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Fall in love this Valentine's Day... with Up with People!

By: Hayley Lutz

Our International Family to Yours
In January and July of every year, a group of young people join together connecting for the first time. These 120 people come from more than 20 countries for the purpose of unifying the world, proving that anyone can work together. Sound familiar? Like Key Club, Up with People brings together so many different cultures in the name of change. We impact together, because together a group ready to create change in the community can make serious waves. To connect with the world, we stay with local host families in each city to truly embrace every new culture. This is how multiple families become one.

We Use Music to Connect the World
Key Club uses volunteerism and philanthropy to connect a community. It’s an amazing experience connecting with those most in need of support, especially when they are right in your backyard. Up with People takes the foundation of volunteerism and combines this with the power of music. Like Key Club, we aspire to ignite a spark in the community; this encourages us to consider ourselves global citizens. In other words, we strive to expand our sense of community. We perform a 2-hour production in every city we visit around the world. Our show ticket proceeds are donated to a local charity, while the show itself inspires crowds of up to 3,000 people to get out and start making a difference in their own community.

Dive into an Internship You Didn’t Know Existed
When you think of college, sometimes career options become overwhelming. With all of the options, it’s easy for something to slip past your radar. Up with People is well known for its unique internship opportunities for those traveling with the group. You'll fall in love with investing your time in an internship around the world. “I began traveling [with UWP] with only restaurant experience, and no earthly idea what to do next. My life completely changed when I discovered my passion for lighting design and was offered an internship with our lighting designer, Andrew. I learned everything from running cables to focusing lights, and now the lighting world takes my breath away. I bet you don’t know what a signal map is? Neither did I!”

Take a Break—See the World
We all love to travel. There is just something thrilling about leaving your comfort zone and going somewhere new. We all remember the days of Key Club conventions or Weekend of a Lifetime trips. Anything and everything was exciting, because you were doing it with a group of people with the same passion as you. We came together and connected because we had one thing in common: We made the decision to become a part of something bigger. Up with People is all about traveling with a purpose. From the city lights of Paris, to the chocolatiers of Belgium and even to the ancient Aztec Pyramids of Teotihuacan, we don’t just tour a city, we experience it. We spend time surrounded in the cultures of those cities we are privileged to visit. This is how you turn places into faces and turn a landmark into an unforgettable story. Traveling has never been more of an adventure. You’ll walk away with more than just a souvenir.

Friendships for a Lifetime
Isn’t it amazing to think back on the many "first" experiences you’ve had? On the first day of high school, you may have never comprehended just how many new friends you could make in a year…or four. Your first Key Club meeting, did you look around the room and realize those people surrounding you would feel like family after only a couple of months? Of course not! It’s hard to imagine where you’ll be in just a few short years, the new relationships you’ll create, the memories you’ll never forget. Take Weekend of a Lifetime as another example: It only takes 3 short days for a group of complete strangers to become so remarkably connected. Well, fast forward to 6 months or perhaps even a year. Deciding to join us for a semester of Up with People, you will begin thinking every week is the “Week of a Lifetime.” You’ll make friendships for a lifetime, you’ll have volunteered around the world and have performed for thousands of people.Like always, it’s hard to say goodbye, but could you ever have imagined experiencing something different? Neither can we.
In love yet? Learn more by visiting upwithpeople.org or by contacting Up with People’s Beyah Rasool at brasool@upwithpeople.org. Happy season of love to you, Key Clubbers!

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