2015 AIST Testimony

Here is what our 2015 participants are saying about AIST


The testimony below has not been altered.  These are real responses from real people who have traveled with AIST.  The responses were taken from emails or from the survey we send out at the end of the travel season. 

“Our trip was awesome – a 10!  Our local guides and bus driver were just fabulous!  We schedule a lot of sightseeing, practice and games in a 10 day tour, it all DaveHixonhappened and all went well.  Everything was great from organization, food, transportation and accommodation.  It was truly a top notch experience!”  

David Hixon – Head Men’s Basketball Coach Amherst College – Amherst Italy Team Tour 2015


“I wanted to personally thank you for giving me the opportunity of a life time! The UK tour was a wonderful experience, and I loved every second of it! The tours you and Kinsey set up were beautiful and the lacrosse competition was spot on. I am so honored to have played with a team that was able to come in first and bring home the gold from the Oxton Tournament, for the first time ever in AIST history!! I loved playing for the USA and representing AIST on my jersey. You brought in a great group of girls and boys, and I know I will have friends for a lifetime.  Everything was great and impeccable! I would definitely love to travel with AIST again. Please keep doing what you’re doing, and change the lives of the younger generations, because I know you changed mine!  Thank you for everything!” 

Rebecca Nolan – Shoreham Wading-River High School Shoreham, NY – UK Laxfest Tour 2015

“Amazing Game Changer! AIST allowed me to experience playing basketball outside of my comfort zone! Playing in the UWG allowed me to experience basketball and UWG Openinginteraction with other countries as well as to challenge myself and take my game to higher level. The friendships that I made over the course of 10 days were life lasting. AIST provided me an opportunity of a lifetime that has forever changed my life!”

Amani Evans – Potomac High School Dumfries, VA – United World Games U19 Women’s Basketball

“The overall experience with AIST was extremely positive as I was able to grow as a coach through the experience while I was faced with different challenges that have made me a stronger coach. I was able to make more connections for my college SPK_8699coaching both internationally and nationally. Also, I was able to help student athletes find colleges and act as a liaison while they attempt to further their volleyball career. While getting to watch volleyball athletes grow as players, I was able to travel Europe and grow as an individual.”

Aleah Hayes – Head Volleyball Coach of U17 United World Games 2015 – Assistant Coach at Columbia College (MO)


“AIST Italy Softball tour was a great, well planned itinerary made up of wonderful people who were able to travel together easily. We saw wonderful sights with the nice AIST personnel, a great tour director and bus driver. It was a wonderful opportunity to also meet the people of Italy, not only when sightseeing but when playing ball. I would highly recommend this trip to anyone.”

Jan Blovsky – Aunt of Italy AIST Select softball Player 2015 – Marlette, MI




“This experience was amazing! We saw so many sights, had great food, and I made immediate friends with my teammates.”

Lindsay Moeller – Italy Volleyball Tour 2015 – Indiana University of PA


“The overall experience of the trip was amazing and something I would absolutely recommend to anyone looking to grow as an athlete, make new friends, and see a new place. It was a perfect combination of playing the sport and seeing the sights.”

Emily Zadny – UK Lax Tour 2015 – North Central College


“It was an experience of a lifetime. I have never experienced anything like this before. It really opens your eyes to IMG_0231the different culture and makes you appreciate more of what you have.  It was shocking to see how differently they lived and how they tried to make money every day. Sightseeing was amazing! Every place we went was gorgeous and filled with history.”

Brianna Gilbert – Dominican Republic Softball 2015 – Rhinelander High School – Rhinelander, WI


“Amazing!! The trip was well planned and executed. The guides we had were knowledgeable, accommodations were very nice and there was plenty of free time to explore each city we visited. Oh, yeah- the softball was good, too!”

Christina Fonseca – Parent of Italy Softball Player 2015 – Belmont, CA


“Excellent management of logistics. Tours were very good in each country with a great balance of lacrosse with scheduled events and free time.”

