Frequently Asked Questions
Travel. Perform. Impact. Up with People is a global education organization whose mission is to bridge cultural barriers and create global understanding through service and music. We bring this goal to every community we visit and aim to leave a lasting, positive impression along with a spirit of community and service. For our students, our goal is to develop global citizens; to provide personal growth and leadership development opportunities; to instill an appreciation of the value of volunteerism in our society; to expose our participants to a wide range of experiences and cultures which will broaden their mind to the world and to their own potential.
The UWP Global Education Program is unique because of the one-of-a-kind combination of international travel, cultural immersion, education, performing arts and service learning. Our educational program is experiential in nature and supported through a series of interactive workshops focused on leadership, communication, team-building, cultural understanding and global issues. Professional development opportunities are available though internships.
Each semester begins with a four-week orientation program in Denver, Colorado followed by an 18 – 20 week tour. Programs begin every January or July. UWP currently offers students the option to travel for one or two semesters.
Each tour includes multi-continent travel to various regions of the world. Actual tour destinations will vary each semester and final tour destinations are not confirmed until approximately two months prior to student arrival. Recent tours have included stops in the United States, Bahamas, Belgium, Bermuda, Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Mexico, Japan, The Philippines, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland and Taiwan. Click here to see our Current Tour Schedule or to view examples of Past Tour Schedules.
It’s an easy two-step process. You must complete an online application and an in-person OR phone interview in order to be considered for UWP. Click here for more application details and to APPLY NOW!
UWP processes applications on a rolling basis with no specific application deadline for each program. We recommend you begin the application process as soon as possible for the program(s) in which you’d like to participate. Students can apply for the next three programs available. You will receive email notification of your status approximately 2-4 weeks after you have completed your online application and interview.
Yes. Click here for more information about our Academic Program option and partnership with Florida Southern College. Other credit options may also be available.
For the past four decades, participants who traveled in UWP have gone on to become enthusiastic leaders in their communities, their businesses, and the world. All UWP participants are part of a very active and supportive global alumni network which currently has more than 21,000 members in over 100 countries. There are internship opportunities during the tour. Studies show that employers today, more than ever before, are seeking candidates with international experience, cultural awareness, strong communication skills, and creativity….and these are the assets and skills UWP most aims to provide for every student.
One of the most rewarding parts of your journey will be living with host families in each community you visit. You will share meals and gain an insight into the daily lives of your host families. As a guest in their homes, you also will have a unique opportunity to share your culture, experiences, and perspectives. Often, you will be paired with another UWP participant, but, occasionally, you may be hosted alone.
Some of your host families will not speak your native language, prepare familiar foods, or live the same way you do. Your staff will prepare you for this cultural immersion before traveling into another country. You will adapt to various situations while learning about different cultures and making the most of each unique experience.
UWP was founded on the principle of using music as a means of communicating with and inspiring people. The musical production remains a core component of the program, and all students play an important role in bringing this show to the stage in each community. However, no audition or prior performance experience is required for acceptance. If you have a vocal or instrumental music talent or dance abilities, you will enjoy using them in the musical component of UWP.
Currently, the program fee for July 2013 is $17,450 USD for one semester or $26,450 USD for two consecutive semesters/full-year option, when the deposit is paid in advance. These fees cover a portion of the actual program cost, with the remainder funded by generous grants, donations and scholarships. Small increases in the program fee can be expected annually.
To reserve your position in our program, a non-refundable deposit of $500 USD for one-semester or $1,000 USD for two semesters is due upon acceptance to the program. This deposit will be applied toward your program fee. Should you decide to delay your enrollment, your deposit may be applied to your new program fee. These fees are subject to change at any time and may vary from program to program due to changing economic conditions. Click here to learn more about the program fee.
Yes, we do have a scholarship program. Every accepted student will be given the opportunity to apply for a scholarship during the enrollment period. Scholarship awards vary from $500 – $5000 and are awarded based on a variety of criteria. For accepted students who are interested in doing some local fundraising to help pay for the program, UWP has a resource booklet to help with ideas and coordination of those activities. Click here to learn more about scholarships and fundraising options.
