run, good leaders who are also fine role models, but very pricey.</p>

<p>momsdream: When my D went to Cuba, her "major" subject was video documentary. The kids pick a major area of interest and spend a good part of the time on that. They also can choose "minor" courses like Hemingway, Cuban dance, Spanish, etc. and dabble in those as well. She did a video documentary on the role of spiritualism and santeria in Cuban religion, how its got a mix of voodoo and traditional Catholic elements. Her small group of three traveled around various parts of the country and interviewed Cuban psychics, spiritualists, etc. It was really fascinating and she sent it to colleges as an extra part of her application. </p>

<p>On weekends, the group traveled to other parts of Cuba and stayed with families and in hostels. During the week, they stayed in a dormitory like facility in Havana. My D didn't think it was too bad except she had to hand wash her laundry!!! Food was a low point in her opinion. The people were very friendly, although mostly very critical of U.S. govt policy. At night the group went to concerts, dance clubs, restaurants and were always treated very cordially. </p>

<p>The advisors were all people fluent in Spanish, most had been to Cuba before and were well organized. I heard that the writing program in Cuba is now being emphasized and I'll bet it's worthwhile if the same type of faculty is running the program. The quality generally seemed high if you judge by academic pedigrees. </p>

<p>If you have more specific questions about Cuba, I'll try to get my D to give a little more insight.</p>

<p>momsdream: sorry I forgot about the Miami part. I let her fly back and forth to Miami alone. She was met by the Putney people at the airport and spent a night in Miami before and after the Havana flight.</p>

<p>My child did the Putney summer community service program in Africa. It was a wonderful exeperience as our family has not traveled abroad. The Putney kids helped renovate a school, played with the school children, visited an orphanage, attended the
Rwanda War Crime trials, learned Swahili, went on hikes nearby the town, met with a former Black Panther family involved in community projects, and went on a week long safari at the end. It was expensive but well planned and supervised.</p>