Student Stories

Travel is a thrill. It’s an adventure. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime memory in the making.


Going to France opened my eyes to the world and made me realize I wanted to travel with my job. I am willing to relocate anywhere for work now because of this trip. This year I leave for Germany for a year for a dual-degree study abroad program between Illinois State University and the University of Paderborn in Paderborn, Germany. If it wasn’t for my ACIS trip, I’d have no clue where I would be today or what I would be doing. This trip jump-started my college career. If I could do it again, I certainly would. I would recommend this for anybody.”

ALLIE, ACIS Participant

Student Spotlight

Nick’s Costa Rican Adventure

We’re shining a spotlight on Nick, who traveled on an ACIS trip to Costa Rica. What did he think about his adventure abroad? Find out in this exclusive interview!

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Scholarship Winners

Artwork, Photography and Writing

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Artwork of hands decorated with flags holding a globe

One Earth, by Caroline Zedek

Grand Prize, High School – $1,000 Scholarship

Caroline’s thoughts:
In my digital painting titled “One Earth”, I wanted to show how each and every one of us, as a citizen not only of our own respective countries but as citizens of the Earth, have a responsibility to preserve our planet and its natural beauty. As a global citizen, one must be mindful of our Earth while traveling and at home, and with this image I hope to show that the state of our planet and its wonders are dependent on the collective actions of all nations.

Artwork of yellow flowers in a glass jar

Untitled, by Jackson Parker

Runner-Up, High School – $500 Scholarship

Jackson’s thoughts:
The piece is a representation of how one can flourish as a person when taking part in the community of others. The one thing that binds us all together as global citizens is the natural world around us. My piece focuses on the beauty of the world and looks to excite everyone’s curiosity in the natural world.

Looking out a cave opening in Spain

Different is Beautiful, by Sebastian Rodriguez

Grand Prize, High School – $1,000 Scholarship

Sebastian’s thoughts:
I will be presenting a picture that I took from my trip to Spain. The picture portrays ways I’ve interacted with the community whether it be hiking or historic mountains or eating the country’s food. Despite me being a part of the Hispanic culture, being born in America has restricted me from fully embracing my culture. My trip to Spain helped me appreciate a new and improved understanding of different cultures worldwide.

A sunset

Our Dream For Our Future, by Melinda Carrillo

Runner-Up, High School – $500 Scholarship

Melinda’s thoughts:
The term “Global Citizen” can mean anything from leadership, communities, politics or the environment. In my perspective, a global citizen takes everyone around the world to collaborate to help each other with one heart, regardless of their differences or culture. As we are the future generation it is our dream to live in a world of peace and happiness with no fear or pain. The sunset represents that in the end, everyone will become one and at peace because that is our dream for our future.

Artwork of hands reaching towards each other with text and flags

Team Huddle, by Gabriel Little

Grand Prize, Middle School – $1,000 Scholarship

Gabriel’s thoughts:
Calling all global citizens when we come together. We can accomplish something great and change our world. Are you ready to huddle up team world?

Softball player at a base

Softball’s the Same in Every Language, by Sophia Faidley

Runner-Up, Middle School – $500 Scholarship

Sophia’s thoughts:
No matter where you are at in the world, the softball community will always treat you like family, no matter your ethnicity, size and religion, the softball community will accept you for who you are.

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The Carriers of Humanity, by Olivia White

Grand Prize, High School – $1,000 Scholarship

Olivia’s thoughts:
To me, global citizenship means carrying the world, which is done by doing the good that humanity fails to do. This is the main point in my poem.

Humanity, by Kennya Molina

Runner-Up, High School – $500 Scholarship

Kennya’s thoughts:
I share my personal experience while relating it to what I believe global citizenship is.

The Meaning of Global Citizenship, by Logan Cerrito

Grand Prize, Middle School – $1,000 Scholarship

Logan’s thoughts:
My essay tries to answer the question “What is a global citizen?”

Our World, by Nicole Lefavour

Runner-Up, Middle School – $500 Scholarship

Nicole’s thoughts:
Our world is a reminder to myself and perhaps others that as global citizens we identify as part of a world community and our actions and compassion for others contribute to humanity.

Student Spotlight

Johnny Vrba

Johnny Vrba, a high school senior from Illinois, traveled with his classmates to France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany. We interviewed Johnny about his experience traveling to Europe, what it was like making new friends and how his tour manager, Jerome, completely made his experience what it was.

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Student Videos

France, the Trip of a Lifetime

Gavin V.– Pennsylvania

Senior Trip Thailand ACIS 2k19

David C.– New York

Europe Trip

Emily R.– Louisiana

A Week in Greece

Hanah N. and Audrey H.– Virginia

Scotland 2019

Michaela L.– New Jersey

Costa Rica 2019 - ACIS Tours

Rio G.– New Jersey

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#Tag Along

Get a taste for what’s really happening on tour. Browse recent participants’ photos and posts by visiting instagram.com/acistours. Then when you travel, tag along with us on Twitter or Instagram using #ACISTours. You may even see yourself here one day!

Collage of students taking selfies in front of landmarks