UWP students who enroll in the Academic Program option and who are also current university students in the US may also be able to apply their federal financial aid awards and select scholarships toward the UWP program fee.
You will need a passport, valid for at least six months after the end date of your program. Depending on your native country, you may need visas to enter the various countries on your tour. Once you’ve been accepted to the program, we will provide you all the information you need to secure the appropriate visas. Be sure to start the process early, because it may take several months to secure your credentials.
No. Students ARE required to provide proof of health insurance coverage during the enrollment process. However, each student is responsible for securing their own international health insurance and is responsible for personal medical expenses incurred while on tour. Up with People will provide insurance options to consider.
For more information about applying to travel abroad with UWP, please contact email@example.com.
Florida Southern College has partnered with Up with People to offer students the option to enroll in academic courses while traveling abroad in our program. FSC faculty deliver coursework through a combination of in-classroom and online learning, with on-site support provided by UWP staff. FSC is a fully accredited institution and will issue academic transcripts for completed coursework under this program. For more about FSC, visit www.flsouthern.edu.
All those accepted to go abroad with UWP are invited to enroll in the academic program. However, additional enrollment criteria must be met. Click here for more information about Academic Program enrollment criteria.
No. ALL applicants will be considered for acceptance to UWP, while only those who indicate their interest in academic program enrollment will also be considered for this option. It is possible to be accepted to travel abroad with UWP but to be denied admission to the academic program due to not meeting the additional criteria. For more about admission requirements, click here.
If you have already been accepted to travel in a future UWP semester abroad program, and you wish to ADD the academic program option, you will need to complete a supplemental application form enabling us to receive additional required information. There is no additional application fee. Contact Brad Good in the UWP Admission office for access to the supplemental application form at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are a NEW applicant to UWP, the online application will give you the option to apply with or without the academic option. Some additional documentation will be required and must be mailed to the Admissions office after the online application is complete.
No. The academic program is NOT required for all students. Participants must opt-in prior to the start of the semester and meet specific criteria for enrollment. Participation must be determined at the start of the semester and cannot be amended once the semester is underway.
Yes. The academic program fee is $950 USD, and this additional fee applies directly to the cost of enrollment and instruction. This fee is in addition to the semester or year program costs for the UWP program. For more details about UWP program fees, click here.
If I don’t participate in the academic program, will my international experience as an UWP student be compromised in any way?
No. The core components of the UWP program have not changed. We remain committed to the unique combination of international travel, service-learning, leadership development, experiential learning, performing arts and host family living. All students in the UWP program will benefit from these experiences.
Each semester Up with People offers three courses earning 4 credits each, for a total of 12 academic credits. All UWP students who participate in the academic program will take the same courses. The courses may vary each semester. Click here for the current Academic Course list. Future semester courses will be confirmed at least 6 months prior to program start date.
No. you are not required to enroll at FSC in order to participate in this program. However, we encourage students who are seeking an undergraduate university program to consider Florida Southern College. Any FSC student is also invited to apply to travel in the UWP global education program.
First, submit your application to UWP and choose the option to enroll in the academic program. During this process, work directly with the study abroad office at your home university. If there is no study abroad office, speak to your academic advisor or to someone in your registrar office to understand the specific policies and procedures related to study abroad at your school.
I don’t plan to attend college OR I have finished my college studies. I’d still like to take the courses and earn the academic credits. Am I eligible?
Yes, provided you meet the specific entry requirements for the academic program. For more about the enrollment criteria, click here.
Can UWP guarantee that the academic credit earned during the UWP semester will transfer to my home university or be accepted as credit at a future university where I enroll?
No. As with any study abroad program, it is up to each individual student to work directly with the study abroad office, registrar office or admissions office at his/her chosen institution to confirm acceptance of academic credit.
I am a current U.S. university student and I receive financial aid. Can I apply any of my aid package toward my UWP program fee?
