ScholarTrips

ScholarTrips

Allianz Global Assistance believes in young people's ability to shape our future. We also support international travel as a learning experience. Since the beginning of our ScholarTrips essay contest in 2004, we have been proud to award $65,000 in scholarship prizes to area middle and high school students. We have enjoyed sharing the joy of travel with area students and hearing about the students’ experiences. We suspended the ScholarTrips program for 2013, and we are not accepting applications at this time. We plan to take the next year to evaluate the program. It’s possible that we will offer the program again in the future. If we do, we will post updates on this website. 

Please check back in the fall of 2013 for further updates. Thank you.

Stories from Recent Scholarship Winners

Savannah - Italy and Germany 2012

Savannah - Italy and Germany 2012

I had the trip of a life time! We walked a total of 77 miles and saw things I never thought I would see. My favorite meal in Italy was Spicy Pasta and I enjoyed visiting the Ancient Forum in Rome. I also got to see the Allianz Arena in Munich, Germany. Thank you SOOO much for allowing me to have this experience!

Ashley Christiansen - Costa Rica 2011

Ashley Christiansen - Costa Rica 2011

“I cannot thank you enough for giving me this amazing opportunity. My recent trip to Costa Rica was absolutely amazing. Without your help, I wouldn't have experienced my first plane ride, my first trip out of the U.S., or even my first time talking in-depth with local Spanish speakers. It was a total cultural immersion and my group and I learned everything from special Costa Rican words to the typical foods. And although I'm sure we were all sick of the beans and rice by the end of our 17 days, we all miss it. Seeing a sloth and titi monkeys at school was a once in a lifetime opportunity and it was so amazing to see these beautiful creatures up close.
 
My host families were very hospitable and did everything they could to make us comfortable. My roommate and I got tours of the town by each of our family members and were introduced to locals our own age by our host brother. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity was the best trip I've ever gone on. From the surfing, to rafting, to the zipline, to feeding the monkeys, to seeing the volcano up close, Costa Rica has truly made an impression on me as an amazing country to visit and live in. ¡Pura Vida! Thank you once again for this amazing opportunity”

Hayden Kierl - Germany 2011

Hayden Kierl - Germany 2011

"I cannot thank the company enough for the opportunity provided to me that enabled me to travel to  Kiel, Germany for three weeks on an exchange program sponsored by the Midlothian High School German Club. By living with a German family, I was able to gain a greater appreciation for the culture and customs practiced in Germany. During the time I lived with my host family, I had a chance to travel from Kiel to the city of Wurtzburg in Bavaria via the Autobahn. The trip was for my host family’s grandmother’s birthday and a cousin’s baptism.

Being able to see different parts of Germany gave me the realization that Germany has just as many various customs as the U.S. With this experience, the knowledge and understanding that I have gained will affect me personally as well as when I apply for a job after graduating college.  Living with a family for three weeks helped me to develop my German speaking language skills and to grow personally like I never could have imagined."

Katelyn Marshall - Costa Rica 2011

Katelyn Marshall - Costa Rica 2011

"Scholartrips gave me the chance to experience the completely unique culture of Costa Rica, and to immerse myself in the Spanish language. By staying in the home of a Spanish speaking family and spending each day in the small sea-side town of Quepos, I learned to speak and comprehend Spanish in a way that would have been impossible in a classroom. The people of Costa Rica live friendly, relaxed and rich lives and are welcoming to everyone: my host mother cared for me as if I were her own daughter, and we still stay in touch. I met so many new friends that I have been keeping up with on facebook and have even had the chance to Skype with friends in Quepos.

Nature and wildlife in Costa Rica is stunning: the rainforest is filled with enormous trees, and plants with leaves bigger than my entire body. The monkeys, sloths and colorful birds were so amazing that it was almost surreal. What’s more surreal is that only a few days after arriving to the town of Quepos, I felt like I was at home. At the end of my trip, I realized this was because of the welcoming feeling of community that is so evident in the culture and lifestyle of the Costa Ricans. I’m so happy to have been given the opportunity to completely surround myself by the culture of a place thousands of miles from my own home and still feel that sense of community. The people, wildlife, music, mountains and community of Quepos make the town a coastal paradise that I’ll never forget."

Scott Mallory - Italy 2011

Scott Mallory - Italy 2011

"Eight course feasts, the Palio de Siena (famous horse race), pastas, amazing beaches, cheeses, breathtaking views from the top of the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, gelato, churches, churches and more historic churches, museums, more museums, some more churches, and more museums…these are just a few of the highlights of my 3 week trip to Northern Italy! The memories of this experience will definitely entice me to pursue international travel while in college. I am so grateful for the ScholarTrip award. The company's appreciation for International travel makes it feasible for high school students like me to have the opportunity to explore other cultures. From the food (did I mention the gelato?!) to the tours of the famous and not so famous sights - it was truly awesome!! Thanks, thanks, thanks!"

Veronika Pogrebna - Costa Rica 2011

Veronika Pogrebna - Costa Rica 2011

"The study abroad trip to Costa Rica was a life changing experience! I stayed with a host family and they were very nice and helped me with my Spanish a lot. We have bonded and I still keep in touch with them. The first and the last night our group spent at the beautiful capital of Costa Rica, San José. There we went to the Poas Volcano; the view was magnificent! It was pretty cold up there, as a Tico, a native Costa Rican, would say. The volcano had a large crater with light green water out of which white puffy cloud, or smoke, appeared. The rest of the time I spent living in Quepos, a small town near the shore of the Pacific Ocean, with my host family.

