ICP Students Explore the World Virtually

International Certificate Program students explore the world...from home!

One of the requirements of the International Certificate Program (ICP) asks students to gain a minimum of 100 hours of intercultural experience. Before Covid, this often involved travel as part of school trips, family travel or exchanges. Meeting this ICP requirement did not look very likely for many students when the pandemic hit. Thankfully, the students have done an amazing job of pivoting from exploring the world in person to demonstrating their curiosity from home.

Students have taken full advantage of technology to attend workshops hosted by their peers on a range of topics including Morocco, Japanese art and fashion, Islamophobia, Iran, Black hair, Malawi, Sri Lankan food, and more. By providing students the opportunity to learn from and with their peers, there has been a sense of increased engagement and enjoyment with many aspects of this style of learning.

ICP Students Virtual Tour
The pandemic has necessitated that ICP students present their assignments in new ways, and a benefit is that their work is shared to a wider and larger audience from many schools throughout the OCDSB. Student topics tackle a wide range of global issues and raise cultural awareness.

In addition, students have the chance every day to attend different virtual events hosted by tour guides around the world on the website virtualtrips.io. Short and informative, these on-the-ground experiences provide an opportunity to see and hear what life is really like in various places as well as ask questions of the tour guides.

And finally, ICP students have been taking advantage of collaborative learning opportunities with students from around the world. In November, four ICP students attended the Jeju Youth International Forum meeting virtually with 150 others from 27 cities around the world to come up with solutions to global issues. Other opportunities to learn have been provided by the Korean Cultural Centre and the Embassy of Japan in Canada for students to learn about a range of topics from art to food, animation and music.

Many ICP students look forward to travelling again when it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, their creativity, flexibility and willingness to adapt to the current realities during Covid have been inspiring to witness and share in.

by Sean Oussoren, International Education Coordinator

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