Abroad in Action!!: A stride towards sustainability through Project Week!

by Alex Jung


Project week, a week that many students call a highlight of their UWC experience, enables students to engage with the wider global community through the lens of culture, service, and activity. This is an integral part of the CAS program at Li Po Chun. Traditionally, students in small groups of 10-20 would go abroad to the wider Asia region; unfortunately due to COVID-19 these overseas trips were cancelled. Therefore it was with great excitement that project week could continue overseas for the first time in 5 years: Trips, many designed and led by students, went to the Philippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Taiwan. 

  A key concern regarding project week trips are whether the trips could still practise sustainability. Certainly the high carbon emissions from flights are an example where the UWC values of sustainability can be seriously challenged. However, different project week groups this year have found their own ways to practise sustainability while enjoying their service based trips abroad. 


The Chiang Mai trip in Northern Thailand, spent the vast majority of their trip in a school; the School For Life. The students were surprised by the simplicity of the area and how environmentally friendly it was. Located in a very rural area, this school has displayed self sufficiency to a great extent. One of the most remarkable activities was organic farming.

Every part of the process was done from scratch. The first stage was cutting the bamboo from the trees (of course these bamboo were already dead to prevent any harm from living species). From this, poles were cut up in sizable portions that would be used to mark the fields. After this was the most challenging part; we spent hours using hoes to dig the ground and make suitable plots for the crops. We planted the seeds, went around each one to water it, and then covered the dirt back up. 

The group unanimously agreed that this experience was both fruitful and eye opening. We were further surprised by the fact that the vegetables and fruits the students consume at the school are all from their own garden. We could reflect upon what sustainability could and should look like in essence. 

Whether it be within our own day to day lives, or abroad, it is an important reminder that sustainability is a goal that we can always strive for and achieve!!


Craig Hamilton