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Students can travel to Europe with People to People

These students are planning to travel with People to People. (CONTRIBUTED)
These students are planning to travel with People to People. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – This summer, students can experience the landmarks and lifestyles of Europe with People to People.

Sherri Shamwell, who teaches family/consumer sciences classes at James Clemens High School, has worked as a primary leader with People to People for six years. She is responsible for students’ behavior and safety and serves as the liaison with the national office and delegation manager.

Shamwell describes the travel as “a unique experience. The trip is extremely well organized and a balance between tourist attractions, service learning, educational experiences and real face-to-face experiences. It is people to people, face to face.”

“Seeing Stonehenge is totally different from reading about it in a textbook,” Shamwell said. By spending a weekend with a family in another country, students experience the culture. “Climbing ropes in the Swiss Alps, hiking in the Black Forest, riding an alpine slide or the London Eye … these are hands-on. That’s the best way to learn.”

Dwight Eisenhower started People to People in the 1950s.

For 2014, Alabama and Tennessee students on the European Heritage 20-day tour will visit England, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, Austria and the Netherlands.

“They’ll spend time in Germany with a host family, the trip’s best part for most students,” Shamwell said. Students will spend one day in a German school and interact with other teens and educators.

Notre Dame and viewing the Mona Lisa in the Louvre are on their itinerary. “We’ll see a play in London, walk the beaches of Normandy and visit amazing museums,” she said.

Students must complete online assignments and journaling. More rigorous assignments, like essays, will give high-school or even university-level credit.

Before leaving, Shamwell will recruit students, interview all delegates and check references, raise funds and meet monthly with delegates and parents. She confirms that students are prepared to travel overseas and works with students for grade assignments they must complete.

All students must pay their own expenses. Many need help.

If individuals want to help students financially, email to sherrishamwell@gmail.com or donate online with the GoFund Me account at gofundme.com/6pcaao.

For more information, visit peopletopeople.com.

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