The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award at VIS

VIS has offered the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award since the year of 2014-15 and since then, 78 students have earned the highly prestigious Duke of Edinburgh's International Award in gold, silver and bronze.

Here is what some of them have to say about their experience in the program:

"The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award – at any level – is a great way to get engaged in various activities outside of pure academics at school. It stresses the importance of teamwork and gives you the opportunity to explore a new hobby, sport and be of service to your community. I definitely recommend it, as the hard work pays off and you'll be left with lifelong skills." (M.B.)

"The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award will be one of my most valued memories of high school. Overcoming the physical and mental challenges during the Practice and Adventurous Journeys and working with a group of enthusiastic students enabled me to further my perseverance and teamwork abilities." (J.J.)

"I have always had a love-hate relationship with the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award. Sweaty, tired, hungry and lost are just a few words which encompass my experience during the hikes we’ve been on. Every hike, I tell myself this one will be my last, but the memories of fatigue quickly fade and I find myself packing my bag for yet another journey. Despite all the difficulties of the Adventures Journey and the long time commitment of the activity components, the gratification of finally completing the Award makes it all worth it. Completing the Gold Award is definitely a physical and mental challenge, but it has given me an opportunity for personal growth and to prove to myself that I have the strength, endurance, independence to do anything I set my mind to." (S.N.)

And from a teacher's perspective:

"It is pretty impressive if, a couple of years after you have left school, you still remember what the Pythagorean theorem, a dominant seventh chord or the ablative of separation is. But what really counts then is if you have leant to work on a team, if you have found out what you are made of, if you have ever stepped out of your comfort zone and made friends with your pals “grit”, “endurance” and “perseverance”. You will be better off if you have learnt to get organized and to stick to a plan. If you know how to cook your own pasta in the woods and how to overcome pain and lack of motivation. If you have shaped your character and understood that life is not just about you. This is exactly what you learn when you participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award. No wonder I think that we should spend more days in the woods and in the mountains than in the classroom…" (DS)

Find out more about the Duke of Edinburgh's International Award by watching the official trailer:

The Duke of Edinburgh's International Award at a glance: