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Sharing, collaboration, and connection are some of CAS’s most fundamental and rewarding aspects. For CAS Trips, one of our primary focuses is to continue building and nurturing new ties in the dynamic IB community. In addition to the many partnerships we have forged while planning our trips, we have also been fortunate to come together with other organizations doing exciting work in our field and learn from leaders in the world of IB. 

Last year, for example, we had the chance to participate in a dynamic Service Fair in Berlin coordinated with the city’s five IB schools. We were able to meet and learn from local community project leaders, teachers and students alike. Raising funds for United World Schools, the combined event for Grade 11 students across the city featured a run and other sporting activities. 

United in realizing the full potential of Service Learning 

Incorporating the A in CAS while learning about service opportunities took a lot of planning but was well worth it to so many students interact after the several years the pandemic kept them apart. This was the first time the five Berlin international schools had united for an event, and it was rewarding to bring everyone together to do something positive. 

Together, we shared inspiration and reflected on how thoughtfully performed Service Learning offers many multifaceted benefits for students and, most importantly, for the people and communities their efforts serve. 

Service Learning methodology has evolved, and we must continue discussing best practices and strategies to offer our students the opportunities most suited to their interests. These invigorating community events have allowed Service Learning to become an increasingly viable way to build lasting relationships between cultures, organizations, and individuals. 

Simon Armstrong Berlin Service Fair
CAS Trips Co-Founder Simon Armstrong at the Berlin Service Fair

The power of collaboration in creating lasting change

The Service Learning pedagogy is integral to what makes the IB DP unique. Applied across disciplines to enhance cognitive development, problem-solving skills, learning transfer, and global immersion experiences, Service Learning is a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs. Structured by the Five Stages of the process and informed by the Seven Learning Outcomes, the CAS framework aims to provide integrated Service Learning opportunities designed to promote student learning and development. 

As we have continually seen through our work at CAS Trips, experiential learning allows students to apply theory and concepts learned in the classroom in a hands-on environment to develop a deeper understanding of intended outcomes. Besides the benefit it provides to the student, we must maintain an ongoing awareness of how those being served are affected. Truly valuable Service Learning includes responsibility for measuring the impact on the community and community partners to improve and maintain the experience and the relationships. 

Bringing various schools and organizations together, as we did in Berlin, reminds us that the most beneficial variety of Service Learning projects are ongoing. In taking a more long-term approach to the service providers they partner with, students can observe how their ideas and actions build on others’ contributions and how they are part of a larger ecosystem that affects change. 

The fact that we were invited and helped assemble NGO and charity representatives from across Berlin to showcase their projects to students and encourage their involvement/volunteering for CAS was a privileged experience for us. We made new connections that we look forward to fostering in the future. 

We look forward to building our CAS and IB community in the months and years to come and are always happy to hear from other individuals or organizations who share our mission and are interested in discussing all things service! Please get in touch if you are interested in collaborating or learning more about our trips and the other services we offer.