Yes, in many cases you can. Your Federal Financial Aid can be applied toward any academic program in which you are enrolled full-time and for which your home university has approved credit transfer. Financial aid processing is handled by your home university. Please work directly with your study abroad office or financial aid office. Your ability to use state or institutional/private financial aid cannot be guaranteed and is at the discretion of your home university.
I’ve seen other schools listed on your website. Does UWP have other university partners? How are they different from the new program with FSC?
Yes. UWP has established “affiliate” relationships with Hawaii Pacific University, Carroll University and Western New England University. These 3 universities offer academic credit for the UWP program to their own students who study abroad with UWP or for students who enroll at their university after completing the UWP program. Enrollment at each of these colleges is required to receive credit.
The essential difference between these affiliate relationships and our academic program partnership with Florida Southern College is that FSC is the exclusive provider of academic programming for UWP. The credit earned is transferable to any accredited college or university.
If I participated in the UWP program prior to July 2012, can I get the credit / transcript from FSC too?
No. The academic credit offered through the partnership with FSC is a program only available to students in our July 2012 program and after. The credit is earned for specific university courses taken during the semester. We encourage students who traveled in the UWP program prior to July 2012 to work with their home university to seek independent study credit or consider enrollment at one of our affiliate universities to take advantage of their unique credit offers for UWP alumni. See previous question as well.
UWP participants are referred to as students or cast members, and each group is typically called a cast mainly because of the performing arts component. Cast members range in age from 17-29 (must turn 18 before traveling and may turn 30 while traveling), and each cast consists of about 100 people from all over the world. In addition, a team of approximately 15 staff facilitators travel with each cast to plan educational opportunities and community service projects, organize and promote each cast visit, ensure success for each performance and create a safe, respectful and fruitful learning environment for both the participants and the communities we visit. Click here for application criteria.
The musical production is a core element of the Up with People program and all students participate in the production. Although musical talent and performance ability are welcome, they are not required. Program acceptance is based on the application and personal interview, rather than an audition. Click here for more about the application process.
One of the most rewarding parts of your child’s journey will be living with host families in each community they visit. They will share meals and gain insight into the daily lives of their host families.
We have a list of alumni parents who have volunteered to speak with parents considering the UWP program for their son or daughter. Contact one of our Admissions staff in the Denver, Colorado office at email@example.com for a referral.
While there are no medical professionals traveling with the cast, there are plans in place to deal with medical situations. All staff have valid CPR certification and are trained in Up with People’s emergency response plan. In every tour city, staff will have contact information for local physicians and medical centers in the event a participant requires medical attention.
No. Students are required to provide proof of health insurance coverage during the enrollment process. However, each student is responsible for securing their own international health insurance and is responsible for personal medical expenses incurred while on tour. Up with People will provide insurance options to consider.
Currently, the UWP program fee for July 2013 is $17,450 USD for the one-semester program or $26,450 USD for the full-year option (two consecutive semesters). To reserve a position in our program, a non-refundable deposit of $500 USD for one-semester or $1,000 USD for two semesters is due upon acceptance to the program. This deposit will be applied toward the program fee. Should your child decide to delay their enrollment, the deposit may be applied to their new program fee. These fees are subject to change at any time and may vary from program to program due to changing economic conditions.
The full refund policy can be found in the student handbook provided upon acceptance into the program. Only the program fees paid by the participant or others on behalf of the participant are refundable and any scholarships or awards will not be refunded. If a participant withdraws or is discharged at any time during the program, after completing the orientation and staging period, the maximum refund will be $120 USD for each week remaining in the program, as measured from the date of withdrawal or discharge. The $500 deposit is not refundable.
Host families provide morning, evening and weekend meals for your child. If participants make other plans, on occasion, they are asked to communicate that to their host family, and they must cover the cost themselves. All other meals are provided by UWP.
Yes, to be respectful and courteous to host families. The curfew applies if students go out and are not with a member of their host family or involved in an official UWP cast activity. In that case, the student needs to be back at the host family’s house no later than midnight. However, students must always take into account the preferences of their host family, and return home earlier, if requested.
