From 23-25 March, eight ISA students represented the school at the annual European Global Issues Network (GIN) conference at the Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg. The conference was a culmination of several months of brainstorming, planning and student-led activities aimed at providing a solution to one of the 20 global issues that form the foundation of GIN.
This year’s theme was Facilitating Sustainable Change through Education and Integration. Students developed two projects that demonstrated their practical knowledge of the topic and how to apply their own solution through service in the local community. Both ISA projects explored ways to overcome linguistic barriers when interacting with a local Dutch-speaking environment.
“It was interesting to see which other projects were developed by other schools. It was a good way to learn from others and inspired our groups to look at new ways to develop our projects. I felt very happy with our project after presenting it at the conference,” said Hannah Boyles, one of the ISA students who attended the conference.
The first project explored the integration of different ISA-related communities through interaction with Art. The group visited De Schakel, an Amstelveen-based activity centre for adults with mental disabilities, where they interacted with a group of painters, and later visited Klaasje Zevenster, a local elderly centre.
The second project was a collaboration between the ISA GIN students and the independently-run Refugee Buddy Project, which attempts to bridge the gap between the international ISA community and the local refugee community in Amstelveen. ISA students have partnered with refugee students from a local high school for various social activities such as a community concert, a movie night and recently a cooking session at the school.
Another ISA student, Bailey Ransom said the experience was beneficial to all involved because it enabled the international community at ISA to interact with the local Dutch community.
Eight students from ISA travelled to Luxembourg to present at the conference, however there were numerous other students involved in the projects and activities demonstrating the students’ commitment to engaging with their local community and exploring innovative solutions to issues of global importance.