Up with People World Tour

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About

During the Up with People program, participants travel in international casts of about 100 people to cities on a multi-continent tour, experiencing the cultural sights, sounds, and tastes of each community. As students of the world, participants discover what makes each region unique, gaining a better understanding of its politics, history, culture, geography, environmental issues, religions and economics.

The Up with People program also provides the opportunity for participants to live with and learn from host families in the communities they visit, gaining a sense of what day today life is like in their corner of the world while sharing lifestyles and experiences.

Questions & Answers

Reviews

98%
based on 56 reviews
  • Housing 9.3
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 16 - 30 of 56
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Chip
10/10

Life Changeing

I have preformed in venues across the world, theaters across Europe, town centers in Mexico, High schools and so on. We preformed for Diplomats, Mayors, families, friends even an actual Princess. It doesn't matter if you are tone deaf or actually deaf, you are a part of this show, and the best part is preforming is less then half of what you get to do in this program. The community service may be hard work at times but it's worth every second, because you get to see the reality of the location you are in, not just the pretty lights, you get to feel like your part of the community and you get to be the hero who helps make it a little better.

I am a gaming geek who loves to sing. I know it sounds hard to believe but this program is worth every second.

How can this program be improved?
We had some students who where without fellow students in housing for weeks, it isn't bad to be alone with a host family but for those people who hadn't had a cast member for a bunk mate for months it became a problem.
Yes, I recommend
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Amy
10/10

Confidence Builder

I joined Up with People for a year, right out of high school. I had never traveled much and was excited to see the world and spread my wings.

Staying with 75+ host families opened my eyes and warmed my heart. Speaking in front of groups, performing for thousands of people, meeting strangers every day, and being "on" for 18 hours a day was certainly not something I expected to enjoy or embrace. Giving of myself day in and out, stretching the limits of what I thought I could do, and being a sponge, soaking up all the experiences helped build my confidence and self-worth a thousand-fold.

The skills and confidence I earned that year helped me decide the education path I wanted to pursue in college, and the career I chose after. I learned more with Up with People than a traditional formal education could ever provide. I learned compassion. I learned joy. I learned commitment. I learned generosity. I learned tolerance. I learned hard work. I learned every day!

If you know someone between the ages of 17-29 who is looking for a unique, life-changing, amazing experience, have them contact Up with People. UWP has more than 50 years of success and credibility of launching young people on to doing wonderful, positive things in their communities and beyond.

Yes, I recommend
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Joana
9/10

UWP changed my life!

It was one of the best experiences of my life. I decided to travel with UWP because I could have an experience connecting my 3 passions (travelling, music and community service), and it was wonderful. I made friends all over the world, I lived in different cultures, outside my comfort zone, I improved my social and professional skills, all this and much more made me appreciate more life.
Something I will never forget, and I will forever be grateful for... the families who hosted me. I truly felt the love from all these people, that welcomed me (a complete stranger) and opened the door to their homes with such hospitality.
I totally recommend this adventure!

Yes, I recommend
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Eric
10/10

Me-Enhancing-Experience

I went back and forth between 'me-changing-experience' and 'me-enhancing-experience' for the title of my review. I believe that Up With People exposed me to the world, and exposed the world to me, in such a way that the experience truly ENHANCED who I truly was deep inside. Up With People made me realize how far I could stretch myself, how many boxes I could break out of, and how many people I had the capacity to not just meet, but truly know.

I heard a quote once: 'change the world by changing yourself'. This truly is what I believe Up With People did for me: it made me realize the scope of what it means to be from somewhere, and what it means to truly GO somewhere.

My time in Up With People impacted every part of who I am today. I set out to change the world and be a rock-star-on-tour, and I believe I accomplished much more than I set out to do.

I am a better friend, brother, son and father today because of my time in Up With People.

Yes, I recommend
Beyah Rasool
Beyah Rasool
10/10

College Football Coach who joined UWP.