Yes! Please notify Up with People staff traveling with your student at least one month prior to your scheduled visit. We will assist you in making proper arrangements to ensure smooth operations of the program. All travel, hotel, and meal expenses are the responsibility of the visiting guest(s). Special circumstances may allow you time with your student away from the scheduled tour activities. However, this is subject to approval.
No. The UWPIAA is an independent organization with a separate but compatible mission than that of Up with People. UWPIAA’s primary focus is to serve alumni. Up with People’s primary focus is the operation of its student program. Both organizations work independently and together to support our worldwide alumni network in various ways. There is currently a UWPIAA Board of Governors member serving on Up with People’s board of directors, and vice versa. To learn more about the UWPIAA, visit www.UWPIAA.org.
Reunions typically take place in July or August of each year. Reunions are organized and hosted by the UWPIAA and a fantastic group of alumni volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure the reunion experience is great for all who attend. Our Up with People staff plays a significant role in every reunion, responsible for select events, providing production support and supporting the UWPIAA team when needed.
For more FAQ’s specific to the reunion events, go to UWPIAA Reunion FAQ.
Alumni are welcome to contact any member of the UWP team at any time. The Development Team has primary responsibility for Alumni Relations activity and communications. To update your contact information, use the Contact Us form on this site or email Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org. For questions about Up with People Admissions, contact Brad at email@example.com.
The best way to start is by using the Search Alumni page on the UWPIAA website. You can also contact your Cast Representative or Era Rep for assistance. If you don’t know who currently holds these roles, see the Board of Governors page on the UWPIAA website for further help.
At Up with People, our Database Coordinator Laura Motooka can assist you in locating other alumni. Contact Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We want to stay in touch with you! Your information within our alumni database is probably incorrect. Please send us your most updated contact information by using the Contact Us form on the website, or send an email directly to our Database Coordinator Laura Motooka at email@example.com.
The UWPIAA and Up with People alumni databases are separate but we are collaborating to exchange information on a regular basis to ensure both organizations have correct Alumni details. We recommend contacting both organizations to update your contact information when it changes.
Every alumna/us is able to give the Golden Passport Scholarship worth USD $1000 USD to any future student who they actively recruit to participate in the UWP program. Children of alumni definitely qualify for this award and it is an automatic scholarship with no application required.
In addition, UWPIAA has an “Alumni Relatives” scholarship which does require an application. Details about this scholarship can be found here.
Click here to read about current program fees, scholarships and other funding options.
Up with People is a smaller, more efficient and streamlined organization today compared to the 1990’s. Two casts tour each year, one beginning in January and one in July. The number of casts on tour at any one time is directly related to student enrollment. UWP takes cast size, student experience, touring costs and administrative costs into consideration when determining whether to travel as one cast or divide into multiple casts. For the past several years, touring as one cast has been the best decision for UWP. We look forward to expanding to two or three casts in the future. We encourage our alumni to become an extension of our Admissions efforts and recruit to grow enrollment numbers every year!
Until 2000, the Up with People program was only offered as a one-year global opportunity. However, with the growth in popularity of a “semester abroad” we recognized that many students found a semester more accessible and a full year commitment created barriers for some who wanted to participate but could not afford a year commitment for various reasons.
To support our recruitment efforts, we made the change to a semester program in 2004. In 2009 UWP broadened its scope to offer both one semester and two semester travel options. Nearly 20% of our students today are selecting to travel for a full year.
I haven’t seen an Up with People show in years. Why don’t you come to my city/state/country anymore?
We’ve missed you! Come see us on tour! We love having our alumni in the audience….even better, as host families, sponsors or volunteering alongside our current students. To see where Up with People will be traveling over the next few months, check out our Tour Schedule.
