Adventures in Learning-Adventures in Learning 2023 Expeditions-Selected photo (8)
Chantal Gamble
20 January, 2023

Adventures in Learning - 2023 Expeditions

Adventures in Learning-Adventures in Learning 2023 Expeditions-i-dJhfVQm-X3crop
As our first year with expeditions in 4 years, it was quite an accomplishment to successfully complete 12 different secondary group expeditions in destinations across Vietnam and the globe within just 2 weeks! The short window back in school between the Christmas and Lunar New Year holidays gave us the opportunity to take most of our students away from the school walls and out of their comfort zones, whilst the Year 11 and Year 13 students sat their mock exams.  However, it meant that preparing for our expeditions and our Week Without Walls on campus was quite the challenge for teachers and staff, and what an incredible achievement it was for all involved. Our world-class teachers pulled off the almost impossible to bring back these unforgettable life-changing learning experiences for our students, unlocking possibilities and creating longlasting memories.
Bring back we certainly did… with a bang! 12 expeditions, 4 countries, 9 destinations, Let’s take a look back at some of the highlights of these residential expeditions and the impact that they have made on our students.

Learning Without Limits

From diving into the depths of the ocean and swimming with turtles to skiing down the peaks of the Swiss Alps,  ziplining through the Vietnamese jungles in Madagui and Dalat, or camping in caves in Tu Lan, our secondary students have been on a wild ride of adventure, perseverance and character development. #BISHCMC students truly pushed themselves out of their comfort zone and persevered through physically and mentally challenging activities. Hikes through tough terrain, cycling 75km, abseiling and rock climbing are not just physically stimulating, but encourage our students to be resilient, break down their barriers and push for their goals. These adventures show them what they are truly capable of, so when they return to the classroom, they bring this grit and purpose with them, with a new sense of self-confidence and motivation.
“The highlight for me was cycling. I still can't forget the feeling of riding a bike at 40 km/h downhill. I can sense and feel my adrenaline pumping urging me to challenge myself. "Beat yesterday" is a suitable quote to phrase this trip. I'm trying my best every day to become a better person compared to yesterday.” - Gorden, (Dalat - Mui Ne)

But it’s not just adrenaline-fueled adventures that pushed our students out of their comfort zone. Those that were camping had to get used to a simpler way of life without electricity, Wi-Fi and in some cases flushing toilets and running water. Whilst this took some getting used to, students learned a lot from the experience, stating that it “could (help you to) reflect on yourself to see what you could do better or appreciate with what you have that people don't.” - Jerry (Cambodia)
“Well, I learned the term "gratitude" in a more clear vision. This trip taught me to live with the dirt and adapt to the unwilling living conditions.” - Wei Jie (Dalat-Mui Ne)
Communicating and learning about other perspectives and cultures is paramount to becoming a global citizen. Many of our students were lucky enough to spend time with other children around the world including those in Switzerland who stayed at the NAE Les Martinets camp with students from the British International School Abu Dhabi. BISHCMC students had a great opportunity to interact and learn from the BISAD students…
“(They) were very different from our school, they were very interesting and fun to interact with, and again it made me realise how gifted I am to be in such a community.”

Developing a Global Citizen Mindset 

Alongside our adventure based expeditions, a number of groups also travelled on community service-based trips such as Kontum where students enjoyed activities with children in local orphanages, and in Cambodia where the local school was revamped with a beautiful student-painted mural. In Quy Nhon and Dalat students had a chance to interact and play with children from local schools. Our Year 8s had the opportunity to practice their sign language skills when they met with students from the Lam Dong School for the Hearing Impaired. All of these experiences help to broaden the minds of our students and open them up to new experiences that they might not come by in their everyday lives. Understanding different cultures and interacting with other children who have different perspectives on life, allow our students to reflect on their own experiences and how they can further build character and make changes in their lives and the world around them. 

Week Without Walls

Back at base camp, also known as the BIS HCMC Secondary Campus, learning without limits was also on the agenda - it was Week Without Walls, where there were almost 30 activities to try across Secondary and even spreading onto the Junior campus. 
Baking, musicals, cultural tours, an MIT challenge and a Juilliard workshop were all on the agenda. Year 10 students had the chance to become the teachers for their very own workshop, one student-turned-teacher commented “I love children, they are curious learners and sometimes a bit cheeky, I love to feel the experience of a teacher and how hard it can be.” - Vaishnavi
These adventures in learning are an invaluable part of the #BISHCMC education, taught alongside our British and International curriculum they provide the opportunity for real life applications. Our world-class teachers inspire our students to push beyond what they believe they are capable of, to open up a whole world of possibilities. Thanks to our dedicated teachers, staff and tour providers, our students’ education is packed with these unforgettable experiences and opportunities which balance their academic growth with their personal, physical and emotional development. 
“I couldn't help but feel a sense of sadness that the trip was coming to an end. I had made new friends, learned a new skill and had the time of my life. But even though the trip was over, the memories we made will last a lifetime.” - Bella (Switzerland)