Stories from our international boarding schools

Summer Academy: Biology trip

Guest post by Summer Academy student from Vietnam: Harry

To everyone who is wondering about opportunities to enhance their English and also gain many life skills, I have a great suggestion; you should enroll in the EF Academy Summer course. I’m a student from Vietnam and I have always wanted to explore new cultures and challenge myself more. EF Academy helped me realize my dream! The Educational environment at EF goes beyond my imagination with so many ideal activities and projects. Not only I get a lot of support from my teachers, my counselors and my house parents, but I also have the chance to experience outdoor activities thanks to the Director of Summer Academy, Ms. DaSilva. In all of the trips we had, I have learned many helpful lessons that have widened my understanding of the world.

The most fantastic activity to me was the biology trip that happened on our week 4. The teachers spent time showing us the overview of the trip. How wonderful to be able to expand our vocabulary and knowledge by actually practicing what we have learned in class! When we arrived, we were divided into eight teams and given a run down of the day by the IB Biology Teacher, Mr. Stephen Fleming. One task was to use some simple tools to take a water sample and observe the plankton in it. Then, we had to measure the turbidity of the water by using a circle with 2 colors black and white. There was also one experiment in which I had to measure the salinity and survey the PH level of the water.

The station that I enjoyed the most was the first one, where we could do the work of a fisherman. It was so much fun! First, I was given special clothes connected with boots to avoid getting wet. Then, we took a net into the water.  It was so heavy that my classmate and I needed to move it very slowly to control and prevent any fish from escaping. We went far away from the river shore to make sure we caught something. We caught a large white perch on our first try! I was extremely ecstatic and in high spirits. We quickly put into a bucket of water so that it didn’t die, and recorded its size. Ms. Ortiz kept encouraging us to work harder to get more creatures. So, we went into the water again but this time was harder because we were a little weary already. You cannot imagine how slow we moved. The mud was so viscous that it kept our legs stuck tight to the ground. Sometimes, we could not even move. At that time, I just felt exhausted and wanted to give up. But, something still kept me going. After we were finished, I felt dazed and really exhausted. I was tired, but satisfied with my results, and my catches were a testament to the efforts. We took some pictures, then packed up everything and returned to the bus to come back to school.

I was really excited about this trip because I could experience and understand how difficult Marine Biology. This trip made me aware of the value of labor and I could learn biology by doing. Thanks to EF Academy, I have had many opportunities to further my knowledge and take part in educational outdoor activities. Being at EF is a wonderful chance for me to get a good education that will impact my youth.

“Once you get to EF Academy, Find time to expand your learning and understand who you really are!”

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