International Applications

International Travel (Image From:

Magda Wojtara, Reporter

Here at UAIS, the students realize the importance of internationalism and as many of the students have learned- there is no better way to learn than to experience first-hand. UAIS offers trip options each year in locations all over the world. ACIS and Explorica tour groups are the ones utilized at UAIS which have benefits such as centrally located hotels and meals included in the cost.

According to Mr. Layson, IB Diploma Programme Coordinator, he loves using ACIS because of the:

“Global presence, offices all around the world, specialization in top of the line travel experiences. The best part is the hotel location. It is always incredibly central. You are walking distance to the main attractions. This is maximizing your time in an around the city…if you are going to do a once in a lifetime experience don’t cut corners and [they] can reroute at no cost to student.”

Jessie Gougeon and Danny Harrison strolling to dinner in Serlot, France.


Jessie Gougeon and friends pose in front of the back of the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Seniors Jessie Gougeon  and Danny Harrison both agree that the hotels and food on their recent France trip were, according to Harrison, “amazing in every way, shape, and form.”  When asked what they most took away from their trips, Gougeon responded, “I loved being able to witness the culture I’ve been studying. I fell in love with it- Being surrounded with all these people who were so different from me.” Harrison also agreed that culture was a big takeaway from all the trips that he has been on through the school. Personally, he has gone on the Greece and Italy trip, New York and France Trips.


Lauren Pietryga and her friends in Times Square, New York.

Sophomore Lauren Pietryga has been on a trip through Explorica She went on the trip to New York which took place this past Spring. Pietryga’s most memorable aspect of her trip was visiting the 9/11 memorial. In her words, “When we visited the 9/11 Memorial Museum, I was shaken up. It’s one thing to hear about the tragedy on the news, but another to hear recordings of a victim’s last words to their loved ones.” The trip was not all somber though as Pietryga also noted, “Seeing Mr. Burak sitting on Mr. Kuhlman’s lap was eye opening.” The situation behind this scenario is worthy of adding. It had been a long day of walking and before going to cross the Brooklyn Bridge, the group had stopped at a park to relax on the bench or use the bathrooms located by the bench. Mr. Kuhlman had returned from the restroom to find that there was “no room on the bench.” He continued talking to Mr. Burak regarding plans and stated, “I was tired and I think I said something about wanting to sit so Mr. Burak said to me ‘Just sit’ and I ended up sitting on his lap for a few minutes until space freed up.”

Paul Hanna dines comfortably in China.

Sophomore Paul Hanna has been on both the New York trip with Explorica and the China trip with ACIS. His perspective was, “It is one thing to hear about it and read about it and another to experience it.”


Olé, Olé, Olé, Matthew Marroki participates in an activity in Spain


Junior Matthew Marroki has also used Explorica when he went on the Spain trip this past Spring. He said that through the trip “you gain a sense of independence.” He recalls accidentally running into a lady while riding bikes through Madrid. “My number one phrase [throughout the trip] was Lo Siento – I’m sorry.”


Abby Towianski and her group posing in front of Humayun’s Tomb


Junior Abby Towianski had a particularly unique experience this past summer through an AFS competition. She entered a contest that asks students to formulate a project to solve issues facing impoverished nations worldwide. Our entire school chipped in to vote and Towianski had the opportunity of going to stay with a host family in India through the AFS competition.Towianski stated that “It completely opened my eyes.” She continued by saying, “I never realized the scale of these global issues and see how different it is from how we are here.”

She also shared an interesting story from her trip. “One experience I had while I was there was that there were signs all over and the signs said ‘eat everything you have’ and I feel like the upper classes there are more aware of what the lower classes are dealing with-not waste [the food]. Often [the upper classes] are closed off but in this case, it wasn’t like that.”

Abby Towianski posing in front of Humayun’s Tomb.


Here is a comprehensive list of the trips that UAIS has had in the past along with some that are planned for the future:

2011: England, France, and Italy

2012: Washington D.C., Puerto Rico

2013: Ireland, England, and Wales

2014: New York, Costa Rica

2015: Washington D.C., Greece & Italy

2016: China, France, New York, Spain

2017: Czech Republic, Hungary, Germany, and Austria

Ireland, England, and Wales

Japan, New York

2018: France and Italy, South Africa, Ecuador