With just one cast touring at a time, the scope of locations UWP can travel to each year is more limited compared to before the year 2000. We regularly tour within the USA, Mexico, Europe and Asia but are always open to exploring tour opportunities in every part of the world. Our alumni play a huge role in creating opportunities for tour sponsorships. If you are interested in working with Up with People to bring a student group to your city, contact Paul Whitaker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tours are usually determined 12 months in advance and are done so based on existing and future sponsor interest and logistical feasibility to move a cast from city to city. Each semester the UWP Cast typically tours in three continents such as North America, Europe and Asia. Up with People will work with sponsors’ specific timeframe whenever possible.
Any number of sponsoring companies/organizations can come together to sponsor an Up with People cast. The average number of sponsorships is between 1-4 community partners (companies/organizations) who share the investment. Experience has shown that it is best to have at least one media sponsor involved to provide promotional support. Up with People has worked very successfully with multiple sponsors in bringing communities together.
Sponsorship fees vary based on the Sponsorship Type & Benefits, the size and location of the community, the numbers of days the UWP Cast is in the community, the costs of transportation to/from the community, the number of performances, and the types of community activities the Cast is engaged in. For more specifics on the Sponsorship fee structure, please contact the UWP Sales Department at +1-303-460-7100 or Sponsorship@upwithpeople.org.
Ideal venues are auditoriums or theaters with 1,200-2,500 seats. Up with People’s self-contained show includes our own theatrical lighting, sound for audiences of up to 1,800 and set pieces. Consequently, we can perform in many outdoor venues, gymnasiums, event centers and convention halls. Our sponsors are responsible for the cost of the venue, and the cost is typically deducted by the sponsor from the gross ticket sales revenue prior to distribution to beneficiaries.
The local financial sponsor(s) select a beneficiary who will be significantly impacted by positive media coverage, our volunteer efforts and the revenues generated by the show. Beneficiaries vary from large well-known non-profits to smaller charities, which often operate without much publicity, notoriety or funding.
What role does the sponsor play in determining focus and locations the cast visits for community impact activities while in a community?
The sponsor often knows best the needs of their community. Up with People has the expertise to effectively structure activities that will have the greatest impact on the community. Up with People will work closely with the sponsor to meet the needs and objectives of the sponsor and community.
How does Up with People support the visit in terms of local arrangements, promotion of the show, host families and other arrangements?
Up with People will provide an advance team comprised of one or two staff members, supported by one or two additional student interns to arrive approximately six weeks prior to cast arrival. The role of this team will be to serve as ambassadors for the sponsor while in the community, develop the cast arrangements, secure host families, work with non-profit partners, as well as all media and promotional efforts.
The sponsor is responsible for assisting in making arrangements for the advance team, including a vehicle, local office space with a phone and printer access, and a local host family. The sponsor will also assist in identifying potential media partners.
Media/promotional partners are essential in marketing the public performance. These include but may not be limited to local radio, newspaper and television outlets. Media partners generally provide a specific commitment in promotional advertising. Up with People provides the creative materials that need only be tagged by the media partner. Media sponsors generally value the opportunity to be associated with Up with People, the local charitable cause and the impact the cast makes in the community. This relationship often is important in publicizing the community impact projects as well.
What if I’m just interested in bringing in the show as entertainment and don’t have the funding, time or interest in the community involvement activities?
A number of companies and organizations are only interested in the entertainment aspect of the Up with People program. The positive message and high energy show is ideal for special events, corporate celebrations and/or concert series. Up with People will always work with the sponsor to meet their specific objectives. Click here to go to more information on private and special event performances.
For more information on sponsoring Up with People, please contact Sponsorship@upwithpeople.org.
Host families provide accommodation, most meals (breakfast and dinner except on performance days), limited local transportation, and an openness to exchanging customs and cultures.
Our participants are between the ages of 17-29 and come from all around the world.
Host families typically house one or two students, but this can vary based on the number of available beds in your home. The local representative in your city will work with you to determine the ideal number for your family.
Our program is conducted in English. While English proficiency will vary from student to student depending on their home country, all our participants are able to communicate in English.
No. Students are not allowed to drive. Staff and promotion team members with valid driver’s licenses may use your vehicle with written permission but we do not encourage this.
Yes. All UWP participants are required to carry their own health insurance. You will be provided information for how to reach the Cast Manager or other emergency contact should your host student require medical attention.
