Up with People World Tour
98% Rating
(56 Reviews)

Up with People World Tour

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.

United States of America
Program Tags
Adventure Travel
Study Abroad
Volunteer Abroad
6-12 Months
Host Family
Primary Language
Age Max
Starting Price
Price Details
Cost Includes: international travel, travel while in host country, housing, food, in-country orientation/training, in-country staff support, written materials pre-departure, written materials abroad

Program Fees Include: Housing, transportation, cultural excursions, volunteer projects, most meals, 24/7 staff support. All travel costs once the program begins is included in the fee, however travel from home city/country to begin the program and return home at the end of the semester from the final tour location is NOT included.

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

based on 56 reviews
  • Housing 9.3
  • Support 9.5
  • Fun 9.9
  • Value 9.7
  • Safety 9.7
Showing 31 - 45 of 56

Life Changing Experience

I was only 18 when I traveled, I signed up last minute and it was the best decision I ever made. At the time, I wanted to be a musician, singer specifically, and was planning to go to a local college to study music. I had always wanted to go to Europe and when presented with the opportunity, saw I could do both. Some of the scheduling has changed since I traveled, but the experience is still very similar today.

We started our year with an extensive staging workshop in Colorado where we learned the current show, got to know each other, and were taught how to be savvy travelers and global citizens. The people training us were all professionals. Many of us were coached by top Broadway stars.

My cast was scheduled to go to Europe, but could have been Asia as well that year. We were guaranteed a chance to experience 2 continents. The unknown spontaneity of the tour schedule was really thrilling. We spent 6 months in the US and 6 months in Europe on my tour.

When I traveled we changed cities almost every 3-5 days and stayed with a different host family in every city. They were all wonderful and it was a great opportunity to meet people from all different cultures and backgrounds. We also did in depth philanthropic work in each city such as visiting schools and teaching children about diversity and cultural awareness, building and maintaining youth centers, entertaining in nursing homes, building habitat for humanity homes, helping organize food banks and many more activities.

We had opportunities to intern in different business roles too. I was a communications assistant marketing intern and PR intern while on the road and did advance work where I would travel ahead of the cast to a city and help set up all of the host families, service projects, ticket sales and other logistics of their tour there. It was real world work and experience. I fell in love with working with people and marketing and I ended up studying Public Relations and International Business in school and am now a professional Marketing and Event Manager.

We also had many opportunities on the road to meet inspiring and successful leaders. We sang for the Pope on his 80th birthday, met with heads of major corporations on joint service projects, performed with Faith Hill and the Temptations for 60,000+ people in the Georgia Dome, and were guests of Presidents for national celebrations.

Some of us organized or joined in on side trips to countries not on our tour to learn and experience even more. I went to Mexico with a group of cast mates for a week and represented the organization at a meeting of world leaders and young leaders. We had one on one lunches and chats with presidents, kings, prime ministers, world peace leaders and Nobel Prize winners to help them learn to make good decisions that aligned with what our generation wanted for the future of the world.

I received a scholarship and some credits to college as a result of my participation in Up With People and a letter of recommendation from the President of the United States.

Most importantly, I literally have friends to this day in every corner of the globe (23+ countries from my cast alone). Thanks to the rise of social media, we talk with each other daily. I can travel anywhere any time and find someone I know, someone my friend knows, or someone who has traveled in Up With People too who wants to know me. It has opened up numerous doors in my career and even though we only traveled to 7 countries on our tour, I traveled to 24 countries between the ages of 18 and 24 as a result of friendships I made in Up With People. We also have reunions frequently with multiple casts attending and I have made friends with other alumni from all decades.

Music is still a very important part of my life, but I have so much more life now than I did before Up With People. I not only learned what I wanted to learn and do, I also learned who I am and what kind of person I want to be.

Yes, I recommend
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Nothing in the world like Up with People. It's the gift that keeps on giving!

There is nothing like the experience of Up with People where you can travel side-by-side with people from all over the world, live with hundreds of host families worldwide, and spread a message of peace while doing quality, important work in the community. The people I met in this group continue to impact my life today, and I can't recommend this program enough. It was life-changing for me and everyone else I know who has shared this unique experience.

Yes, I recommend
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There aren't many gap-year programs that offer the opportunities that Up with People does! it's the chance to travel extensively with people from many countries. Participants do community service projects and stay with host families. Travel includes at least 2 continents, and students visit cities and towns that tourists don't normally visit. Up with People is full of extraordinary , talented, driven young people. It remains a unique program that is life-changing.

I was in Up with People in 1988 after finishing university, and was privileged to work for the company for a few years after. The experiences and training and friendships I gained are beyond measure. I can't say enough about the program! Do it, you won't regret it, i promise!! =)

How can this program be improved?

