This guest post was contributed by Jessie DeLuca, from Commack, New York. Jessie is a Spanish teacher who’s leading her first trip with ACIS this summer. This article describes her trip to Barcelona, Spain for the ACIS Global Teacher Conference and Training Weekend for first-time Group Leaders in January.
What did you do over the Martin Luther King weekend? Along with about 150 other people, I flew off to Barcelona as the guest of ACIS, for a training weekend for new group leaders who will be traveling in the coming months with students from every corner of the country. Most of us were teachers, but there were a few leaders from other professions. All of us had two things in common: the love of travel, and the desire to change young lives through travel.
In between bus tours of the city, wine tastings and some of the most delicious food ever, we had the opportunity to share ideas and learn from experienced group leaders. Barcelona is a beautiful city, and we were given plenty of time to explore both on our own and with our delightful guides from ACIS. The participants in this training weekend were some of the nicest people I’ve ever had the pleasure to meet, and friendships were forged that I’m sure will last for years to come. But no one ever lost sight of the real reason we were there; to open the eyes of our students to the wide world beyond our own classrooms and communities.
Some of us will be traveling to Europe, some of us to Costa Rica and other Latin American countries, or to other wonderful locations. I am a teacher in an International Baccalaureate school in a well to do community on Long Island in New York. Since my students must do 150 hours of community service as part of the requirements for the IB program, I felt a trip to Costa Rica to do community service projects would not only be a great way for them to complete quite a few hours towards their total, but also a way for them to see that not everyone in the world has the good fortune to live like they do. I believe it’s extremely important for young people to be aware of what’s out there in a world that’s growing ever smaller, and travel is the perfect way to show them.
Does travel change lives? Absolutely, and in more ways than we’ll probably ever know.
If you’re interested in learning about how to qualify for an ACIS Global Conference, check out our rewards for teachers page!