Washington Evening Journal

Fairfield Ledger   Mt. Pleasant News
Neighbors Growing Together | Oct 23, 2017

Bound for Europe

Vittetoe joins ambassador program
By Xiomara Levsen | Mar 14, 2014
Emily Vittetoe

A Washington High School junior has been selected to participate in the People to People Ambassador Program this upcoming summer.
Seventeen year-old Emily Vittetoe, daughter of Don and Alicia Vittetoe, will be traveling to four European countries.
Vittetoe traveled to Costa Rica last summer and decided she wanted to travel abroad again, so she started looking for foreign exchange programs. People to People was a program she really liked, so she decided to pursue it.
“I got a couple of things in the mail about an information meeting and I just finally went and I really liked it and thought I’d give it a shot,” Vittetoe said, “so I sent in an application.”
Vittetoe’s application was reviewed and she was interviewed. After her interview she waited anxiously to see if she was selected. Last fall she heard good news, she was selected.
Since then she has been preparing herself for the trip by working part-time for her expenses and counting down the days until she leaves.
“I actually do have a countdown on my phone,” Vittetoe said.
Once a month, Vittetoe attends mandatory meetings in Cedar Rapids with other students who were selected from Iowa City and Cedar Rapids.
“We have the meetings in Cedar Rapids because that’s where the local office is,” Vittetoe said. “We just talk about the dos and the don’ts and all about our trip.”
On June 30, Vittetoe will be one of 40 students from eastern Iowa traveling to Italy, France, Austria, and Switzerland for a three weeks.
Her trip won’t be just for sightseeing, she said. She will have service projects and courses to study while she’s in Europe.
“It’s like an educational program so we do a whole bunch of service projects while we’re there and basically tour the country,” Vittetoe said. “They haven’t told us yet [what service projects the students will be doing]. I know sometimes in other countries they’ll plant trees. It varies on where you are.”
When asked if she would miss spending the summer with her friends, Vittetoe said no.
“My friends are jealous that I’m going,” she said.
Emily’s mother, Alicia, couldn’t be prouder of her daughter.
“I was hoping she was going to be selected,” Alicia said. “She traveled to Costa Rica last year, so I think this gave her the bug to want to travel abroad.”
Emily’s trip is called European Discovery, Alicia said. One thing Alicia liked about the People to People Ambassador program was the structure it has for students.
“She will study architecture, art history, language and learning, and political science,” Alicia said. “She will have to do online quizzes and will earn college credits.”
Emily will also have a home visit with a family and have to do daily journal entries as part of her studies, Alicia said.
“I’m really excited for her,” Alicia said. This will be a great opportunity for her. The personal growth, global perspective, and personal experience she will gain while she’s over there will be very good for her.”

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