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Category: GCD

GCD – Adventure

Students exhibit a commitment to risk-taking and experiential learning and natural exploration.

The various field trips at YIS are a good example for that. If it was the field trip in grade 11 to the Nakasendo, where we have been hiking parts of the famous Naksendo trial, staying in Japanese style sleeping facilities. This adds on to natural exploration during the IB. My commitment risk-taking can be seen in my commitment to the YIS snow club and the various trips I have attended with my friends. On those trips, we split up in small groups and sometimes even went off the normal slope at places, it was allowed. This shows my risk-taking, as it was a tougher slope and harder to ski and snowboard on. By taking that risk, I was able to record more interesting recordings with my GoPro. With those experiences, I have learnt about the value of nature and the other side of the city life in Japan, I am very familiar with. The various field trips have given me experiences of working in groups with my classmates, helped the communication within a group, as well as the field trips including hiking, have given me the opportunity to connect with new people, by talking to them while hiking.

GCD – Communications

Effective communication is central to our ability to thrive in community.  GCD graduates are functionally bilingual or multi-lingual and have demonstrated the skills to communicate their passions, in writing and in speech, with clarity, precision and conviction. “Describe a time when you engaged with a different culture and the strategies you used to communicate effectively. Reflect on how this influenced your thinking about language and communication.”


I am a multilingual IB student, taking the subjects English and German in the IB and having studied French and Latin in middle and high school. I engage with different cultures on a daily basis in the school life, however two outstanding experiences, where I had to engage, one time with the Japanese culture and the other with the culture in Cambodia. In Japan it happens fairly regular, that for example the cashier in the supermarket does not speak English. However you still have to communicate with them in order to know how much you have to pay. This happens effectively, with the use of google translate on the phone or the calculator app in order to show the numbers. The other outstanding experience, where I have engaged with a different culture was during my service trip in Cambodia. In order to communicate with the children, during the improvised english classes we made for them, or the communication with the construction workers and also children, during the process of constructing the school. The strategies used in order to communicate effectively, were using our hands and trying to understand the few english word they knew. This was very challenging, as they did not have very much experience with speaking english, however we were able to communicate them partly, with using our hands, a few english words and our brains in order to understand what they are trying to say. After all we were able to communicate surprisingly well and they were even able to explain to us, how to use the tools for construction or where to place the rocks, boulders and sand we carried inside.

The strategies used to communicate, with the children and construction workers in Cambodia where rather simple. It included the few english words they already have known, as well as a lot of physical communication, rather than verbally. With this I mean the communication by showing or pointing at something and then almost acting out what to do with it. Such as for carrying rocks they would show us an example in order to make us understand what to do. We used this way of communication not only for the construction of the school, but also when we taught them English words. In order to teach them english words, we would find pictures or drawings that represent the meaning. By doing this, the children were able to connect the learnt words to an action, allowing their understanding and the connection with the new word to their own language. This has influenced my thinking, as it showed to me, how easy it is to communicate with people, without knowing the language. Adding on to that, it has also shown me the power of the english language, as we normally see that language as our ‘go to’ language, in order to communicate with someone that does not speak the same language we do ourselves. This reflects on the globalisation of our planet and the increased understanding of  the language, even in countries such as Cambodia, where many people do not even have access to technology, however still know a few English words. I think that with the communication being that easy, as long as there is some creativity, makes is easier for foreign organisations, such as HOPE, to go to those countries and really have an impact on the society and the lives of those people.

GCD – Global perspectives

GCD graduates have given thoughtful consideration to the complexity of cultural and socio-economic conditions that shape our world, including the least privileged among us. “Explore multiple contexts through study and/or experience, and reflect on the growth of your global understanding as a result.”


I have engaged with cultural and socio-economic conditions, with the least privileged of us during the HOPE Cambodia service trip. Before visiting the school and starting the construction work there, we visited some cultural places, such as the historical significant of the genocide fields and the history of the famous Angkor Watt. We visited the genocide place in Cambodia on the second day and it was very shocking and depressing to hear about the things that have happened there. It was very depressing to hear about what has happened there with an audio guide that was provided at the genocide centre, where the tragedy took place. As we listened to the audio guide, you were able to see the mood we had. The Angkor Watt, was a temple we have visited on the second last day of the trip. The temple was a complete opposite of the genocide centre and we learnt about the impressive structure that was built in Cambodia.

I have also engaged with other cultural and socio-economic conditions that shape our world, as I have been living in two different countries, with completely different cultures. The german culture, contrasts a lot from the Japanese, throughout various school trips, I have learnt a lot about the culture, such as the kimono, the Japanese wear while going to dinner, the local food they eat for breakfast and evening and the futon, they traditionally sleep on. I have learnt about traditions throughout the various trips, to the historical Nakasendo trail, that I have hiked parts of, to the mountains in Niigata, one of the prefectures of Japan.

My global understanding has advanced by this, as I now appreciate the life I am in and the opportunities given to me more. Those include being able to going to an international school, even outside of my home country. But also things that are not necessarily thought about in our society, such as having access to clean water and food. Some people on our planet do not have access to that. I now understand the value of being able to go to school, eventually to university. Being able to get education and not needing to worry about how to survive the next day.

GCD – Community Engagement

Understanding themselves in connection to others, GCD graduates engage in significant and sustained service activities to support and elevate their local and global communities. Demonstrate that you have made a connection with and provided meaningful action to some part of your community in a sustained way, and reflected on the value of having responsibility for your community. “You demonstrate that you have made a connection with and provided meaningful action to some part of your community in a sustained way, and reflected on the value of having responsibility for your community.”


One of the service activities I have engaged with in the years of my high school experience, is the HOPE Cambodia Service Club. The service trip to Cambodia was a great experience for me. It was a whole new experience for me, as I have never been in a third culture country. To be super honest I was scared of the place at the beginning, as we had to get vaccines before going there and a lot of people told me to take care of my belongings. However as we went to visit the school for the first time, we were very welcomed and everyone was pleased to see us there. I was learning about global engagement, as we were helping out communities in Cambodia, people who are unable to get a proper education. By constructing the school with the local construction workers, we engaged with the children there, as they have helped us with parts of the building process, such as carrying sand, stone and stamping the floor of the classrooms . Another way we engaged with the children was when we taught them English letters and later on words, such as Japan, Cambodia, colours and school utensils. After that, we played games with the children,which shows our engagement, adding on to that, this shows the engagement with global communities, furthermore the communities in Cambodia, such as the school children of two different elementary schools. I have made connection with my community and provided meaningful action, as everyone in the school helped out for the second harvest project. For this project our tutor group had to get a substantial amount of food for families in Japan, that still suffer from natural disasters. Families with out a home that we need to support. This shows my action to the community, as I bought food and brought it in to happily bring the food to the families. Having responsibility for my community is shown here, as I help out other communities that maybe do not have an as good economical status and who gladly want to receive help from us. Responsibility is shown by the help for the communities. 

By helping out in the HOPE Cambodia service group the school provides, I have learnt about different communities. The engagement with those communities have taught me to understand their culture, parts of their language and also the way their culture works. Meaning to understand to say words or small phrases like “thank you” or “hello”.  The value of having responsibility for your community can be reflected in the german community in our school, but also outside of school. Me myself being german in another country ultimately makes people around me think, that my actions are similar to those of others in my community, in this case my country. This shows the value of having responsibility for my own community. My actions can determine, how people think about the community I am in, such as bad behaviour or actions will lead to a bad reputation of community. This shows the responsibility to represent your own community in a good way and the power your own actions can have to the thoughts of others unfamiliar with your community.

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