Just when I thought I had it all figured out, Up with People happened. I traveled as a 24 year old fresh off a college football season. I absolutely fell in love with every aspect of the tour. Whether it was traveling with 100 other young people, impacting communities, host family living, education workshops, my five week internship/professional development and of course the amazing show we put on for thousands. I wasn't particularly skilled in any of those areas, but the opportunity given to me by the staff to grow as a person through UWP was unprecedented. UWP is on my professional resume'/CV for any job I apply for. I still visit friends and host family from my semester of travel. To this day I receive random messages of thanks from those communities we impacted. I'm so grateful for my UWP experience. I went back to college football after my tour and was a better football coach. UWP taught me how to connect with all types of people, necessary public speaking/communication skills, I traveled the world, performed for thousands (including the Pope) and made friends for life. This will be the best decision you ever make!

How can this program be improved?
More outside donors so more students can have the opportunity to travel with Up with People! Expand marketing reach to attract more diversity. Expand global reach to travel to places of consequence.
Yes, I recommend
Kimberley
9/10

Still influencing my life

I traveled with Up With People in cast 82B. I expanded my world view, learned to make the most of each moment, good or bad, and made friends I still consider precious. It was interesting, difficult, fun, crazy, exhausting, uplifting. My tour was 4 months in Mexico, allowing me to learn another language), then to the southern USA. Being immersed in families different from my own, yet with similar goals, allowed me to grow and become more tolerant. My final host mom picked me up in a car held together with masking tape, wearing socks, but no shoes. The children were wild and filthy. We arrived at the mobile home, where several people lived. I had been given my own room, in spite of space restriction, with a lock on the door. A friend of theirs came over, as I was known to give haircuts, and he'd not been able to get one for a while. As we chatted, he said he was out for the weekend. I asked out of where? The county? The town? Nope, the jail. Okay then....Dad was a pastor, the rest of the family and significant others were all ex-cons (or current cons). After my 2 days with them, I left the town, on the bus at the highway, into Atlanta, then flew home. Do you know, that host family, with no funds to spare, called my parents to make sure I was home safely? I expected my time with Up With People to expand my music career, but much more importantly, it expanded my personality and my humanity. I like to think I've never lost the openness to other cultures and situations, over the years. Oh, by the way, a very good friend from that year kept in contact. 11 yrs later, we reconnected and married. This year we celebrate our 24th wedding anniversary.
Kimberley McLean, Aurora, ON, Canada

How can this program be improved?
Improvements have been made, allowing casts more time and more community service in each location. Education credit opportunities have been added. Programme time has been shortened. These are all positives. For us, a psychologist on tour would have been a good addition. Followup debriefings at 1 month, 6 months and 1 yr would also be useful, both for the programme and the student.
Yes, I recommend
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Megan
10/10

Get out of your comfort zone...and get ready for an amazing experience!

Wow. Up with People is the best decision I have made yet in my 29 (almost 30!) years of life. Every aspect of my daily life has been impacted by Up with People: my career, my education, my social life, my relationships, and my hobbies. Up with People (UWP) taught me that I am not the center of even my universe. It taught me to appreciate what I have and give of what I can. It taught me to open my mind and say 'yes' more than 'no.' UWP taught me that experiences and relationships are worth so much more than tangible items. It taught me that the feeling of being "uncomfortable" is actually amazing, and taking risks means being alive. I now pay much more attention to national and international news. I want to know what's happening in Mexico, Sweden, Italy, China, Japan, Africa, Switzerland, and Norway. Why? Because I've been there, lived with people there, and have friends there. "What's Happening To You Is Happening To Me." Our world is much smaller than you think.

Because of UWP, I have traveled to more countries than I ever dreamed possible. I feel comfortable speaking spontaneously. I have confidence in myself, my thoughts, and my ideas. I know how to listen and not just hear. I know that to achieve social impact, I need to get to the root of the issue. I have cultural competency, a skill that will take me far in any career I choose, no matter the industry. I ask questions more than I give answers. I now listen rather than hear. I show empathy rather than sympathy. I also know how to live out of a carry-on suitcase, regardless of trip length.

Thank you, Up with People. Your have done more - and continue to do more - for me than I could have ever thought possible.

Yes, I recommend
Gary
10/10

The world got a whole lot smaller

My Up with People experience was amazing and it made the world a whole lot smaller. Travelling for 6 month with the same group of people creates a very special kind of bound, with our own stories and inside jokes. I know for a fact that now my gap year is over, if I travel to the US, Japan or any other country one of my cast member is from, I will have a host family to greet me.

