During your trip, more than once will you be asked to explain what "People to People" is. I know I was asked about 5 times by various people including a flight attendant and a waitress. Here is just a brief history of People to People.
Dwight D. Eisenhower became president at a difficult time. The Cold War had begun between the United States and Russia. President Eisenhower believed the only way to prevent a conflict was to build an understanding of other nations one person at a time. He believed the people wanted peace so badly that the government would just have to step out of the way.
This belief inspired Eisenhower to call a conference of 100 American civic leaders. This included Walt Disney, Joyce Hall, Conrad Hilton, Norman Rockwell, and Jesse Owens. Eisenhower asked these leaders help him start the "People to People" program. This program would put normal Americans in contact with the people of other nations. These people would find common ground with foreign countries by visiting homes, schools, and communities of other nations. Eisenhower believed that this understanding would eliminate the suspicions and fear of unknown things.
The first "People to People" delegation was created in 1963. Shortly after this group's return, Walt Disney was inspired to create "It's a Small World" in Disneyland.
Since 1963, thousands of students have crossed international boundaries. Though this number seems high, less than 1% of American students are selected to represent the United States in foreign countries. Being chosen is definitely something to be proud of. As you travel in new countries, keep an open mind and your experiences will stay with you for a lifetime.