RS Reporters Blog

Student benefit presentations for Nepal

On Tuesday evening, June 2nd, parents, students and alumni gathered together to support relief efforts in Nepal. The program included a variety of inspiring presentations and reflections to build awareness about humanitarian efforts abroad.

The program began with a series of thoughtful reflections from IB1 students who participated in the India trip in February 2015, including Nina S, Franck V, Bart C, Nathan B, Oliver V, Franco P, Farah V, Laetitia L and Gauthier L. Themes included perseverance, empowerment, faith, contrast, perspective, chaos, sharing and the aromas. Students work tirelessly throughout the year to promote their efforts in India, and then have the opportunity to travel there to see the projects through. These experiences leave lasting impressions, which the students carry forward with them not only in their studies, but in their personal lives as well.

We were proud to have IB 2014 alum, Marine Vasseur, present on her recent volunteer experiences in Nepal, where she had been spending part of her gap year when the devastating earth quake hit in April 2015. Marine quickly went to work with other volunteers to prepare care packages for rural communities that did not have access to aid and resources necessary to protect their families. This care was so needed and appreciated by those who were coming to terms with the enormous impact the earthquake has had on their lives, but it is just the beginning.

There is much work to continue in the effort to rebuild the areas impacted by the earthquake. Should you wish to participate, donations can be made through Global Giving

Mr Tony Hyde, Honorary Member of Round Square and Former Round Square Representative for Europe, later presented his challenging trek through the Himalayas. This trek embraces the Round Square Ideals in the spirit of adventure and cultural understanding. Mr. Hyde describes the trek below: 

"In winter, the kingdom of Zanskar, in the heart of the Himalayas, is cut off from the rest of the world since all the walking trails and roads are covered and blocked by snow.  Avalanche dangers are also contributory to this situation.  However, what is a raging grade 7 rafting river. running through deep sided gorges cutting through the 6000+m mountains in the summer, is frozen in the winter and provides a spectacular passage, which the locals and intrepid trekkers alike can use.  

For the local school kids in boarding schools in Leh, the Ladakhi capital with access to the outside world in winter because of its airport, it is as the "School Run" and what a "Run" it is!!!!  

The Tchadar (the Blanket) is the name of this venture and requires not only rigorous preparation but also fortitude and equipment to withstand the temperatures on the scale between Baltic to Siberian."

These efforts are remarkable and we are proud of all students, alumni and friends who continue to help others, explore and connect globally in the spirit of Round Square.

Posted by katie in Gap Students, Democracy, Service Projects on Monday June 1, 2015
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Introducing the new Aussie Gappie!

Hello to the online world, my name is Maddi and I am Ermitage’s newest Gap student, all the way from Australia. This is my first ever attempt at a blog so bear with me!

As I stepped off the plane onto French soil I was hit with a wave of excitement. After so many months planning and saving I had finally arrived, it really was a pinch yourself moment! I was met by the two very friendly faces of Katrina and Jerome, relieved that I hadn’t got lost. My first afternoon in Maisons-Laffitte is a little blurry, I’m quite certain due the overnight flight. Katrina took me down to the town centre where we sat back and enjoyed a coffee in the sun, pure bliss. When meeting your roommate for the first time, with absolutely no idea who they’re or where they are from, it’s natural to be a little nervous. After one afternoon with Katrina I realised how lucky I was. I love that our lives are so similar, despite growing up on opposite sides of the world.

My first week at Ermitage really was overwhelming but in the best way possible. Part of my reasoning for taking a Gap year was to experience a life, a culture, completely different to that of my own. Wow have I landed on my feet here at Ermitage?! Being an international school the people I have met are extraordinary. Staff and students that have lived, worked, studied and travelled all over the world. The diversity of the school really is something special to be apart of, never before have I lived with such an international group of people.

Many of the staff and students made my first week at the school as settling as possible. I was greeted by so many friendly faces who were kind enough to help me ease into Ermitage’s day to day life.

At first I found the language barrier a very daunting factor, whilst i've come to realise that English is more prominent here at the school, I hope to at least pick up some French during my stay. So please help me out, force me to speak French when I am around you!

Although my time here at Ermitage is limited, I can tell I'm going to get so much out of it. Ermitage is a special place, not only does it offer a French experience, it also offers an international experience and the language that comes with it. I am super excited to meet more and more people, help in various areas of the school, learn some French and so much more. Personally, I think throwing yourself into a different culture is such a great way to gain independence, develop understanding and find out more about yourself and what makes you tic. Aswell as gaining skills, work experience and a better understanding of travel. Over the next six weeks, I’m ready to open my eyes to a whole new world, so make sure if you haven’t already, come introduce yourself!

Maddi H

Gappie, Australia

Posted by katie in Gap Students on Tuesday October 15, 2013
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