The reason we have such a good bound is because Up with People is not easy. After 6 months you will be physically and emotionally exhausted. This is not the kind of program where you travel around sight seeing. You will be asked to know your limits and go over it. A 17 hour day is not exceptional. And you will have those moment when you think to yourself why am I doing this to myself. And then you realise you've just performed for the president of Taiwan during their national day and he found it so good he asked to take a picture with the cast. That's when you read a post on Facebook from your host family saying that UWP had such an impact on their community that they've all decided to continue what we started and volunteer in their region.

Everybody also has his own reasons to do Up with People. Some are amazing singers, musicians or dancers. Other were really attracted by the volunteering part of the program. For me I just wanted to travel the world and see as many places as possible in a short amount of time. In 6 months I've been to the US, Taiwan, The Philippines and Mexico in 20 different cities. I could say that my wish was accomplished. But like everyone, I got more than that. I got to learn how to perform, stand in front of a crowd and not being scared. I learned the importance of volunteer work in a community. I learned about world issues like, climate change and immigration. And I think most importantly I learned first hand about the local culture.

In short I got to travel the world, make friend, learn stuff and eat local delicacies (as weird as they may be) and perform a show!

How can this program be improved?
More variation in the countries visited.
Yes, I recommend
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Lorna
10/10

LLife changing

I travelled as a student for only 6 months but I knew this was what I was missing in my life. I was 25 when I travelled and my only regret was that I had not done it sooner! I worked with the organisation as a volunteer for 3 more years and still have friends (and family) all over the world because of this program.

I know without a doubt, I would not be the person I am today, nor would I have had the experiences in my life so far, if it was not for this life changing experience.

I cannot tell you how amazing or wonderful or fun it was.. There is not enough characters in here but all I can say is, DO IT!!!!

How can this program be improved?
A marketing or advertising sponsorship to give this organisation the limelight it needs to get more people to sponsor the city visits & support scholarships for more students to experience it.
Yes, I recommend
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Tim
10/10

My Experience at Up with People

I had the honor of spending a month in Poland. Not only did I learn about the history and saw many sites, I learned that the wonderful Polish people also had dreams for a better future and wanted the same things for their children, etc. as I do. The visit to Auschwitz, a World War II Concentration Camp was overwhelming and an emotional experience. It's one of the reasons the Up with People program is so important, to help people see the good in people and not just the differences that can divide us.

How can this program be improved?
More people making financial donations to the scholarship fund to help everyone who has been accepted in to the program be able to experience it.
Yes, I recommend
Gustavo
10/10

Unique

There's no words for me o describe how amazing this experience was. Definitely the best six months I've ever spent. Not only did I got to know incredible people with whom I traveled with, but I got new families all over the world with who I still talk to. I grew so much personally, got to know myself so much better, while having the time of my life. I went to countries I had never been to and never thought I would go to. It surely is worth a shot to try this experience! No I can say I have family everywhere in the world.

Yes, I recommend
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Marnie
9/10

Amazing!

The experience and personal development achieved during this program have lifelong impact! I made friends from across the world, experienced culture first hand by staying with host families, performed on stage, impacted communities through service and had a blast doing it. I am, even now, nearly 20 years later, in regular contact with many from my cast year and think of the organization almost daily with a smile on my face!

Yes, I recommend
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Annalora
10/10

A formative life changing year I will always be thankful for!

I just spent two months catching up with a best friend I met in UWP as she is on tour with another show that was staying in my city. What I can say first hand is that you will make the closest friends from all over the world and you will grow up with each other through the years. There is a very special bond that comes from this program.
See the world-you will see things through the eyes of local host families and really get to know the culture.
Serve the World - you will have a chance to build up a community and serve others, leaving a mark on each place you visit in a real and tangible way.
Meet the world-you will learn so much about people of all cultures and beliefs. You will be challenged at times as you stretch to understand different points of view and explain your own.
Change the world-you will be part of a long time tradition of people that cultivate world peace. You will join voices with others to stand for peace, positive change and build bridges that will last among communities.

You will be tired, inspired, overwhelmed, amazed, challenged, changed and grow in so many ways you never knew possible. You will learn that you can live out of one small suitcase, communicate without language, sleep anywhere, eat anything, and be brave enough to try anything that comes you way.