Joe and Donna Faranetta – UK Lax 2015 and Prague Cup 2014 – Randolph, NJ




Kat Ihlenburg



“I felt the trip was a good experience, both athletically and culturally. The games were well organized and VERY
good competition. I was able to see young players really challenge themselves against some of the best players in the Dominican Republic.”

Kat Ihlenburg – Head Coach DR AIST select team 2015 – Head Softball Coach Georgia Gwinnett College


Amy Rizzo

“I’ve traveled with other companies before to play lacrosse and AIST is the best! They had amazing tours
scheduled for each city, the competition was great, the accommodations were satisfactory, and there also was enough down time to enjoy the cities how you pleased. I would travel with them every year!”

Amy Rizzo – Head Coach UK Lax Tour 2015 – Head Coach Georgian Court University


“Amazing experience both Coaching and Travelling with wonderful people.”

Meaggan Pettipiece – Head Coach Amsterdam 2015 – Head Softball Coach Northwood University (MI)


Shannon Kynoch

“The overall experience was incredible. It was extremely well-organized and allowed for a great balance of taking in the sights and culture while still competing at a high level. The staff created a fun environment where each participant was able to tailor their experience to make it the best for them. There was a good mix of group time as well as individual time to explore the cities and we were able to really see a lot!”

Shannon Kynoch – Italy Women’s Basketball Tour 2015 – Head Women’s Basketball Coach Saint Michael’s


“Travelling with AIST was a blast. They had planned activities for us in each city and made sure that we got to see all the sights and have a good time.”

Mollie Sebald – Italy Women’s Basketball Tour 2015 – Gannon University





“My experience was amazing. I liked the balance of competition and tourism – we saw so much.”

Lauren Kenny – Italy Volleyball Tour 2015 – Mercyhurst University





“I can without a doubt say it was one of the most fun experiences I Maggie McClainhave ever had playing lacrosse. Just playing with experienced girls from all over the country was a blast but to do it internationally, where the rules are different and the aggression is elevated was amazing.”

Maggie McClain – UK Laxfest Tour 2015 – Gettysburg College



“It was utterly amazing. The people, the places, the food and everything made this trip so much fun!”

Catherine (Katie) Wright – United World Games Soccer 2015 – Troy University


Kaitlyn Redman

“AIST is an amazing organization with incredible people who work towards giving you an exceptional trip. With the competition we faced, the places we went, I wouldn’t trade any of this for the world. AIST is the way to go.”

Kaitlyn Redman – Italy U19 Softball 2015 – Waukee Senior HS – Waukee, IA


“It was a wonderful experience. I learned so much and had a lot of fun. I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

Rebekah Collier – United World Games Volleyball 2015 – Our Lady of the Lakes HS – Waterford, MI

Cifelli_Dina_web HS

“My AIST experience was a trip that I will never forget. I was never about sightseeing or going to other country’s to visit, this trip changed that. When I got the opportunity to play lacrosse overseas things changed and I am beyond so happy I decided to come! The leaders and coaches were great they made it so fun and enjoyable. My teammates were awesome as well met some great new friends who I will never forget!”

Dina Cifelli – Prague Cup Lax Tour 2015 – West Chester University of PA



“It was amazing! I had an extremely fun time playing softball against different competition. When softball was over the sightseeing was so beautiful. I made friends and memories that will last a lifetime, I can’t thank AIST enough for the great experience!”

Maddie McConville – Dominican Republic Softball 2015 – Augusta High School – August, WI

Jim Brunelli

“We had a great time! The tours were well planned and we felt like we saw all of the major attractions in each city.”

Jim Brunelli – Italy Women’s Basketball 2015 – Head Women’s Basketball Coach Gannon University



“My experience with AIST is unforgettable. The friends I made I hope to stay in touch with because everyone is so great. The places we visited were breathtaking. I wish I could do it again!”

