28 Feb, 2014
10 : 00
Every year, YCIS students in Years 7 through 10 are given the opportunity to expand their learning beyond the classroom through the school’s World Classroom Programme.
This unique programme takes students to different parts of the world where they participate in experiential, project-based learning by volunteering in local schools, and by participating in community service projects, with the aim of enhancing their appreciation of other cultures and different points of view. Each trip is carefully designed to include a variety of cultural activities, opportunities to interact with local people and students, community service projects, and time for personal reflection.
For YCIS Shanghai’s Year 10 students who recently returned from the World Classroom trip to Tanzania, the nine-day trip provided many opportunities to experience life and culture in a very different country, and to observe wildlife in the historically and scientifically significant Ngorogoro Crater conservation area. For the community service aspect of the trip, the students painted the classrooms of a school, and they donated gently used clothing to a clinic. They also prepared a cultural presentation, featuring songs, lessons in writing Chinese characters, and a hands-on demonstration of how to use chopsticks to teach local students about life in China.
As part of the programme, students recounted their experiences and reflected upon what they had learnt in journal entries, explained YCIS Shanghai’s World Classroom Co-ordinator, Ms Karin Zijlmans, saying, “Our students’ experiences expanded their perspectives through the daily interactions with a different culture, and their reflections showed their appreciation for the opportunity to help others.”
After the trip, students adapted their journals into longer essays. One student, Ao Lan, described her travel and community service experience by writing, “This World Classroom trip taught me so much about Tanzania and its people, and caused me to reflect upon my own life. I am grateful for this experience, and am eager to share my knowledge and memories with my family and classmates. I was also glad to participate in several service projects for the local community, and I was happy to be able to make a difference in someone’s life.“
Another student, Frances, described a sense of empowerment brought about by the trip, writing, “I am thankful for this opportunity to push my limits and to broaden my perspectives. I believe that becoming more culturally aware is a crucial part of becoming a global citizen, and having experiences like the World Classroom programme that encourage cultural acceptance and appreciation are important steps towards promoting global harmony.“
The World Classroom programme is just one component of YCIS’s international curriculum that helps equip students with the cross-cultural knowledge, skills, and understanding necessary for success in an ever globalised world. With trips to historical sites in the US and Europe, the wilderness of Africa, exotic locations in Asia, and more, students in Years 7 through 10 who participate in the World Classroom programme broaden their horizons and enhance their cultural perspectives.
For more information about YCIS’s World Classroom Programme, please click here. (http://www.ycis-sh.com/en/enrichment-programmes/world-classroom)