What would you do?


#1

My 15yr. old daughter has been invited to be a student ambassador…fourty children from around the United States would travel to Europe this summer…visiting Rome (St. Peter’s and a possible meeting with the Pope), Italy, France, and Germany…

It will cost us $5,000.00…France is scarey to me at this time (hopefully that will change)…just going overseas makes me a little nervous for her…but it is an oppurtunity…for college credits and it would look awesome on her college resume, and increase her odds at scholarships…

What would you do?


#2

I would still let my daughter go with the current situation, even in Paris. I know when I was in high school we had a trip planned to Europe that ended up getting cancelled due to terrorism concerns. That was in the 80’s. Now I look back on it and see that we were too cautious and passed up a great opportunity to see the world. Now I am married, the mother of 4, and have never been to Europe. When you have the opportunity, you should take it.


#3

I wouldn’t do this, not because of politics but because of age. Opportunities like this will come up in college, when she has more maturity and wisdom to process that experience.

If I had $5,000 to send my daughter, then I’d have $5,000 to send both of us. Why don’t you go, say to Rome and France, with your daughter? Now that would be the route I’d take if I could spend $5,000 on a European vacation. Why not go on a special trip with her? That will mean more to both of you anyway. I would cherish any trip that I could take with my mother for the rest of my life.


#4

[quote=Lillith]My 15yr. old daughter has been invited to be a student ambassador…fourty children from around the United States would travel to Europe this summer…visiting Rome (St. Peter’s and a possible meeting with the Pope), Italy, France, and Germany…

It will cost us $5,000.00…France is scarey to me at this time (hopefully that will change)…just going overseas makes me a little nervous for her…but it is an oppurtunity…for college credits and it would look awesome on her college resume, and increase her odds at scholarships…

What would you do?
[/quote]

SEND HER SEND HER SEND HER SEND HER


#5

Go - fundraise with your daughter - my friend did this when her daughter was invited to play in Europe with her school orchestra, they raised enough $$ for mom and daughter to go together!


#6

No, for several reasons.
1. I don’t charge people $5000 when I “invite” them over and neither should they. You can rest assured that 1000’s+ of other students like your dd got the exact same invite.
2. Letting a minor go on such an extended & distant trip without their own parents is a very bad idea, imo. You have no idea just how lousy other adults can be in guarding someone else’s children.
3. This will not be that big a deal on her college resume. That’s hype.
4. Many colleges offer similiar such trips for credit to enrolled students for much less money. She will be older and much more mature then. My community college had a 2.5 week trip through Europe for less than 3k, including lodging, travel, and most meals.
5. For 5k or very near it, you could custom plan your own mother/daughter trip and have a wonderfull personal experience with your daughter.
6. You’re going to need that 5k for her college. It’s doubtfull that this will look good enough on her app to have much effect, much less get an additional 5000.00 knocked off her college expenses to recoup your current expense.


[quote=Lillith]My 15yr. old daughter has been invited to be a student ambassador…fourty children from around the United States would travel to Europe this summer…visiting Rome (St. Peter’s and a possible meeting with the Pope), Italy, France, and Germany…

It will cost us $5,000.00…France is scarey to me at this time (hopefully that will change)…just going overseas makes me a little nervous for her…but it is an oppurtunity…for college credits and it would look awesome on her college resume, and increase her odds at scholarships…

What would you do?
[/quote]


#7

[quote=LSK]SEND HER SEND HER SEND HER SEND HER
[/quote]

Ok, now that I am all calmed down…

When I was 15, about a thousand years ago, I was invited on a similar trip. My parents were equally concerned about safety. It was at the height of the IRA attacks in London, the kidnappings and bombings in Europe of American bases by the Beider-Meinhoff Gang and the first rumblings of Al-Queda. My parents trusted in God, my mother prayed every day, asking my Guardian Angel to stay alert and keep me safe, and they sent me on my way.

I had such an incredible experience.

Flash forward over 30 years later and I am finally getting to go on another overseas trip. The same kind of safety issues are at play. This time I get to go to the Holy Land. I am very, very excited…however, nothing will ever replace that first trip to Europe at the age of 15. EVERYTHING was an experience that was incredible.

If you can do it, send her. She will thank you for the rest of her life.