There is no reason to hesitate-go for this amazing opportunity. And be creative on funding. I put the money together by getting local sponsors, sending little updates and speaking about my experience upon my return to the groups that funded me.

I traveled 20 years ago and still count it as one of tn best things I ever did. And I've done a lot since then so that is saying something.

How can this program be improved?
I think it is good to have the 6 month or 1 year option. Some people were burned out by 6 months or couldn't really leave for a year.
I would have liked more adult support while going through the year-like a check in with a mentor-someone to help me stay focused or talk things through.
My year was very show focuses-as a singer I was always counted on for the whole show so I wasn't able to do some of the other experiences. It was tiring at times. But we did several snows a week and I think the focus has changed. It also sounds like you stay longer in a city which I think is good too-sometimes we were in several places in a weeks span and that was tiring too.
So overall I think the program changes are positive and would address the concerns I had while on the road.
Also commincation is so much better now. No cells or email when I travelled so communication with people back home was rare or in snail mail form which left us homesick and disconnected from friends and family.
Yes, I recommend
Mallory
10/10

A Year of Growth

I was one of the first students to complete a year of the study abroad program that is linked with Florida Southern College. Throughout the year, those 6 classes not only enhanced my year in the program, but also made me a better student in college afterwards than I ever was before. I also created lifelong bonds with all of my castmates that allows us to pick up with our friendship at any time, like no time has passed. I have even been living with 2 of my castmates for the past 3 years since being off the road. UWP has the mission of bringing cultures together and that has continued in my own life today. It's a program that stays with you and makes you want to continue to make an impact no matter how small. I can't say thank you enough to this program.

Yes, I recommend
Nolan
10/10

Unexpected, Life-changing, and World-class!

Up with People is a program that is perfect for a gap year (or a gap six months), whether it is a gap between high school and college, college and the real world, or a break from the real world. I traveled with UWP after college--thanks to the encouragement from my mother who traveled with UWP in the 70s--with people from 20+ countries to over 10 countries in 2014. I learned more about myself in that time than I did in all of college, including how to LOVE giving and receiving feedback, how to speak simple phrases in a handful of languages, how to live outside my comfort zone for weeks at a times (try going to Cuba and living in housing the government chose for you to use with food the government provided--definitely eye-opening!), and how to make friends with strangers with just a hug and a few words in their language.

I saw friends who said "I can't sing" get in front of hundreds of people and smile from ear-to-ear as they found their voice. I saw friends who said "I can't dance" bring an audience to their feet after dancing their way across the stage. I saw friends who weren't sure they were capable of performing find a home backstage, as staff support, and more. There was a place for everyone, of every kind of humor, of every level of introvert/extrovert, and more--the cast was a 'family' for an entire six months, and even now that we are scattered back to our homes across the globe, I still keep in touch with them and look forward to reunions in the future.

I did not have a single bad experience in UWP. I had some hard learning experiences, and I had some situations that could have been handled better--by myself and others--but that is the nature of spending 6 months with people; there is bound to be a little tension at times. I spent a year trying new food, learning new things, meeting new people, doing community service that TRULY was making a difference in places we were living (not just visiting, because we lived with local families for the week), and performing a show that spreads a message of hope to THOUSANDS across the world in multiple languages. It was transformative, and the person I transformed into was more ready to return to the 'adult world', ready to make a difference in my community and ready to continue to search for that hope I felt while traveling the world with a cast of my closest friends for six months.

How can this program be improved?
Participants experiences are heavily dependent on the cast staff, who are often a range of ages and experiences, with their own growth happening during each tour. Sometimes, staff can be wonderful and exactly the right people, and sometimes staff can provide less-than-ideal support for participants. But, another great part of UWP is there are many staff members, so if a participant doesn't sync well with one staffer, they will with another.

Also, host families are a big part of the experience, and that is a wonderful thing. The cautionary tale is to not expect host families to be a hotel and taxi service, and that a host family is hoping the participant is excited to spend time with them and share their culture--so even a 'day off' with a host family is rarely a day off.
Yes, I recommend

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About Up with People

Up with People is a unique semester-long study abroad experience that combines elements of International Education, Service Learning, and Performing Arts. Up with People participants come from 15-20 countries, and travel together around the world,...