Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Volunteering in Iceland 2016

In July, 19 students and two members of staff, embarked on an amazing trip to Iceland as part of the Volunteer Abroad extension study. The trip was the culmination of 9 months of hard work, with students having to fundraise to pay for the trip throughout the year.

Students travelled to the remote East of Iceland and volunteered in a beautiful village located in a fjord. The students worked extremely hard and undertook 5 days of environmental volunteer work.  This included removing Alaskan lupins which are an invasive plant species, clearing up the local coastline and digging the foundations of a traditional Icelandic greenhouse.

The group also took in the amazing and beautiful sites that Iceland has to offer, visiting waterfalls, glaciers and geysers.

All of the students who took part in the trip were a credit to the College and should be really proud of what they achieved.

Concordia have organised four fantastic trips for our students over the last few years, with destinations as diverse as India, Vietnam and Iceland. I continue to be impressed with the dedication and organisation of Concordia. They have a genuine commitment to ensuring that students have a unique volunteering experience and undertake meaningful work.

For example, in India our students lived in a rural village alongside the local community and volunteered at a local school. The local community were so welcoming and we had the privilege of eating in villagers houses and learning first-hand about Indian culture. Our students had also fundraised in order to buy the Indian primary school children a pair of shoes, pens and school books.  Our students gained an enormous amount from the trip and not only learnt about a new culture, but also developed leadership and team working skills.

On all of the trips and projects that we have worked with Concordia, their support prior, and also during the trip, has been outstanding.  The leaders that Concordia sends to accompany the group have been excellent, and any issues have been dealt with swiftly and professionally. 

Michelle McGrath,

Teacher, Esher College

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