#8

Our school offered a trip to europe – 20-somthing kids went…and I was miserable b/c we didn’t have the money nor would my parents have let me go, and looking back, I can totally see why (now, that is). Unless you’re going as a chaperone, I’d say no. THe stories about drinking and “action” (sex) that came back…oy. Whoever said chaperones mean well was right – they just won’t be looking out for your 15yr old the way you would. I agree, if you can afford it, go as a family or with her yourself…but leaving a bunch of kids with just a few adults in a foreign country (where, I might add, social mores and “norms” are waaaay more lax than we are used to) just opens far too many doors that she is way too young (no matter how mature she is) to deal with yet…just my thoughts – PS - the “church sponsored” trips were no better…


#9

I should add that my children have also been invited to be “ambassadors” as well. It really is an overpriced thing, you are buying an experience for your child. In high college, these sorts of trips also work on your foreign language skills, another bonus.

And then I can’t help but think of that girl in Aruba… but that is a very rare case indeed.


#10

[quote=Rob’s Wife]No, for several reasons.
1. I don’t charge people $5000 when I “invite” them over and neither should they. You can rest assured that 1000’s+ of other students like your dd got the exact same invite.
[/quote]

I thought this also…until I looked into it. It is a month of travel…and is definately a bargain. People spend this much for two days of Disney Land.

The program is called people to people. It has a fifty year History…and was started by President Dwight D. Eisenhower…every president since has stood as chairman. The mission is to promote peace.

True, thousands were invited…but only fourty will go…there is an application process…and an interview to attend…So she might not end up selected…I’m just trying to discern if I want to go any farther.

[quote=Rob’s wife]2. Letting a minor go on such an extended & distant trip without their own parents is a very bad idea, imo. You have no idea just how lousy other adults can be in guarding someone else’s children.
[/quote]

I thought this too…until I went to a meeting and found out that the ratio of student to teacher was one to ten…and that the chaperones were indeed teachers who were chosen…

[quote=Rob’s wife]4. Many colleges offer similiar such trips for credit to enrolled students for much less money. She will be older and much more mature then. My community college had a 2.5 week trip through Europe for less than 3k, including lodging, travel, and most meals.
5. For 5k or very near it, you could custom plan your own mother/daughter trip and have a wonderfull personal experience with your daughter.
6. You’re going to need that 5k for her college. It’s doubtfull that this will look good enough on her app to have much effect, much less get an additional 5000.00 knocked off her college expenses to recoup your current expense.


[/quote]

Thank your for your thoughts…I am still looking into how it might affect her college resumes and scholarships. She is already being courted by some colleges…I was not as accomplished of a student as she is so I have been at a loss as to how to direct her. I did go to her Beta club overseer and was told that she needed to be well rounded and he suggested voluntering…I am still looking into this…it appears legitimate so far


#11

Being that I was 15 only ten years ago, I can so remember how much I would have wanted to go, the way I would have plead with my parents to let me and promised anything if only I could go.

I do have friends that went to Europe to study abroad or on summer trips for youth conferences or in youth tours to meet European kids and “build community” or have an experience, whatever. As other posters have mentioned, this sort of situation is or can be like a free-for-all. Most of the kids I know who went in high school had stories that you might hear on some sort of Spring Break expose on a talk show. The kids I know who went in college were slightly better about all of it, but the premise is still the same: no parents, little reality and not much thinking except immediate gratification. For high schoolers, chaperones can never be everywhere at once.

If you go with her, then that is a different story. But I too would consider a family trip before the youth ambassader thing.

I also agree with Rob’s Wife that the idea this will sway colleges or universities is merely the sort of hype that high school academic counselors sell to eager parents. If anything, it might be better for her to do something similar in college as it might have more impact for grad school acceptance (depending on if it’s a competitive program or whatever). She will also have more maturity under her belt and a little more life experience in saying ‘no’ to people and situations that a 15 year old might not always be familiar with.


#12

Send her…

My neice did the People to People thing about 2 years ago when she was 15. She did arrange it to go with a friend, though. They went to Australia. She came back with nothing but positives. She still keeps in touch with people she met from across the country - have even made trips to visit each other, too. This year she is going to Belize I believe with her school.

I currently live in Europe. It’s not as scary as it appears. Yes, one is in a foreign country but they are with a group. If she is grilled the rules such as ‘no sneaking out of your hotel room to meet up with guys you don’t even know’ she should be fine.

A few weeks after my 16th birthday I flew to Kansas City for the summer to work at a summer camp. My husband came to Germany three times when he was in high school. He married me, so it must not have affected him too negatively :o !


#13

[quote=LSK]Ok, now that I am all calmed down…

When I was 15, about a thousand years ago, I was invited on a similar trip. My parents were equally concerned about safety. It was at the height of the IRA attacks in London, the kidnappings and bombings in Europe of American bases by the Beider-Meinhoff Gang and the first rumblings of Al-Queda. My parents trusted in God, my mother prayed every day, asking my Guardian Angel to stay alert and keep me safe, and they sent me on my way.

