Up with People

Up with People has provided students with a renowned international education and an unmatched passageway to see the world.

Through music and action, we empower young people to be positive agents of change for a more hopeful, trusting and peaceful world.

Explore the world, engage with communities, impact the world. Since 1965, Up with People has empowered young people to become global citizens, community change makers, confident performers, and discover their ability to promote positive change in our one of a kind global education program.

Through our comprehensive program composed of the performing arts, volunteer service, travel, and leadership, we aspire to unite and inspire communities, spark others to think more broadly about their world, and forge connections among diverse cultures.


The Up with People Touring Experience

Young adults from all over the world travel abroad with Up with People for one or two semesters, beginning in January or July of each year. Each international tour embarks with nearly 100 participants, ages 17 – 29, from more than 15 countries.

Each group travels to nearly 20 communities across a minimum of two continents each semester, typically spending one week in each city. Cast members live with a local host family, volunteer 8 – 12 hours in service projects, participate in 4 – 6 hours of educational workshops, and perform in Up with People’s two-hour professionally produced musical production.

Up with People also offers you the ability to earn academic credit during your travels.


Program Components:

International Travel & Cultural Immersion

The fact that I was able to travel each week to a different city gave me a true feeling of embarking on a world tour. And since I was surrounded by 100 people from 15-20 countries, it really felt like I was traveling around the world WITH the world. - Michael, UWP Alumnus

Prepare yourself to journey through 3 distinct regions of the world on at least two continents over a 6 month semester. You'll be immersed in new communities every week, live with local host families, and travel with an international cast who represent 15+ different countries.

  • Live with local host families for first-hand, cross-cultural exchange
  • The cast visits three distinct regions of the world during a six-month semester or full Gap Year
  • Cast represents 15+ different countries


Performing Arts

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. - Nolan, UWP Alumnus

You don’t need to have any performing experience to join our program! Each cast member participates in all areas of our musical show, both onstage and offstage. The self-confidence, problem solving, public speaking, and other skills you learn from performing remain invaluable wherever your journey takes you.

  • Spread messages of hope and positivity and connect with local communities
  • Professionally produced, high-energy, two-hour show
  • Opportunities for performing onstage as well as backstage tech
  • Songs, dances and costumes from around the world


Volunteer Service

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 sights, you get to feel like you're part of the community, and you get to be the hero who helps make it a little better. - Chip, UWP Alumnus

Up with People addresses local issues and makes a difference in every community we visit. Each week, you volunteer with schools and non-profit organizations to meet a community need and spark action in local community members that continue to make an impact well beyond your visit.

  • Volunteer work happens side by side with local community members
  • Engage in workshops after each community project to learn how to identify, understand, and act on the unique needs of each city you visit
  • Participants complete approximately 150-200 hours of community service per semester
  • Projects cover a wide range such as working with schools, the elderly, poverty, homelessness, the environment, and more


Leadership & Academics

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. - Amy, UWP Alumna

Our global education program is based on a curriculum that brings key lessons to life through community exploration, interactive seminars, discussions, workshops, and hands on learning. Delivered in an experiential learning format, cast members leave their tour with a deeper commitment to life-long learning, with the tools and abilities to navigate the complexities of today’s interconnected world.

Global Education Series researches and presents issues based on global perspective, topics ranging between the environment, human rights, poverty, gender roles, and more

Program includes experiential learning, internships and assistantships in cast operations, marketing, promotion, education, and more

Participants can earn 12-24 college credits for traveling with Up with People

Join a powerful network of 22,000 plus alumni worldwide who continue to be leaders in their fields and live the UWP mission every day

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