It's not a suggested improvement, it's just a side note -- that although the tuition might sound steep, don't get discouraged by it! There are lots of ways to raise the money and also scholarships are available. Anything is possile! :)

Yes, I recommend
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Life Changing program

I traveled in this program when I was 20 years old. It was the hardest year of my life, but also the best year of my life. Between the lifelong friends I've made around the world, the host families I now call family, and the opportunities to serve each community through service projects and performing arts...I had an experience to draw from for a lifetime. I will make sure my kids travel in this program without a doubt.

Yes, I recommend

Travel, explore and learn more... it's learning by doing and growing.

January 1996- First flight to Denver.. Never been in a plane before.
Meeting my first and best hostfamily.The beginning of a great adventure.
During six weeks.. dancing, singing, like i've never done before. Talking English, meeting people from all over the world. Meeting my best friends since than. After six weeks our first show.. and i even didn't feel like a stage patato.. saying goodbye to my hostfamily and my best friend from Zwitserland.. There was anohter cast leaving the same day.
1 year.. laughing, singing, dancing, learning, feeling frustrated now and than, traveling, talking, meeting people.. staying with 75 hostfamilies, doing community service, performing during the openingsceremonies Olympic games Atlanta. feeling tired but didn't give up on it.
Doing different internships.. Admissions.. getting young people involved with Up With People.
Talking in front of 1200 German students without knowing that many words.. but i did it.
Speaking Enlish.. i did it. learning Swedish.. i did it.
Did the trustfall, travelled one year with one suitcase, slept after 20 minutes in the buss and i still can do that.

Nobody said it would be easy but it was Worth it!!

A whole year felt like a ride on a rollercoaster.. a rollercoaster of mixed feelings.. But it was worth it..

I was working on myself, for myself and by myself.... with 123 persons from 22 different countries..
If you have the opportunity.. Go and explore..It's 21 years ago for me.. but i remember it like yesterday..

Yes, I recommend
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Cyclical impact

It's been a while since I travelled, but this program definitely made a difference in my professional path. I learned to be flexible, I learned what I'm actually go at, I learned to solve issues with others in a peaceful manner. I grew up a lot on the road.

To me, the host family experiences are what make UWP memorable. It is something immensely unique and I'm thankful for the opportunities I had in UWP and the many that I have had because of UWP.

Yes, I recommend

Amazing Opportunity!

I traveled in UWP Cast A 2000, and was given the opportunity of a lifetime. The friends I met 17 years ago are life long friends. One cast member is the godmother to my son, and I still regularly see a lot of my cast members both in my own town and when I travel. The show creators are brilliant and they create music that tells stories and helps bring communities together. The Alumni Group provides many networking opportunities once you are done traveling. I highly encourage anyone to travel with Up With People. Open your eyes to the world, it will be life changing!

Yes, I recommend

The trip that changed my life!

Up with People is without a doubt the best way to spend 6 months of your life. You'll make lifelong friends from all over the world, gain a greater global perspective, give back in more ways than can be numbered, and your heart will grow about 3 sizes. I would recommend it to absolutely everyone. I traveled at age 29 and grew in ways I thought I'd already passed through in life. My host families gave me invaluable perspectives, my cast mates literally became family, and the organizations we volunteered with have me a greater passion to live my life deliberately when I returned to the states.

Yes, I recommend
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Best time of my life so far!

Up with People it's a program were you are always learning. To practically live with 100 people from around 20 different countries it's a one life time experience, always having fun, learning from each other and breaking the walls between countries, building bridges and really becoming a global citizen. Traveling 6 months or a year, volunteering, living with host families, performing a show, getting to know friends from all around the world, everything it's an incredible experience that taught me so much.

Yes, I recommend
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Discover yourself around the world

I would have been a different person if I wouldn't have decided to travel with Up wit People. This experience made me open my eyes in every perspective. I am international, I know what is happening around the wold and why. I know how it feels. This because of the places I traveled to, but more important; the people I met and who I traveled with.

This is a crazy world, go out there. Get out of your comfort zone, and see how your full potential will surprise you.

Yes, I recommend
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Best Thing for Personal & Professional Development

After graduating college in 2010 I was looking for the next thing in life when the chance to UWP came along. To be honest I was reluctant at first, the program had so many components. I wasn't great at singing, dancing etc but I found out that was one of the smallest parts of the program.
What I really loved about UWP was the sense of empowerment I gained from it. After being selected as an Advance Team intern (they go ahead of the cast to help find food, beds, sponsors, etc) I looked at this challenge and said "how can this be done?" But piece by piece it all came together. I remember thinking at the end of it..."holy crap I can't believe I did all that!" That sense of accomplishment and empowerment has helped me out in my professional career so much.
Another skill I gained from UWP was the ability to be flexible and make the best of out of not great situations. In life and work you run into roadblocks and you have to get thru them to accomplish your objective. You will be in a situation at some point on the road where you have to make a choice...either be upset or frustrated by the situation or make the best out of it. After a while you see being upset doesn't do you any good and you learn to make lemonade out of the lemons. After leaving UWP I was quickly promoted to higher positions because of the positive attitude I kept when things went wrong

How can this program be improved?