I had such an incredible experience.

Flash forward over 30 years later and I am finally getting to go on another overseas trip. The same kind of safety issues are at play. This time I get to go to the Holy Land. I am very, very excited…however, nothing will ever replace that first trip to Europe at the age of 15. EVERYTHING was an experience that was incredible.

If you can do it, send her. She will thank you for the rest of her life.
[/quote]

I just wanted to note that my concerns aren’t much about international terror issues as much as general concerns regardless of trip destination. I’d probably still say no even if it was a tour of our own dear new england states. 4 adults to 40 teens for a 24/7 guard during a period of a month just gives me the jeebies. If I could go too that would make a big difference, but my teen going solo just wouldn’t happen.


I agree an international trip is something to be remembered and I would have no qualms about making the arrangements myself for us as a family or for one/both parents w/ one of our kids.


I must say 5000.00 for an entire month of international travel expenses does sound wayyy too good to be true. The group may very well be legit, but I’d be asking to know about every single penny that’s going to be needed for this from beginning to end. There are ways to travel cheap, but that’s still a low sticker and would make me leary that it’s not the final sticker price. (Meals, travel while there, tips, cost of activities they will doing, insurance, etc… to name a few.)


**Also, ask if medical insurance will be offered if yours doesn’t travel with her and the cost. No one ever plans those things, but it never fails around my kids that something happens the minute I walk out the door.:wink: **


#14

You know, a better experience would be for her to wait until college and do an overseas study program in a country and course of her choice.

I had that experience in college, and it was invaluable. And she’d be getting college credit for it.

So, I’d offer this to her. See if she thinks it’s a good idea. I chose to study Renaissance Art in Florence (in 1987), and I was able to travel to many cities in Italy on weekends. I went to Rome, of course, and went to mass at St. Peter’s Sunday morning at 10AM. John Paul II walked down the aisle right next to me, and the whole experience reinvigorated my faith.

Years later, I stumbled across the photos of my trip. And check out the photo I got:

http://www.catacombers.com/money_shot.jpg

Guess who that is in front? Yep. Cardinal Ratzinger. Dudes, I got two popes in one photo!

Talk about luck.

So yes, going to Europe is great. But I’d make a plan and save up for a great STUDY trip abroad during her college years. I think she’ll get a lot more out of it.
–Ann


#15

O.K…that’s four go and four no…with a couple of suggestions of wait till college…and go with her…which wold be a great idea but I couldn’t leave my other children for a month…

Wait till college sounds good to me also!

AGGGHHH! I am really confused on this one!

Proud Army Wife…since your niece went with the People to Peolple program…do you know if more money was requested…such as Rob’s wife suggested?
Is it a legitimate program?


#16

Sparky…really really cool Photo!


#17

You raised her and you know her best. If you trust her, send her. I would send my daughter. In fact, I’m sending her, for her 16th birthday, to the Philippines to build houses.

Send her and Pray for her.


#18

[quote=Lillith]and go with her…which wold be a great idea but I couldn’t leave my other children for a month…

[/quote]

OH! I know exactly how you feel about that.


**Here’s a thought… **Could she go with grandparents or a grandparent?


#19

[quote=Sparky].

Years later, I stumbled across the photos of my trip. And check out the photo I got:

http://www.catacombers.com/money_shot.jpg

Guess who that is in front? Yep. Cardinal Ratzinger. Dudes, I got two popes in one photo!

Talk about luck.

–Ann
[/quote]

Oh man! Who cares if the kid goes?! That makes me wanna leave the kids (which will never happen) and go for myself!


#20

The trip I am going on is about 5 grand and we are doing the Holy Land and Rome, with a Papal Audience (oh, Sparky, that photo is WONDERFUL)…and I am getting some extra insurance that is costing me about $150.00…plus looking into what Kaiser does for its members when they travel overseas. As I said, it’s been a llllooooonnnnnggggg time since I have travelled and so I have some things to learn about…shoot, the cost of getting a new passport has gone up just a tad.

She’s your daughter. On the trip I was on there were kids who behaved badly and then there were kids like me. I stuck close to the chaperone, was absolutely dazzled by what we saw and have nothing but great memories of the entire trip. It lasted 6 weeks all together.

I waited until college to start my downward spiral into alcoholism and drug addiction.:rotfl:

So, you make your decision and put the results into the hands of God and His Mother Mary.

Whatever decsision you make, I know it will be made because you are a very, very good mom!


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