taking the ib abroad



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Students take the their understanding of the six subject groups, CAS concepts, and the nature of knowledge and learning into challenging cross-cultural scenarios.

Students who participate in Envoys programs convert the learning that they do at school into meaningful action abroad. They define and redefine their values throughout the program, learning to connect those values to possibilities for action in their communities back home.

School faculty and Envoys staff work hand in hand to design every aspect of the program, aligning each activity with a desired learning outcome. Experiential education provides students with opportunities for metacognition that ground their previous understanding of TOK in direct experience.


Program Elements



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PRE-DEPARTURE ONLINE COURSEWORK


Envoys provides schools with meaningful pre-departure coursework based on understanding CAS concepts and the IB framework.  Research shows that learning outcomes on educational programs such as ours are bolstered by intentional coursework before the students leave their home country.


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EXTENDING CREATIVITY, ACTION AND SERVICE


On Envoys programs, Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) come alive through unforgettable experiential education.  We believe that students learn best by engaging in direct and frequent exchanges with local people that build intercultural understanding and empathy.


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Expanding
Theory of Knowledge


Structured, daily reflection develops students’ understanding of TOK throughout the program, identifying areas for growth and improvement. As the program finalizes, trip leaders lead guided reflections that help students create plans for action once they get back to school.



Sample Programs

Envoys is a team of educators.  We design custom programs directly in collaboration with schools to maximize learning for students. The following program is an example of how we have worked with IB schools in the past to design a service learning experience around CAS concepts.

We believe that students learn best by engaging in direct and frequent exchanges with local people that build intercultural understanding and empathy. Envoys partners with carefully selected experts in our destination countries to ensure the  highest-quality education experience on all programs.

All programs are fully customizable!

finding Pathways to peace

colombia

This program focuses on the peace process, conflict resolution, and developing cross-cultural understanding.

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tradition in north africa

Morocco

Students investigate the concept of identity through the lens of pan-africanism, society, and traditions.

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exploring History and Apartheid

south africa

We dig into significant cultural and political issues that make South Africa what it is today.

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conservation vs. development

galapagos

Students explore what it takes to be active in the conservation of our natural environments by working hands-on with local actors.

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challenges in public health

malawi

Our programs in Malawi have been designed to educate students on vital issues affecting the world today and is based on Future Earth’s model of sustainable development and environmental conservation.

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exploring a divided korea

south korea

Students have the unique opportunity to interact with a group of North Korean defectors studying English in Seoul. This person-to-person interaction allows for a deeper and more emotional understanding of the immense sadness surrounding the split of the Korean peninsula.

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development pathways in latin america

argentina

Since reaching a peak as the world’s seventh-wealthiest nation in 1920, the twentieth century has seen Argentina follow an often tortuous path of political turmoil and economic crisis. Traveling through and experiencing this vital and vibrant nation provides the perfect context for considering development models and the role of external forces in mitigating (or exacerbating) crisis.

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sustainability and clean energy

uruguay

Learn how Uruguay has combined technological innovation with solid economic policymaking and international trade to transform its energy sector

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Water is life: Industry, economy , culture

Japan

We explore the country, making observations, conducting site visits, and engaging with a range of local people in an attempt to better understand the Japanese relationship with water in industrial, economic, and cultural spheres.

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Ready to partner with us?

Envoys is always interested in assisting new partner schools to stretch the boundaries of global education and international travel.
Click here to get in touch with our leadership team!

Customized Travel Programs

Envoys works hand-in-hand with our partner schools to design, implement, and assess travel programs around the world.

As part of our mission, Envoys is always ready to speak with interested faculty and administrators to learn how we might assist their school to achieve global education goals.

Qualified Envoys staff conduct participatory workshops for administrators, teachers, parents and/or students to discover goals and objectives for global competency and educational travel.

After accurately understanding the end outcomes and specific needs of a particular teacher, we meet with the school to discuss the possibilities. Envoys staff outline the intersections between the school’s needs and research-based, proven approaches to global education.

Based on this work, Envoys crafts a program proposal tailored to the partner school in terms of the following:

  • Educational goals and objectives
  • Destination country or region
  • Thematic content and curricular integration
  • Specific targeted skill-sets
  • Assessments and student outputs
    • Example
    • program design 4
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    • program design 2
    • program design 1

    We then work hand-in-hand with our partner schools to integrate the program into the life of the school.

    Envoys Communication Principles
      Education requires collaboration.

      Research has proven that there is a positive and convincing relationship between family involvement and student academic success. Similarly, the achievement of our learning outcomes requires the establishment of a collaborative and trusting relationship that includes all relevant stakeholders.

      Decisions require information.

