Up with People On Tour Gap Year Experience

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About

Are you ready to turn your dream of travel into a reality? Travel with purpose. Volunteer around the world. Perform for thousands.

Up with People on Tour provides a multi-destination gap semester (5 months) or full gap year experience where the young adults can take their passion of travel, volunteering, performance, education, and leadership and put it into action through the power of their own voice. Our international gap year experience immerses participants into many different cultures through a unique blend of music and social action, travel and host family stays, and so much more. We provide an in-depth experiential learning environment that will prepare you to navigate today’s complex world in both your professional and personal life.

Now accepting applications for our January & July programs!

Highlights
  • International Travel & Host Families
  • Volunteer Abroad
  • Performing Arts
  • Leadership & Professional Development
  • University Academic Credit (Optional)

Related Programs

Questions & Answers

Reviews

9.85 Rating
based on 75 reviews
  • Housing 9.5
  • Support 9.6
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.8
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 1 - 8 of 75
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Mark
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life-changing then and now

Traveling in Up With People was an amazing experience. We didn't just visit other countries, we lived with families every place we went. I had never sung or danced before Up With People, but I was surprised by how much I loved performing and being a part of our show. We also had some very memorable community engagement opportunities, from visiting refugee camps in Scandinavia to flood clean-up in the US to helping a poor neighborhood in Mexico to renovate their homes. Traveling with the other people in the cast was the best part, in my opinion. Spending every day with people from more than 20 different nations who have all come together to learn and make the world better... it changed my perspective forever, and I am still in touch with friends around the world 25 years later. My experiences in Up With People led me to amazing international career opportunities and to lifelong friendships.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Performing for the Pope in packed Mile-High Stadium
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Likun
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Experience

I traveled with Up with People 5 years ago. I was a backpacker before but it was so hard for me to get US and Schengen visa to travel when i was a students back then. I heard Up with People from a friend that his friend traveled in this program. For me at that moment, it was a great opportunity for me to see the world outside of Asia and i never regret for a minute with this decision. Stay with host family, travel to a new city every week and volunteer work have give me so many opportunity to do new stuff, meet new friends and there are so many "aha" moment on the tour that just broad my horizon.I don't know there is a show though, and i never sing or dance before in my life, but it turn out to be a high and super memorable experience when i look back my Up with People experience.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I ate cherry jelly for the first time with my host family in Denver. But i invited them to try to black jelly (Tortoise Jelly) from China later and they all get scared.
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Alys
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

My Story

When I came to this programme I had no idea what to expect. I just packed up my bags and showed up in Denver. After going through some ups and downs learning the songs, the dances, the names, the people, the travels, the courses, and of course the program, I found such a weird family of loveable goofballs I never wanted to leave. We would sing in public together, go on crazy city exploring adventures, laugh about how we were broke and then adventure some more. I learned so much about so many different cultures and people and cities and just about the world around me. But something I never imagined was that I’d feel like a sister to someone from Switzerland, or have a best friend in Texas, or meet other people from Bermuda. Now not only do I have so many new skills to put on a resume and college application, but I have a home in at least 25 different countries around the world.
So something I would say is people ask me “Why Travel” and my response is “Why not?”

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
People tell you that everyone will love you and want to get to know you and be your friend, you won’t believe them. But you will find your chosen family here, and everyone will love you and be your friend and care for you. It is such a great experience.
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Angela
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

A perfect opportunity to be out of your comfort zone and grow

Up with people is changing. There’s a before and after up with people. Why? Because you grow in every single aspect of your life, your mind understands new things that maybe you didn’t see before but they were always there, you learn how to truly love everyone no matter what your differences are, you become adaptable to any situation because you get to be in a new city every week so everything is changing all the time, and very very important you get to know yourself, what you want, and how much you have left to do in your life. it motivates you to start new projects and to do things that maybe you wouldn’t have done before. plus it’s fun, you travel so much and get involved in cultures, languages and communities as well as finding a new family that Will always support and be there no Matter what
it’s super amazing!!

