Testing the Waters: Experiential Learning at Leysin American School in Switzerland

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Experiential learning is a valuable part of every student’s education—incredible things happen when you expand on the textbook learning done in class.

At Leysin American School, we like to break down the borders of the classroom as often as possible—here are just a few of the benefits we’ve seen when connecting our students with experiential learning opportunities:

Learning Alongside Experts

With an ever-changing world and workforce, innovation and business acumen are highly valuable traits that many of our students are seeking to pick up on. Successfully stepping into the world’s entrepreneurial landscape takes guts, creativity, and the development of a number of crucial hard and soft skills. Without guidance, entering this landscape can feel nebulous and a little scary—which is why we like to connect our students at LAS with experts in the field who can show them the ropes!

Our students recently connected with Daniel Rukare, Professor of Entrepreneurship at HULT International Business School and Christoph Sauser, globally-renowned mountain biker turned entrepreneur. These two experienced entrepreneurs led our students through workshops, spoke on the challenges and successes they’ve faced, and Christoph even welcomed them to a day of hands-on learning at his coffee roastery business, Horizonte. 

We strongly believe that mentorship and experience are some of the greatest ways for our students to solidify the concepts that they are learning in class.

At LAS we’ve got lots of great community members who are passionate about sharing their knowledge and we’re so excited to connect our students with many more of these experts in the future!

Seeing Textbook Concepts Come to Life

There’s nothing quite like field trips and experiential learning to bring to life the words that students have read in their textbooks. Recently, our grade 10 Pre-AP Biology students spent the day at Les Trois Terres Vineyard to do just that—the students took part in the final harvest of the season, collecting grapes which had ripened the most and developed the most fructose. The students discussed how the environment they were in linked to their study of the water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles.

Having gathered the grapes, the students were shown the equipment, machines, and processes required to produce the local wine. They were able to taste the grape juice and observe the chemical reaction of fermentation before their very eyes, with the effervescence, the smell, and the change in taste. Having an enthusiastic tour guide was a brilliant match for our students’ curiosity, and the cherry on top of a fun day!

Becoming Better Global Citizens

National and international travel are two wonderful ways through which our students learn about the world around them. At LAS we typically take students on cultural trips at least twice per year to locations like Saas-Fee, Milan, and Barcelona. Organized activities and organic interactions with the culture surrounding them help students to pick up on language skills, gain a better understanding of the world and their place in it, and develop a stronger sense of intercultural understanding!

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Leysin American School in Switzerland

Leysin American School in Switzerland

Located in the breathtaking Swiss Alps, Leysin American School has a history of nurturing talent and motivating students to succeed in education, sports, and the arts. The boarding school bring together students from around the world to create a campus community with a global perspective and a family atmosphere. LAS offers the International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma, a comprehensive US university preparatory curriculum, and, for non-native English speakers, an integrated English Language Acquisition (ELA) program.