Applications now available for ICU2 2016! Learn about past trips under the ICU2 tab of this blog... will you be part of the 2016 team? Applications due November 25th to firstname.lastname@example.org
Les inscriptions sont maintenant ouvertes pour ICU2 2016! Plus d'informations pour tous nos voyages sous l'onglet "ICU2"... N'attends pas, rejoint l'équipe ICU2 2016? Date limite pour les inscriptions le 25 novembre à email@example.com
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.
Each year, a group of Ermitage Upper School students venture to rural India to contribute to the community in a positive way and be transformed in the process. This trip is part of a 2-week service learning and exchange program in partnership with fellow Round Square schools the Daly College of Indore and the Dhirubhai Ambani International School of Mumbai.
Hosted by the Daly College during the first week, 23 Ermitage students focused their efforts on women's empowerment and access to education. The 2015 projects included the construction of waterclosets at small village schools. Given the conservative nature of the Indian culture, many young girls actually drop out of school without proper access to toilet facilities. This basic necessity has an important impact on girls' access to education.
Ermitage students enthusiastically constructed waterclosets at two different community schools, collaborating to efficiently prepare the grounds and produce the final structures. While on the project sites, Ermitage students also had the opportunity to interact with children from the local village in their classrooms, transcending cultural boundaries and sharing heartfelt experiences from dancing to language lessons. A particularly touching moment was when Ermitage students were invited to participate in a local wedding ceremony, where a very antimated and international dance party ensued.
Students also explored a women's opportunity center which is dedicated to providing women unique education opportunities as well as sustainable farming practices to bring back to their communities. Similarly, students interacted with women from another empowerment program, where women are able to earn a fulfilling and dignified income through handloom weaving. Both organizations aim to aliviate poverty in unique, sustainable ways.
During the second week, Ermitage students experienced family life in Mumbai, where they were hosted by families of the Ambani School. Their enriching program included a variety of tourism and humanitarian activities, ranging from teaching French to conducting eye exams. Ermitage later welcomed their host students for a visit to France, where they explored Paris and its surrounding communities.
Upon returning from their experience, students have helped the project live on throughout a variety of presentations and events, including the Benefit Presentations in May 2015 to raise funds for relief efforts in Nepal.
The October 6th International Studies Program Assembly was dedicated to current Round Square travel opportunities. Ermitage’s membership in Round Square gives our students a unique opportunity to travel and interact with students from other schools throughout the world. Participation in a Round Square Travel Opportunity will not exempt students from participation in the mandatory school trips for Foundation and IB Programs.
You will find below information concerning trips proposed this year. Other opportunities may become available, as our RS partner schools propose new conferences or exchanges throughout the school year.
Please note the following:
Participation in RS trips is encouraged, but not mandatory
Trips are age-appropriate, as indicated
Trips may be offered to both the International Programs & French collège/lycée
Trips may have a min. or max # of participants
Travel dates are subject to change
Specific details and sign-up info for the following RS Trip Opps will be distributed as they become available:
Cobham Hall (UK) Conference, FND3-4 (13-14 years old) 23 - 25 January 2015. Theme Environment: Planting the Roots of our Future.
Herlufsholm School (Denmark): Basketball Tournament 30 January - 2 February 2015
ICU2 Eye Camps in India, FND4-IB2: February 2015 Break, followed by student exchange.
El Araki, Morocco: Model UN 2nd Edition: 20 - 22 February 2015. Reserved for IB students participating in Model UN.
Young Explorers Costa Rica, FND1-4: 16 - 26 February 2015
El Araki International Festival of Theater, Morocco 2nd Edition: 3-5 April 2015.
Felsted, Essex, UK: Model UN Conference, IB MUN Students. 1 - 2 March 2015.
Language Immersion & Cultural Trip to China, FND4-IB2: April 2015 Break
Transylvania College, Romania, FND1-3, 28 May - 1 June 2015 – Young RS European Regional Conference 2015
Samworth Church, , FND1-3 (12-13 years old), 12-14 June 2015 – Theme Eco Adventure
"In addition to these school-run projects, Round Square itself organises International Service (RSIS) Projects for students from its member schools. These bring together young people from all over the world to work as a truly international team providing much-needed assistance to disadvantaged communities." RSIS trips are offered all around the world at various points throughout the year and typically last 3-weeks.
My first impression of Costa Rica was the heat. After a long transatlantic flight, we arrived in the San José airport. Immediately we felt the heat- hot and humid! Quickly we got our bags and go into the bus to set off for the base house., close to Fortuna. The base house was immense: houses around a pond and pool in large tropical garden.
The next day, we hiked to a waterfall where we swam and played in the water. The water was freezing but we did not care! The next day was a service day at a school where we repainted a fence- it was challenging in the heat but a lot of fun- some paint landed on our faces (glasses), our bodies and our clothes!
The next day we went ziplining. Only four of us participated as many were scared of heights. I was accostumed to heights form sipiling and ropes courses in France so I was excited to try. The ziplining was amazing- a true once in a lifetime experience.
As the week carried on, many more activities awaited us. The most exciting activity was rafting. I had been only been rafting one time before on the Colorado River. This experience was much different because we had to paddle and navigate the river. We listened carefully to the safety instructions and got onto the boat with life jackets and helmets. We had to follow the isntructions carefully: if there was too much weight on one side, we suddenly had to shift our bodies and the boat would right itself. We were constantly aware of the danger yet felt safe with our river guides. Rafting in Costa Rica was an experience that we will never forget.
Flying back to France was both happy and sad: we were all sad to leave such an amazing country and to say goodbye to our wonderful guide, Yendri Castro. We were happy to see our families and share our adventures. The flight passed very quickly as we shared memories and photos, hoping not to forget this amazing trip!