      We respect the intelligence of parents considering international travel for their children, and we refuse to make ‘guarantees’ that are untenable in a complex world. Instead, we provide information about the potential risks involved with each destination and the external sources that should be consulted prior to making a decision.

      Sharing stories is part of the journey

      Advances in communications technology are rapidly removing barriers for the flow of information from the field. This ‘new normal’ means that we have a responsibility to provide regular updates, no matter where in the world an Envoys program is located.

    Envoys Communication Methods
    Presentations and Workshops

    Envoys staff make presentations to parents and students about the educational objectives, potential risks, necessary preparations, and expected communications. We answer questions, take notes for any adaptations, and provide a concrete timeline to follow. Most importantly, we establish relationships with our program participants, allowing us to create a better-tailored program.

    Online Portals

    Envoys creates a dedicated and customized website for every program, containing all necessary information for participants. From this site, parents access online portals for uploading medical forms and processing payments, while students are able to log into online courses and check their packing lists.

    Customer Service

    Envoys HQ and program staff take pride in our responsiveness with parents. We understand that many important questions arise outside of normal business hours, and so we dedicate ourselves to providing multiple means of communication at all times, including 1-800 numbers, online trip-tracking sites, customized program portals, and rapid email responses.

    Program Reports

    Along with our ‘window-into-the-adventure’ provided by our online trip-tracking system, Envoys can work with teachers to create detailed reports on each student at the conclusion of the program. These reports detail areas of strength evidenced during the program, as well as areas where improvement is needed.

    Envoys operations are built on the extensive infrastructure and experience of Off-Bound Adventures, our parent organization.

    We take an adaptive approach to developing each program, including the following elements:

    Partners

    Envoys is proud to recognize that we NEVER work alone. Upholding our belief in intercultural understanding, Envoys engages carefully-selected local academics, guides, social workers, and artisans to ensure the highest quality and most authentic educational experience.

    In 2013, we established a partnership agreement with the Grassroots Business Fund, a social impact investment firm assisting low-income businesses throughout the developing world. Through this partnership, Envoys has a mandate to select, train, and support locally-owned businesses during our travel programs. On an annual basis, we review and report on the impact of our programs according to a series of impact metrics developed in partnership with GBF, ensuring that our programs contribute to the development of sustainable livelihoods abroad.

    Costs

    Envoys prices each program according to the specifications set out by our partner schools. We commit to providing a full and transparent depiction of the costs associated with the program, including our own program fees, to help make decisions and ensure that the opportunities are available to a wider range of students.

    Scouting

    Envoys engages in regular scouting trips to our destinations, both during the ‘off-season’ and in the days before student arrival. During these trips, we  evaluate accommodation, restaurants, transportation, and activity vendors to confirm that our standards have been met. We invite partner teachers to accompany us on these trips and learn more about both the destination and how we work!

    Checklists

    Envoys staff  follow a strict set of protocols for communications with our operational headquarters and actions in the event of an emergency. Based on our years of experience, we have developed a set of “field checklists” to guide our staff in the day-to-day conduction of field operations, including transportation management, hiking protocols, and other frequently occuring activities.  Checklists are submitted through a mobile application to maintain a flow of information from the field to headquarters.

    Field Staff

    Every year, Envoys recruits, screens, and trains an array of adults to serve as field staff on our programs. Our field staff bring a wide diversity of education, experience, and talents to their work, including regional expertise, language ability, medical training, logistics prowess, and subject-matter. Most importantly, they all love working with youth, and believe deeply that our work makes a difference. We utilize a blended training model of face-to-face and online courses, including tests from the Expert Online Training system, to develop staff and prepare for work in the field.

    Envoys recognizes that a degree of risk is inherent in all international travel and outdoor activities. Potential hazards include tropical diseases, exposure to unsanitary conditions, severe weather, public disorder, and transportation delays. Mental health issues may also be exacerbated through the stresses of a new experience.

    No one can guarantee freedom from harm, including accident, injury, illness, or death.

    Operating under these constraints, Envoys is responsible for creating and implementing risk assessment and management plans, in partnership with our collaborating schools for our programs. We maintain lines of communication with the field to handle any eventuality. Upholding our organizational ethos of continuous improvement, Envoys engages in regular and repeated updates of our procedures.

    Envoys utilizes rigorous evaluations to drive performance and communicate our results to schools and families. Every lesson is field-tested and regularly assessed for its effectiveness at meeting learning goals.

    Envoys internal assessments are conducted through three means:

    1. Detailed staff observations produced by Envoys staff at the conclusion of each trip
    2. Open-ended evaluations from students and teachers taking Envoys trips
    3. Skill development assessments taken by Envoys students following each trip

    At the conclusion of the trip, we produce reports for our stakeholders