“Think globally, act locally.” For many of us, it’s just a catch phrase. But for international high school students at EF International Academy in Tarrytown, it has become a way of life.
Students at International Academy come from more than 60 countries, but all are working toward the world-renowned International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma, an academically challenging program gaining popularity worldwide. In addition to high-level coursework, IB requires students to pursue “learning beyond the classroom” through what are known as CAS (Community-Action-Service) credits. Students have consistently made giving back to their host community in Tarrytown a core component of their CAS activities.
In the past, students have volunteered at the Warner Library and Tarrytown Music Hall, worked with the Tarrytown Lakes Committee to help keep the area clean, and even tutored students at Washington Irving Elementary School — something that actually increases their own confidence and abilities speaking and teaching what is oft-times their second (or third) language. They’ve also performed concerts for Sisters of Marymount Convent, home for many of the retired or chronically ill sisters of the Religious of the Sacred Heart of Mary (RSHM). It’s a project that further solidifies the school’s connection with RSHM. (EF International Academy is located on the same campus formerly occupied by Fordham University’s Marymount campus.)
For many, service has quickly turned into far more than a classroom requirement.
“At first, you start out just wanting to get your hours in,” says Alice, a second-year student from Rwanda, “but then it changes. My CAS activities have been some of the most memorable experiences of my life.”
Indeed, though instilling a love of service is not the only goal of the CAS program, it’s definitely one of the most common outcomes for many International Academy students. Alica has traveled as far as Malaysia to help build houses for those in need. Other students have done similar projects in Nicaragua, and have also taken their love of service home, organizing fundraisers or volunteering at their home country’s national museums.
“Our CAS volunteer projects teach us that not everything we need to know is in a book,” Alice says. “I’ve learned so much about Tarrytown … New York … and even myself as part of the program.”
[blockquote class=blue]EF International Academy is open to both U.S. and
international students, and both day and boarding options are available. For more
information, visit www.ef.com/academy or
(914) 597-7241 }[/blockquote]