At the conference, students were able to participate in workshops, listen to keynote speeches, and engage in panel discussions with other students from around the world. Ten Global Politics students from grade 11 recently travelled to Israel to participate in the Youth Organized Conference of Peace and Sustainability hosted by the Eastern Mediterranean International School.
The first year of IB Global Politics has two units of focus: the first is “Power, Sovereignty and International Relations,” and the second is “Peace and Conflict” and prior to the trip, students were studying political case studies about Israel and Palestine. The Conference of Peace and Sustainability was an enriching addition to the regular curriculum and allowed students to make connections with what they have been learning in class, giving them the opportunity to have a tangible and authentic learning experience by participating in a peace conference.
ISA’s mission is to educate for international understanding, and our students were able to work alongside and develop connections with other young people from Israel, Palestine, Gaza, and Jordan, as well as other international students, to develop a deeper understanding of a very complex and nuanced issue. The conference was a connecting experience for all participants, allowing ISA’s Global Politics students to gain a unique insight into the conflict between Israel and Palestine and the world of global politics through first-hand experiences on the issue.
Global Politics teacher and trip organiser Sean Kelly wanted to emphasise the benefits of the trip for ISA students: “there were lots of things that surprised me throughout the week we spent in Israel, but what sticks out the most was the performance of our students. We were very intentional about building a stacked itinerary to get as much out of our time as possible, and their ability to take in all of the culture and history, contribute to the conference, share stories and engage with so many of the other participants, and build closer bonds with each other was what surprised me the most. They were tremendous ambassadors of the ISA community, and I was extremely proud of them all.”
Overall, the students have had an amazing opportunity to discover the beautiful country and culture of Israel and they came back with an enlightened perspective on the world.