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Outdoor Education
Learning outside of the classroom helps students connect with new environments – and one another
What creature swoops down the Bregenzerwald foothills 50 meters above ground screaming and laughing? It’s a Grade 8 FIS student on her/his Upper School Trip to Bregenz, Austria.
“We at FIS are fortunate. We live in a comfortable, civilized environment,” said Grade 8 Year Head Henrik Langelüddecke. “Sometimes we need to push our students outside their comfort zones to learn valuable lessons,” he added.
For many creatures, human or otherwise, hanging by a wire 50 meters above the ground and moving fast is not a comfort zone. However, important life lessons can be learned at that height and speed. According to Je  Kalas, Grade 6-8 Upper School Counselor, “Students are exposed to environments that they don’t normally see or experience. These trips physically and mentally challenge them and often result in a student who feels more independent and con dent.”
Grade 6-10 students from the Oberursel campus and Grades 6-8 students from the Wiesbaden campus spent a week of their fall semester o -campus in structured and
planned learning environments. These trips, which span  ve countries, don’t just challenge students to be more independent, but just as importantly, they build relationships. According to Rhiannon Wood, Upper School Principal on the Oberursel campus, “These trips and activities are part of our school’s educational program and serve an important social function, allowing students and teachers to get to know one another.”
From the Oberursel campus, Grade 6 students travelled to Sass Grund, Switzerland where they participated in hiking, glacier exploration, environmental studies and shelter building. As Grade 6 Year Head Corinna Pundt said, “The week’s activities fostered teamwork, con dence, positive relationships and good friendships, especially in homeroom groups.” In a di erent take on outdoor education, Grade 7 students from Oberursel travelled to Rothenburg ob der Tauber, an extraordinarily well- preserved medieval town on Germany’s Romantic Road, where they participated in relationship building activities and took several guided tours of culturally signi cant locations.
The week’s activities
fostered teamwork,
con dence, positive
relationships and good
- Corinna Pundt, Grade 6 Year Head
12 FIS World October 2017

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