On week days we would go to school and afterward, we always had a fun and engaging activity. We visited numbers of beaches, including one in Manuel Antonio, which is another town close to Quepos, Play Dominical and many others. The one beach that I fell in love with was the beach at the National Park at Manuel Antonio. There were monkeys, sloths, and anteater everywhere you looked; the beach had white sand and clear turquoise water. We also went out into the ocean on a boat a couple times, toured the mangroves, went on the zip line, had fun rafting and had the experience of our lives. This trip has taught me a lot about the language and the culture in Costa Rica. I have seen the world in a different perspective all thanks to Scholartrips. This scholarship opened a window into the world for me and I am very thankful to them. I think it’s an amazing gift to give to students, because it is a gift of knowledge.”

ScholarTrips Stories Archive

Tyler Rowe - France, 2010

"My trip was AMAZING. It was a life changing experience. We stayed a couple of days in Paris seeing all the amazing sites like the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre Museum, Versailles, and more. Then we took a train to Nantes, which is west of Paris. When we got off the train, we met our host family. For the next two weeks I would go to school at 9 in the morning in the center of the city. School ended everyday at about 12. Then, we would go on excursions to see landmarks in Nantes. I would go home every night at about 6 o'clock and my family and I would eat dinner on their terrace at about 7. When I left my whole host family was crying, myself included. We still keep in touch now and my host sister is planning to come spend time with me next summer! All of this couldn't have been possible without this scholarship. Thank you and everyone at Scholartrips for everything!"

Eric Lehman - France, 2010

"I cannot thank Scholartrips enough for giving me the opportunity to go on my trip to France! It was an exceptional experience to view the U.S from outside the U.S bubble. My host family was great, and it was amusing and informative to see how a French family functions. At the start of the trip, the food was my greatest fear, (I was under the impression they ate cheese with everything), but by the end of my trip I felt comfortable eating anything they gave me. The weather was perfect, clear and in the 70s basically everyday. Overall it was an amazing trip, made possible by Scholartrips!"

Ryan Durazo - Nicaragua, 2010

"My trip to Nicaragua was a unique adventure that gave me experiences I’ll never forget. My group had the opportunity to work with the fantastic community of Las Perlas to build a home and finish up work on a brand new elementary school. Each day held new surprises, whether it was waking up to the sound of roosters or having a balloon fight with all the local children. The people of Las Perlas did everything in their power to make us feel at home, including amazing us by making due with their limited resources to feed over a dozen hungry teenagers. Despite the ever-present poverty, Nicaragua is never short of sights to see. I bargained with merchants in a bustling marketplace, explored the colonial city of Granada with my friends, and got to swim in a breathtaking lake inside of a massive volcanic crater. This was a once in a lifetime experience, and I recommend it to anyone who has a heart for adventure."

Andrey Metveyev - Spain, 2009

“Spain was probably one of the greatest learning experiences I've had in my ENTIRE life. Over two weeks I fell in love with the people and the culture of the country, and I feel like I grew tremendously in the process…I would like to thank all of you guys at Scholartrips for helping me get over there. This trip really did have an impact on my life, and it really couldn't have happened without the aid you contributed.”

Esha Doshi - Costa Rica, 2008

"My unforgettable encounter with Costa Rican culture and the cherished memories it has etched into my mind was only possible with the help of the scholarship for study abroad from the company. Having the opportunity to go to Costa Rica was an adventure, a fantasy, a dream, and a tremendously beneficial experience. This journey has expanded my knowledge of a culture I had never before been exposed to."

Alana Prettitore - Germany, 2008

"I wanted to express my appreciation since this scholarship provided me with an experience of a lifetime. Last summer, I immersed myself in another culture, advanced my foreign languages skills, developed a wonderful friendship with my host family, and grew as a person.

When I look back on my life, those weeks spent in Germany are among the best. Some of the most memorable aspects include: speaking and learning with classes of German students; celebrating at the Brandenburg Gate with 80,000 fans in Berlin and Pforzheim, where my host sister lived, during Germany's victories in the Eurocup soccer tournament; visiting Munich and Heidelberg; discovering pieces of the Berlin wall, and yes, riding in a new Porsche at 182 MPH on the Autobahn with my host father and sister. This journey not only improved my German, but inspired me to continue international pursuits and develop a better understanding of the world.

Again, thank you for honoring me with this amazing study abroad experience - the most memorable trip that I embarked on and cherished. I am determined to continue my passion for international travel and a lifetime as a global citizen and world traveler."

Ja'el Daniely - France & Spain, 2007

"The best part about my overseas trip was the beautiful view and being able to share the experience with some lifelong friends! I have so many stories and even more memories that will stay with me for a lifetime. I thank you again for providing me the opportunity for me to experience a trip I will never forget!"

"Having travelled to another country has opened my eyes to another side of life. I gained independence and bettered my Spanish skills. I enjoyed Spain and because of my experiences, I would love to travel to as many places as I can during my life time."

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