Objectives

The Outdoor Education Experience program moves students beyond the borders of the classroom exposing them to new, dynamic learning experiences. Students learn new life skills, participate in community service, develop leadership and problem-solving skills, and/or increase their understanding of themselves and of other cultures. The trips expose “students to” physical, emotional, and intellectual challenges that make them more well rounded and stronger learners and people.

Each year High School students embark on a four-day trip with their grade-level classmates to explore a different part of Uruguay. This format ensures that all students have an outdoor experience, become more familiar with Uruguayan flora, fauna, and culture, and build stronger bonds with their classmates. By the end of their high school careers, UAS students students will visit four distinct regions and ecosystems of Uruguay.

All of the trips have adventure, environmental education, and service components. Each trip is particularly focused on one of the following areas below and emphasizes, to a lesser degree,  at least two more areas:

  • Environmental Education: Students will better understand how they affect the environment. They will follow “leave no trace” practices and learn how to live a more ecologically sustainable lifestyle.
  • Community Service: Students will engage in activities that serve others. Students will strive to create sustainable systems designed according to the community’s needs and available resources.
  • Leadership Skills: Students will be placed in scenarios designed to develop each one’s  leadership potential.
  • Cultural Awareness: Students will be exposed to and immersed in a culture different from their own, resulting in new perspectives on other cultures and insights to their own native culture.
  • Lifetime Skills: Students will engage in activities that require a skill not previously undertaken, or increased expertise in a skill they have previously practiced.

Philosophy

“The Uruguayan American School is a multicultural, academically challenging learning community that prepares students to be responsible global citizens and lifelong learners through U.S.,international and Uruguayan curricula” [from the UAS Mission Statement]

To fulfill its mission UAS provides students with experiential learning opportunities that complement classroom-based academics. While these experiences may not necessarily be purely academic in nature, they act as a doorway to new ways of thinking, exposing students to life-changing new ideas and interests.

Each trip also helps students become better reflective thinkers, learn how to deal with adversity in various forms, feel part of a larger community, and understand the importance of a sustained effort.

Finally, since the trips are organized by grade levels, the group becomes more united and new friendships are cemented through this powerful, shared learning experience.

In preparation for the high school Outdoor Education Experience program, Grade 5 and Middle School students also travel to national parks and nature centers.

Connections to the International Baccalaureate (IB) Program

The Outdoor Education Experience program’s learning objectives closely mirror the International Baccalaureate (IB) Learner Profile. In particular, there is a strong correlation to the IB CAS (Creativity, Action, Service) program. The CAS program encourages students to increase their awareness of areas for personal growth, to undertake new challenges, to plan and initiate activities, to work collaboratively with others, to show perseverance and commitment, to engage in issues of global importance, to consider the ethical implications of their actions, and to develop new life skills. All of these objectives can easily be met through meaningful participation in the Outdoor Education Experience program. IB students can directly apply the Outdoor Education Experience program trips and reflections to their CAS learning outcomes.

Link to International Baccalaureate (IB) Program:
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