Isabelle Paulus – UK Laxfest 2015 – Morse High School – Portland, ME



“My experience with AIST was one of the best of my life. The competition was great, and each tour we went on was extremely beautiful. I made friendships that will last me a life time!”

Michaela Duranti – UK Lax Tour 2015 – Towson University


AIST- Lacrosse Testimonials 2013

Player + Coach Testimonials


“As a coach, I thought it was a great experience for myself and for the athletes. Although the style of play is not similar to what lacrosse players compete against in the US, it forced the girls to figure out a way to ADAPT, COMPETE and SURVIVE in a different type of competitive environment. I saw INDIVIDUAL GROWTH in each girl, both on the field and off, and at the end of the day that is what a coach should be looking for.”

Heather Jack- Head Women’s Lacrosse Coach- XTeam Lacrosse
United Kingdom High School Lacrosse Tour 2013


“My overall experience was amazing. It was my first time out of the country, so I was completely impressionable, and the trip in no way let me down. I loved the cities we visited, I loved all of the things we did, and I loved playing lacrosse against international competition with my talented and fun teammates.

The tours were all so interesting. I also really appreciated that there was time to explore on your own as well, for anything else that you might have wanted to see.”

Elizabeth Bereit- Shenandoah University
Paris- Amsterdam Lacrosse Tour 2013

“My overall experience was great. I came home and told everyone I didn’t want to leave. It was my first time ever going to Europe and I couldn’t have done it through a better program than AIST. Getting to play lacrosse, meet new people and see new things is the best combination. The 10 days was a perfect length of time to adventure through the cities while making it back home before I was ever homesick.

I honestly thought traveling to 3 different cities in such a short amount of time wouldn’t be that great of sightseeing. But the fact that we were able to have free time in each city made me able to really experience what each place was all about. Even the bus rides to the next city were beautiful. We had just enough group activities booked to still be able to go sightsee ourselves.”

Ali Dixon- Grand Valley State University
United Kingdom College Lacrosse Tour 2013

“I had a life changing experience, the trip was so much fun and I learned so much, not only about lacrosse but the culture differences of other countries. It was an eye opening experience to see how other countries live and to see the traditions that they have. The trip overall was a great experience.”

Allie Henderson- Colorado Mesa University
United Kingdom College Lacrosse Tour 2013

“My overall lacrosse experience with AIST was incredible. The style of game overseas is much different compared to America so it was such a valuable learning experience. It definitely has prepared me for college lacrosse.

The travel, sightseeing and cultural experience was also amazing. Being able to stay in multiple cities showed me how different the world really is. It was a learning experience being able to go out on my own and witness firsthand the lifestyle and culture of the different cities.

My favorite part of the trip was definitely the lacrosse aspect. I loved being able to play a different style of lacrosse against very talented athletes. It challenged me and made me work harder which benefits me for the future as a college athlete. My favorite city was either Scotland or Dublin. The festival in Edinburgh was amazing to experience and Dublin offered a lot of unique restaurants/shops with in close range of the hostel.”

Kara Hodapp- Lacrosse Player
United Kingdom High School Lacrosse Tour 2013

AIST- Field Hockey Testimonials 2013

Player + Coach Testimonials


“I consider myself to be an avid traveler. I can honestly say that I have never been able to experience so much of the culture, see so many beautiful cities and travel with such an fun group of people. As a coach I was able to work with some exceptional athletes and watch the team evolve and improve as they played together throughout the tour. I learned so much and look forward to hopefully going on another tour with AIST in the future. Thank you for the amazing experience you provided for me and some of my athletes.”

Kimberly Cosenza- Head Field Hockey Coach- Elms College
Italy Field Hockey Tour 2013


“My overall experience of the tour was really awesome and definitely one I will never forget. Meeting all of the other girls and becoming friends with them was probably my favorite part of the trip because I never thought I would get so close with such complete strangers.

Everything is so relaxed in Italy and it was interesting to see. Sightseeing was awesome! There is so much history in that country and so much to appreciate. My favorite part of the trip was the food! I ate like a queen and there was such good food everywhere we went. There are no improvements that I would make to this trip. The hotels were great and I was very happy with the set-up of the trip.”

