Experiential and Service Learning


How Is Experiential and Service Learning Defined at ISP?

We believe that...

  • Students should discover what you learn from doing.
  • We should provide opportunities for our students to contribute, to collaborate and to learn that they can make a difference.
  • Students have access to the unique learning that comes from a strong programme of service to others.


What Is the ISP Sustainable Development Project (SDP)?

International School of Paris leads student trips to countries such as Namibia, Ghana or Costa Rica to show students how they can have a positive influence on the lives of the inhabitants by promoting sustainable development.

During these annual trips, the school does not make monetary donations to local charitable organizations. Rather, a team of student volunteers work alongside local people in service projects which directly benefit the community and the local children, in particular.

By contributing to a worthwhile cause, ISP students gain a meaningful experience and build a spirit of friendship and solidarity that goes beyond the boundaries of politics, religion, race, and geography. The trips also help students become more independent and self-reliant: they have to learn and understand the rules of living in a small community by cooking for themselves, washing their own clothes and adapting to a new and challenging environment.



SDP Trip 2019

During the summer of 2019, ISP's Sustainable Development Team went to Otjimanagombe, Namibia. The students' main initiatives were to:

  • Teach children English, French, math, science and sports, sharing the knowledge they have received through the IB programmes.
  • Build a playground and restore the school and boarding school.
  • Provide shoes, uniforms and school materials for children.
  • Develop the garden for growing food for the children.
  • Provide learning support through library and computer room activities.
  • Raise awareness of AIDS and develop outreach with the San people in the Kalahari Desert.

For more information about this most recent trip or upcoming ones, please contact Marie-Cyrille Lavallé, the Sustainable Development Project Leader, at mlavalle@isparis.edu.

"Ghana was an unforgettable experience. Discovering a new culture and a whole new life that I did not know: a real source of inspiration. It really gave me a new perspective on African life and culture. It was a real chance for me to be able to explore the lives of people living in a country totally different from ours like Ghana. I had always wanted to be part of this project but I was afraid it would be too difficult. Indeed it was a challenge. Honestly, I could use words like "incredible", "improbable", or "fantastic" but it would never express the intensity of this experience. It cannot be described with simple words. I feel lucky and grateful to have lived this opportunity that I will remember all my life."
- Eleanor Ford, Class of 2019 (Ghana 2017 and Namibia 2018)

"Africa is a place that has always interested me because I think it is full of mysteries and interests that we cannot know unless we experience them. So when I knew I had the opportunity to discover it, I did not hesitate a moment and I introduced myself. Living in Ghana for 3 weeks, in Africa and establishing a connection with the people of Tafi Atome was the most rewarding experience of my life because it taught me a lot. Not only about Africa but also myself. I got to discover people different to anyone I have ever met. It was a breathtaking experience to see things from a dissimilar and new point of view and I quickly realized that my quality of life could not be compared. The Sustainable Development Project brings equally as much pleasure and astonishment to inhabitants and students because it allows us to step out of our bubble and discover the real world.”
- Yasmine Lavoine, Class of 2013 (Ghana 2013-2014)



What Have They Accomplished in Previous Years?

2009 to 2011 - Namibia, Otjimanangombe

  • Creation of a dormitory within a primary school.
  • Renovation of classrooms and stocking the school library.
  • Presenting classes on hygiene, AIDS and malaria prevention.

2012 to 2017 - Ghana, Tafi Atome

  • Construction of a computer room, football field, library, day-care centre, a playground at the primary school and educating on issues relating to the environment and disease prevention.
  • Developing the content of the school library.
  • Establishing and equipping a sewing company for single women/mothers of the village.
  • The construction and development of an orphanage for former slave children of Lake Volta.

2015 - Costa Rica, Parrita (due to the presence of the Ebola virus in West Africa)

  • Assisting with the construction and equipping of a school cafeteria.
  • Renovation of the local health clinic.
  • Organising and presenting classes on disease prevention.
  • Providing support and assistance to a local wildlife rescue organization.
  • Participation in sea turtle counting for the University of San Jose.

2017 - Namibia, Otjimanangombe: primary boarding school

  • The building of a jungle gym for students.
  • Teaching classes to the local community and exchanging knowledge with the locals.
  • Wildlife conservation and a wildlife survey to help the scientist of French CNRS.