The family tree:
Both born in Brooklyn, NY (in the shadow of Ebbets Field), Judy and Bernie grew up there, moved to and lived in Commack, NY (the ‘burbs) for 37 years, and moved back to Queens (in the shadow of the Throgs Neck Bridge) in 2004. They are the proud parents of Elissa and son-in-law David, who live in Maryland, and of Steven and daughter-in-law Pelin, who live in Brooklyn. When not helping their teachers plan tours, they also play the doting role of grandma and grandpa to Jessa and Gabe.
The science part of travel:
Before “retirement,” Bernie was an English teacher and Asst. Principal in the New York City Public Schools, and Judy was an early childhood teacher and library/media specialist in the New York City Public Schools, private nursery schools, and a private Catholic Academy. They both teach courses on “Methods of Education and Literacy” at St. John’s University and Bernie also works with student teachers from Queens College.
Six out of seven isn’t bad!
Judy and Bernie’s passion for travel has taken them to 46 states in the US, to other countries in North America, to South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. There is little doubt that they will someday get to Antarctica and complete their list of continents.
All around the compass:
When asked about their favorite destinations, Judy and Bernie’s picks run the gamut from northern Norway to southern Australia, to the equator hovering Galapagos, and, of course, London.
Travel Tip: Keep your sense of humor and be ready to adapt to the culture of wherever you are—savor its uniqueness.
"As educators, we enjoy seeing the discoveries and connections that our teachers and students are able to make through their ACIS experiences. ACIS always views travel as a learning experience that provides a base for continued exploration and enrichment. For over thirty years, we have been delighted to work with teachers who are planning their trips and to hear the returning teachers and students talk about the impact that their ACIS trips have had on their lives." - Judy and Bernie Leif
“One thing I have learned traveling with students is to watch their faces when they are approaching the major attractions. The amazement and joy when they see a wonder like Stonehenge or the Eiffel Tower is what keeps me traveling. There is truly nothing like it!” - Christopher Layson
The educated traveler
An associate professor of English, Speech & the Humanities for Coastline College for the past 33 years, Linda recently retired from Edison High School where she taught Honors English, American Literature, & Art of Film and served as the Academic Coach for 36 years. She also created three study abroad classes and has served as the group leader for 44 student tours. She began traveling with students in 1986 and has introduced more than 1500 adolescent and adult travelers to the wonders of the world. She has led sojourns to 35 countries and to every continent except Antarctica.
Beyond the classroom
She has found that the instructive value these educational odysseys offer goes far beyond any form of classroom academia, for these travelers have had their lives enriched forever. They return from their journeys with a heightened sense of cultural awareness and a profound appreciation of what they have always taken for granted. They not only become better Americans but rather emerge as free-thinking citizens of the globe.
From London, with love
Having visited a plethora of geographical, architectural and historical marvels, Linda finds it difficult to select a favorite. While the physical beauty of Machu Picchu, The Swiss Alps, Milford Sound and Victoria Falls are nearly without equal, she is partial to London, a megalopolis she has visited 24 times and one that offers something for everyone. With London as the backdrop, mysterious monuments, impregnable castles, theatrical masterpieces, mind boggling museums and 1,000 years of British history all await your discovery.
Express a willingness to try new and different things, make an attempt to understand other languages and appreciate other cultures, and remember that a well planned educational expedition significantly enriches the actual adventure.
"Because of my extensive and diverse travel experiences (I traveled with every other student company out there before I discovered ACIS and was actually stranded in Africa with 15 students by one of them), I thoroughly enjoy introducing new teachers and students to the myriad benefits of ACIS. I know first hand that ACIS is indeed #1 in security, safety and educational value. Boasting outstanding tour managers, superior accommodations and restaurants, flexible and memorable itineraries, and the industries’ best support staff, ACIS turns students into life-long learners. I look forward to helping you create your own adventure of a lifetime while you and your students discover the very best in educational travel." -Linda Carpenter
“I have always felt that ACIS feels like a family and if anything goes wrong on a trip, ACIS is there behind you. The coordinators in the main office are very friendly and I have been met by the president, Peter Jones several times during my trips. The ACIS chosen hotels are excellent and the food is wonderful!” -Nicolette Miller
We’re your mentors, your cheerleaders and your assistants. Here are some of the ways Academic Travel Advisors help you lead your tour:
In short, we can be as involved as you’d like. Read more when Nicolette describes what the Eiffel Tower and ACIS Academic Travel Advisors have in common.