CAS can be quite confusing at first, especially for the parents of IB students, I remember when I started IB last year I was completely lost. But it is really not too hard to understand.
CAS stands for Creativity, Activity and Service and the goal is to gain experience in each of these areas.
For example, for Creativity, I did an internship in a decoration business. I had classes once every week where I painted difference pieces. I learned from it and I reflected on it throughout the year about what I felt about it, if I liked it and how I could improve further. You don’t have to do an internship to gain good experience in Creativity, you can join a music band, paint or sculpt independently, or learn a new language...
Activity is more about sport and what you can do physically. In this case I joined the CrossFit ECA. Even if you join a sports ECA and realise that you don’t really like it, don’t just quit and try another one. Stay in the ECA and write in your reflection that you didn’t like it, and say how and why. CAS is all about sharing what you feel throughout several experiences - there are no right or wrong answers - it is all about what you felt and what you think. For Activity you could reflect about how it makes you feel both physically and mentally.
For Service, you can take part in different school-based charity events or associations. The school promotes Service opportunities throughout the year, so you will always find new opportunities every month, so don’t be scared to join. For Service I went to Tanzania. It was a charity expedition where we tried to help the community as much as we could. We built a goat shed and installed an electricity circuit for an African family. We built desks for a school and we also built a part of a school and we fundraised money for the association we worked with. We also went on a Safari! This was one of my biggest and best CAS experiences. obviously you don’t need to join something that big if you don’t want to. There are a lot more associations like Operation Smile, PAWS, or any that you can find by yourself.
But these are only three experiences I did out of many. You need to take part and volunteer yourself as much as you can to be able to participate fully in the CAS programme . But the point is to experience different things and enjoy CAS at the same time.