What is your advice to future travelers on this program?
Try to be your best self, and to always ask questions and learn. Also never waste the opportunity to get to know someone, make connections
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Ellie
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Changed my life

I spent about 2 years in uwp as a student and staff member. I’m not lying when I say my best memories are from those two years. I’ve made life long friends, mentors, and family through this program. It’s not for people who aren’t willing to put in effort and commitment to others and the countries you visit. It’s not for people who don’t want to be pushed out of your comfort zone. It will bring the best out in you, it will show you sides of yourself you didn’t know you had. It’s a 6 month or year commitment and it’s not free, so putting in as much as you want to get out of Up with People is IMPORTANT! I’ve seen myself transform in a matter of 6 months. My family didn’t recognize me because they saw a new confidence I never had. Don’t pass this up!

What would you improve about this program?
Improvement could be diversification and Implementing new ideas and not being afraid to break some societal rules.
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Dylan
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

So many amazing things combined into one

This program is NOT for the unmotivated or slackers, however anybody else will both thrive and grow in a multitude of ways. The combination of Cultural education, service work, and personal and professional growth is unparalleled in any other experience I have had in my life. I had the opportunity to do a full year of Up with People in 2013-2014 then from there went to university. Even after completing two degrees in University and studying abroad for 6 months in Buenos Aires I still know I grew more in my one year of Up with People than 4 years of University. It took me from being a super vanilla version of myself to the person I truly was meant to be. Literally would recommend to anyone looking to better themselves and better the world. You truly won't regret it.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
Climbing in Mexico, Rafting in Wyoming, Performing for the Pope at his weekly service, Swimming in the Dead Sea, Exploring castles in Germany, Performing at the Nebraska state fair, Living on a Northern Cheyenne Reservation for a week, Snowboarding at an indoor ski hill in Belgium... Truly too many experiences to count.
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Carlos
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

The best program to travel & Volunteer

I travelled with Up With People in 2017, and I can honestly say that it was the most changing-life experience I've had in my life. The program takes you on challenges and out of your confort zone in a way that no program does. Traveling with 100 people from 20 different countries opens your vision of the world, you start to understand that we are all connected somehow. With it's incredible educational program, you'll learn to listen, understand and respect other cultures and to have an open mind. The volunteer part of the program is an incredible opportunity that there's always ways of helping the world, it doesn't matter if you are in Mexico or in Switzerland, there's always something you can do, and doing it with 100 people that are here for the same reason you are, it's an amazing opportunity.

Overall the Up with Program is an exceptional opportunity to travel, make connections, volunteer, meet people from all over the world, and perform

What was the most nerve-racking moment and how did you overcome it?
The day I arrived to Denver for starting the program, I arrived alone, I didn't knew anyone in the program yet and I have zero idea what to expect. As soon as I arrived, the wonderful staff from Up With People welcomed me with big hugs and support. When I saw 100 people together it overwhelmed me and I thought I was never going to lear and get to know everybody's name even if we travelled together, well I was wrong, just after 1 day I knew everyone in the cast and it immediately felt like I was part of a family.
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Kim
10/10
Yes, I recommend this program

Life Changing Program

I can easily say Up with People changed my life, in so many ways. (I traveled for 5 semesters...one as a participant and 4 as staff.) I have learned so much about the world, about cultures, about performing, and most importantly about myself. Up with People has given me skills and experiences I will take with me for the rest of my life. One of my favourite parts about this program though, is the people. The host families, the other participants and staff... I have made so many life-long connections and friendships. My other favourite part is that while you are having the time of your life, you're helping others. You're learning about the communities you're visiting and learning about how to create change. It's an amazing chance to be able to make a difference in people's lives and give back.

What was the most surprising thing you saw or did?
I still remember being so amazing at how blue the water was in Bermuda. I'm from Canada, and our ocean water just LOOKS cold. I honestly have seen pictures of water that blue, but seeing it in real life was just unreal.

Another surprising thing for me was just being part of a musical performance! I never thought I would be singing and dancing on stage, and looking out into the audience each show, the surprise never wore off. Each time there were moments of, "wow, I'm ACTUALLY here. I'm ACTUALLY on stage". It is an incredible feeling.