Possibilities for learning extend outside campus boundaries into diverse communities across Asia, where experiential learning provides opportunities for students to pursue cultural understanding and appreciation through immersion, cultivate human connections, and develop confidence in their physical abilities and emotional resilience. These learning situations provide ISKL students with a unique opportunity to further engage in the global environment as lifelong learners.
The ISKL Global Action Program (GAP) provides 25 Expedition Teams hands-on opportunities to explore the physical and cultural environment of our amazing Asian neighborhood. Spanning Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Thailand, Tibet, and Vietnam, Global Action Teams live and work together for a week of community connection, cultural immersion, and outdoor adventure. Students are challenged to develop individual strengths in the face of challenge and adventure; celebrate the magnificent geography and culture of this diverse region; and extend teamwork and leadership skills through addressing economic and environmental issues.
GAP travel took the students to a new environment, a faraway land, a culture that was unique to them, and a place where they could partner with community projects. Many had opportunities to connect with communities and join them in site improvement projects leading students to a deeper sense of gratitude for the simple things.
The groups returned to Malaysia exhausted and inspired, knowing that they had experienced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! What was once a far destination is now closely held in the hearts of these GAP travelers.
Upon returning a GAP Parent Night was held where student communicated their experience and learning with their parents. The student groups also organized a bazaar. Student teams each traveled with $150 to invest in cottage industries run by women in the developing world, with the idea that investing in women’s industries is a more fundamental solution to poverty. So, along with meeting direct needs by carrying donations of school supplies, clothing, and goods to schools and orphanages, our student teams also investigated how to support women’s local industries.
Each GAP group will make their own decision on how to invest proceeds of their sales in a manner that supports sustainable economic development of women in the developing world. Options include sending the profits back to the women who are the suppliers, investing in a KIVA project, empowering people around the world with loans or investing in a cottage industry that supports women in the developing world.
In schools, content knowledge in the core subjects is imperative, academic skills are a must, and experiential learning opportunities such as those that our students experience are transformative. The Global Action Program is a valued component of our core curriculum. Aligned directly with ISKL’s Mission of challenging students to develop their skills to be highly successful, socially responsible global citizens, successful participation is a compulsory graduation requirement for all students in Grade 9, 10, and 11.