Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Update #3: Japan - Upcoming Delegations to Japan to be Reassigned

An open letter from Peg Thomas, President of People to People Ambassador Programs:

Dear Ambassadors and parents,

With the uncertain conditions plaguing Japan in the wake of last week’s earthquake, we have determined that we will not be sending the 25 delegations of Student Ambassadors to Japan this summer as originally planned. The reports from our friends and partners in Japan confirm what you’re seeing in the news—that the challenges of shoring up nuclear reactors and caring for thousands of newly homeless citizens will be the primary focus of the nation for the foreseeable future.

All 25 delegations will be reassigned to another destination. Our dedicated travel team and our experienced partners overseas are working hard to arrange your Student Ambassador experience in another part of the world. New home stays, service projects, school visits, and unique-access activities are being scheduled for you as we speak. We are proud to have the global resources to still be able to provide you with a life-changing adventure in 2011.

We’ll notify you of your new destination through your primary delegation leader on or before April 1. We believe this will be the most effective way of reaching out to all the students and families impacted by the change. Each delegation is unique, and we are weighing many considerations to place you on the best possible program.

As I mentioned in my previous message, your position on the withdrawal fee schedule will remain frozen through April 1, in order to protect you from financial impact while you wait to learn your new destination.

Our hearts go out to the Japanese people. Their strength and resilience is truly amazing, and I trust that we will be able to offer you another opportunity to experience their beautiful country for yourself in 2012.

Thank you for working to build friendship and understanding all over the world. It’s events like this prove the true value of those relationships.

Peg Thomas

President, People to People Ambassador Programs


  1. What exactly will happen upon withdrawl? I doubt my daughter will want to travel any where else simply because this trip has been a dream come true for her. She has always wanted to go to Japan (from age 6-8) and decided n this program in 2008 when her brother was an ambassador to New Zealand. How long will we as afamily have to consider our options? Judy Bird

  2. I'm also wondering about the freeze on refunds. You will not be telling us where the kids will be going until April 1, but the freeze is only in affect until April 1. Correct me if I misread that.

  3. I am in the same situation as the first person. My child has been dreaming of Japan and only Japan. I best be able to get all my money back since it was not her decision to not go to Japan. She has recieved several letters and turned them down until the Japan letter came.

  4. Thanks for your comments. As you might imagine, there are a great deal of complex details to be worked out to accommodate our delegations. Not every detail is complete but the reassignment process has begun and we still predict completing the re-assignments prior to April 1. Your questions are all good and I would recommend that you ask any additional questions to your local primary leader who will be able to respond about your specific delegation
    Thanks for hanging in there with us. We understand this is not easy and clearly a very unfortunate situation for our friends in Japan.

  5. Is it true after April 1 we can get a refund? My son was looking forward to this trip to Japan. it is very sad what has happen and hope we get a full refund.

  6. I am happy to report that the team here in the program office is on-track to meet the April 1 deadline for reassigning all Japan delegations and communicating those to the primary leaders. Since we are accommodating each delegation separately (to try to keep them together traveling in the same window of time), your local Primary Leader will have the most current information for your delegation. Each Primary Leader is being contacted directly by the re-accommodation teams. If you have not yet been contacted, you will be very soon. Thank you all again for your patience as we work through the details of re-accommodations needed due to this tragic event.