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Northbridge secondary students enjoy trip of a lifetime to Switzerland

From 19-25 October, 18 Grade 6 and 7 Northbridge International School Cambodia students had the adventure of a lifetime. As part of Nord Anglia Education’s Global Campus Worldwide Expeditions program, they were able to visit the Alps in Switzerland to trek for two days, learn about local culture and climb a vertical incline on the side of a mountain.


Led by expedition leader Mr Nick James and assisted by Ms Lana Lautamus, their base for the week was Les Martines lodge, from which they learned about mountain safety, expedition preparation and launched several expeditions; the first of which was a training and teambuilding day.

On this and everyday, they would be responsible for preparing their own backpack and filling it with the necessary equipment to survive a plethora of weather options that can develop in an alpine environment.


The main focus of the trip was a 23 kilometer hike (with an elevation of 1,000 meters) from the village to a remote hut in the mountains.  

Along the way there were opportunities to see local life and enjoy the fresh air and stunning scenery while participating in some serious physical exercise. Our students learned about map reading, orientation and the physical challenges one experiences when trekking.

Many of our students struggled with this challenge but they showed great resilience and all arrived safely at the mountain lodge where they got to raise the Swiss flag and then began cooking their own dinner.


After two days of hard trekking, the students had the opportunity to visit the medieval town of Gruyeres where they would learn about the history of the chateaux and the wars which shaped the region many years ago.

They also learned learn about the processes involved to create the world famous cheeses and chocolates that come from Switzerland. Not only were they very informative, but these learning opportunities also allowed for us to sample the products at various stages of the process and witness the production line for making these products.


Our final expedition was to a Via Ferrata in the Nax Valley. A via ferrata is essentially a series of ladders and rope bridges bolted into a rock face.

Working in teams of six each group was led by a world class mountain guide and anchored by an intrepid teacher at the end of the chain.

Whilst we had additional ropes for extra safety, the students were responsible for clipping and unclipping safety harnesses as they approached and completed each new section. Students learned about risk and self management in a stressful but very fun scenario.


The time in Switzerland was an opportunity for our students to be risk-takers and partake in activities that many had never tried before.  

It was also a chance to build their ATLs (Approaches To Learning, which are the foundation of the MYP curriculum), especially in terms of self-management, thinking skills, communication and social skills.


It was an amazing trip, but it came with many challenges. The physical exertion of hiking and climbing, being limited to technology for less than one hour per day, collaborating and sharing rooms with new friends, self-management of personal belongings and cooking for themselves were some examples of how these students grew during this week.

The students left Switzerland with great memories, some new friendships and will be excited to share their stories with the greater Northbridge community and next year’s candidates.