Alyssa LaMonica– Elms College
Italy Field Hockey Tour 2013

AIST- Soccer Testimonials 2013

Player + Coach Testimonials


“I can’t thank you enough for the wonderful experience and great journey. The tour far exceeded all expectations and more. I can’t imagine seeing Italy any other way than with AIST.”

BJ Noble- Director of Soccer- Notre Dame de Namur University
Italy Soccer Tour 2014


“The sightseeing was wonderful and we got to see more things with this group than we would ever get to see on our own without them. The guides had a ton of knowledge of the different sights and best places to go which made everything easy to find so we were never bored.”

Alyssa Soulis – Concordia University
Italy Soccer Tour 2014

“Kasperitis lived dream representing U.S. in Italy”

Check out the article about one of our 2014 Soccer players HERE!

Katie Kasperitis- St. Mary’s University
Italy Soccer Tour 2014

AIST- Basketball Testimonials 2013

Player + Coach Testimonials


Bob Walsh- Head Men’s Basketball Coach at Rhode Island College
Named on of the Top 25 coaches in the nation from Div II,III and NAIA.
Watch his interview: HERE!

“WOW, it was AWESOME!!! AIST is a first class organization that provides an experience of a lifetime for its players, coaches and fans. This is an amazing educational opportunity that every college athlete should take advantage of. I highly recommend this trip to anyone that wants to immerse themselves in a different culture, develop lifelong friendships and compete athletically on a global level. I feel so lucky to have coached such a great group of student-athletes and to be a part of the AIST family. Thank you so much!
Italy is packed with so much rich history that you have to be on the move every two days to experience it all. We were very fortunate to be able to see so much of the country in only ten days. I wouldn’t change the itinerary at all. The cities, castles and churches were so beautiful and I can’t wait to visit Italy again.”

Mike Jacobsma-Head Women’s Basketball Coach-Central College
Italy Basketball Tour 2013


“Traveling and sightseeing was absolutely amazing. The second I got home I wanted to go right back. Seeing all the architecture as well as the cultural aspects of Italy was amazing and learning some Italian along the way really made for a great trip. It was an experience of a lifetime and I didn’t want it to end as quickly as it did. Traveling on the bus with everyone and sightseeing brought everyone closer and made new friends along the way. Allowing us to go off on our own really allowed us to get the experience of what the food tasted like and how the community was. It allowed me to learn some of the ways of the Italians and see what their day to day lifestyle is like. It was perfect. The experience was amazing and unforgettable. From the moment we met the girls at JFK Airport, we all got along really well. I was thrilled to get to see things like the Trevi Fountain and get to play basketball against some of the competition overseas.”

Beth Suggs – New England College- All-American
Italy Basketball Tour 2013

“My experience with AIST was even better than I could have imagined. Everything was so well organized that the trip ran very smoothly. We were able to see so many different sites throughout the trip that you may not be able to get to if you took a trip like this with friends or family. The hotels we stayed in were very nice and we were fed very well! In addition to the sites we played some good competitive teams while we were there. I made friends on the trip that I will still talk to even after we have left. If anyone has an opportunity to take a trip with AIST I would highly recommend it. If I had the chance to go back I would!”

Courtney Burns-Rhode Island College
Italy Basketball Tour 2013

“It was incredible; a trip of a lifetime. What 22 year old could say that they toured around the beautiful country of Italy, doing the thing they love most: playing ball. I have AIST to thank for bringing me memories of a lifetime. AIST did a great job of hitting major landmarks in Italy and getting tour guides to explain all the history behind these landmarks. The bus trips were long, but you guys were unbelievable about moving us from point to point. We never had to wait, there were no screw ups on what and where to meet the bus, everything was extremely organized. “

Jon Goldberg-Emerson College
Italy Basketball Tour 2013
Emerson College

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