Absolutely! During most days, from approximately 8am – 6pm, your host student(s) will be training, doing community service projects, rehearsing/performing or in other Up with People scheduled activities. The exception is scheduled host family days and these are always on the weekend. You will be given a schedule of their activities before they arrive.
A host family day is your day to spend with your student(s) as a family. You may choose to show them around your city, include them in a family event or simply relax at home.
Yes. Every host family receives two complimentary tickets to the show.
Yes. The curfew applies if students go out and are not with a member of your family or involved in an official UWP activity. In that case, the student needs to be home no later than midnight. However, students will take your personal, family rules into account and will return home earlier, if requested.
Click here to register your interest today. We’ll keep you updated on program developments and tour schedules. If you have general questions, contact email@example.com. If you know there is a cast coming to your city soon, check out the Current Tour Schedule and contact one of the UWP Promotion Team members in your city.
Check out our Current Tour Schedule and visit the page regularly for updates as tour details are confirmed.
Most donations and grants support UWP’s student program. This includes scholarships and tour costs. The scholarship fund awards partial scholarships to students who would not otherwise be able to participate in our unique program. If you would like your donation to be designated for a specific purpose, simply note that when you send in your donation and it will be applied.
Yes! UWP is a registered 501(c)(3) organization and, as such, donations to UWP are tax deductible for all U.S. taxpayers.
Any time is a good time to donate to UWP, as we are continuously investing in our programs. Check with your employer about their matching program.
Yes. Simply indicate the amount you wish to be charged and for how many months, and your donation will automatically be charged to your Visa, MasterCard, American Express or other major credit card. Click here to Donate Now.
Yes. Please indicate that your donation is in memory or honor of (Name), and include the name and address of the family to which you would like an acknowledgment sent. Click here to Donate Now.
Donations received by UWP support the UWP program. If you intend to support the Alumni Association, please go to www.uwpiaa.org.
Yes! We welcome your volunteer time and referrals of students, sponsors, and donors. Any other type of in-kind (non-cash) donation is always welcome. In addition, you can support UWP by being a host family when a cast visits your community or by asking your employer to sponsor the cast to visit your city.
UWP’s tax ID number (also known as EIN) is 95-2563102. The EIN is an identification number used by the government to track donations made to non-profit organizations by individuals and corporations for the purposes of income tax reporting. If you have questions or require further documentation, please contact the Accounting Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org.
UWP’s fiscal year runs from July 1- June 30.
For more information about donating, contact Development and Communication Manager Megan Luebke at email@example.com or call +1-303-460-7100.
Up with People has produced and performed for thousands of events across the globe. Highlights include:
- 1976 Super Bowl X, Miami
- 1980 Super Bowl XIV, Pasadena
- 1982 Super Bowl XVI, Detroit/Pontiac
- 1986 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
- 1986 Super Bowl XX, New Orleans
- 1993 World Youth Day Opening with Pope John Paul II, Denver, Colorado
- 1995 National Soccer Championship Game, Portugal
- 1998 Rotary International Opening Ceremonies, Indianapolis, Indiana
- 2000 Holiday Bowl, San Diego, CA
- 2005 Expo, Aichi, Japan
- 2007 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade
- 2008 and 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade
The costs varies depending on the location and scope of your event. Please contact Executive Producer Eric Lentz at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a customized quote.
Up with People has decades of experience in producing and performing in special events across the globe. We also realize that some clients do not have significant experience in event production. Therefore our team can, at your request, produce your entire event including technical, entertainment, scripting and post-production needs. If you are already working with another production company, Up with People can work with you and your producer to provide the entertainment portion of your event.
Bottom line, we want to work with you to make sure your event is as impactful and successful as you dream it to be.
Our rundowns vary, and can be tailored specifically to your event. Typically, we produce a 25 minute show that features several original Up with People songs with messages of understanding, peace, and working together. Additionally, our rundowns feature entertaining medleys of popular music and high-energy international music and dance from around the world.