Its a very fast paced program and thats one of its strongest points but I think the program can benefit from more downtime for reflection and rest.

Yes, I recommend
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An inside look at the cultures of the world

After high school I had a giant travel-itch, and I needed a program to scratch it. I had applied for Up with People a few years earlier, but at that point I hadn't decided if I wanted to do it or not. I gave it some thought and decided to go for a full year. I flew over to Denver, Colorado in july of 2013, and I knew within a day that I had made the right choice. Never before had I met so many open and welcoming people in such a short time. I remember talking to a ton of new people in the first few days, and even though none of us knew each other from before, everybody was so open and ready to connect.

After an intense month of learning our show, we got on the road and our journey had begun for real. We rolled into a new city every week, where we were greeted by new host families, new amazing voluntary organizations, tons of great food and phenomenal crowds at our shows. Every city brought a different adventure, whether it was staying by yourself in a Mexican family that spoke no English while you spoke absolutely no Spanish, or having to figure out the public transportation for you and your friends in Rome.

I was lucky enough to be able to travel for two semesters, which means I got to experience new and incredible things every single week for a full year. I stayed with over 40 different families, went to about 8 different countries on three continents, tasted food I'd never even heard of (I could go on for days about Mexico's spicy candy) and met so many absolutely beautiful human beings.

When I got back home people would ask me what my favorite place was, or if it had been fun playing shows in foreign countries. I could give them answers to those questions, but at the end of the day it was the people that made the experience so unique. That's also why all the people who have travelled with Up with People have had such different experiences. The people change, but the framework remains the same. I got closer with people that I traveled with for 6 months than I ever got with friends back home that I had gone to school with for 3-7 years. Being on the road, and out of your comfort zone brings you closer to the people you're with, and I wouldn't have missed it for the world!

How can this program be improved?

I'm extremely happy with every aspect of the program. The minor difficulties along the way were unpredictable things, and even though some situations were slightly uncomfortable, they were never dangerous. I always felt safe, and even though I was as far as ever away from home, in a tiny village in Mexico, I still felt very at home because of the people I was traveling with.

Yes, I recommend
Luis Daniel

A citizen of the world

The way my life unfolded from the moment I decided to fill the application could not have been predicted. I had been on a plane 6 times in 20 years. Since Up with People, I have flown 27 times in 2 years.
The people and connections I made as a student define where I am today. This bond with cast mates, staff, and host families is so strong because it is sincere, the only reason behind it is true passion. UWP gave me the confidence to be who I belive I truly am, a "self" that did not fully come out in conventional settings such as school. It also made me realize that nationality is a starting point, but never the end, our country of origin is where we start our journey but we choose where it goes. The magic is, in UWP your cast mates also go through this and discover this with you, so you'll find the most like-minded people you'll ever meet.

How can this program be improved?

The filter to accept students should be tighter as a few toxic personalities and people with destructive behaviors are let in, mainly for their contributions to the musical show and because UWP will find it hard to decline income. It might "help" the show and their finaces in the short run but it hurts the cast's experience overall, which spills into host families and UWP's image and reputation in the long run.

Yes, I recommend
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The experience of a lifetime

I participated in the Up with People program when I was 19. I grew up in a small town that did not have much diversity, and it was incredible to find myself part of a group that represented 20 different countries! We got to travel to three distinctive cultures- across the USA, Mexico, and Japan, and stay with host families to really explore and gain an understanding for the communities we were in. We got to do community service and have educational workshops that have helped me throughout the rest of my education and my professional life as well. The show was also an amazing opportunity to grow and master skills like public speaking and confidence. The people I met during my Up with People experience are still my friends, even all these years later. This program is truly the experience of a lifetime!!!

How can this program be improved?

I wouldn't change a thing- it changed my life

Yes, I recommend

becoming a leader while traveling

if you like traveling, volonteering, performing a profesional show, meet so many wounderful people, getting to know different culture and religions from yours this is your best shot!!
Up wth People changed and is still changing my life. it is more then traveling because when you end your experience you have families and friends all around the world!
meanwhile you are traveling, being hosted for the local families, volonteering and performing a show, with Up with People, you have also the chance to apply for internships, so this program offers you a personal and a professional growing meanwhile you are traveling!
this program is unique and it does not stop after the semester abroad, all your friends will be always be there and you will have a home in so many different places all around the world!!

How can this program be improved?

during the years with program changed a lot and I think that now they have reaced a perfect balance.

Yes, I recommend

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,...