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India Study and Leadership Experience
March 2018

Rationale

The motivation for this program was derived from the personal and professional experiences of its authors in conjunction with the vision prescribed by Adventure Learning Experiences for all of its programs. This vision involves Learning, Leadership, and Service within the context of safe Adventure. 

Service Learning
A unique and distinguishing component of this program is the concept of “service learning”.  Service learning can be identified as experiential education when the learner adopts a life role that provides meaningful service to a community in order to learn about oneself and others.  The pedagogical value of the service increases when the following are added to the learning:  an academic component designed to prepare the learner in terms of content and competencies relevant to the service; an opportunity to reflect upon and think critically about the experience; an element of adventure and challenge; an international and cross-cultural context; and an alignment of individual, placement, and system goals. 

Affiliation
This program will be delivered with the cooperation and support of the Loreto Sisters and Jesuit Fathers. They have administered schools and other social justice initiatives throughout India since the early part of the 20th century.

 

Participants

Youth
Approximately 20 students will be selected for admission to this program and will include primarily high school students.  This number has been governed by the practical exigencies of traveling to this area of the world.  Participants will be selected according to the following criteria:
 
            1.        Trustworthiness and reliability
            2.        Respectfulness of other people and cultures
            3.        Adaptability to new experiences
            4.        Parental support for students

           
Interested students will be invited to submit an application and two letters of reference. All participants will also be expected to complete a TCDSB Parent/Guardian Informed Consent Form for International Excursions. The limitations of TCDSB responsibilities with respect to this program are also indicated in a letter from Adventure Learning Experiences to Mr. Alex Mazzucco, who is an officer with TCDSB.

Adult Supervision
There will be 3 teacher supervisors who will be taking part in this program. They also see the experience as opportunities for their own personal and professional development. Instruction for the preparatory learning program will be led by these teachers and all will be accompanying the students to India.


Code of Conduct
Each student will be expected to pledge commitment to a Code of Conduct,  which will be designed to ensure that respect for each participant, his/her property, and well-being is safeguarded.  This code will preclude harassment and abusiveness and will prohibit the use of alcohol and drugs.  Above all, the rights and responsibilities of all participants will be clearly defined so that the objectives of this program may be achieved within a healthy and safe environment. 

Interviews
Each applicant and his/her parents will be invited to a private interview with the Directors to assess his/her suitability for the program. This will also give the applicant and parents the opportunity to determine if the program serves their needs and interests. Each applicant will be asked to bring their letters of reference to this meeting as well as their most recent report card. Interviews will take place on October 15, 2017 at The Catholic Education Centre, 80 Sheppard Ave. E. at 9:00 a.m. All deposits will be refundable in the event that the applicant is refused.

Program Design
The learning program is offered as a one or two credit co-operative education model using the Interdisciplinary Studies curriculum document.  The course will be designated IDC 3O and IDC 4U and and will derive learning expectations from a variety of courses.

In-Class Component

These meetings will take place on the following dates:

Sunday October 15, 2017 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 5 hours
Sunday October 29, 2017 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 5 hours
Sunday November 12, 2017 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 5 hours
Sunday December 3, 2017 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 5 hours
Sunday January 14, 2018 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 5 hours
Sunday February 11 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 5 hours
Sunday February 25, 2018 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 5 hours
Sunday March 25, 2018 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 5 hours
Sunday April 8, 2018 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 5 hours
Sunday April 29, 2018 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. 5 hours

There will be one formal examination that has been scheduled for the following class: 
Sunday April 8, 2018

The assignments in this program are designed to provide background to the course themes and to stimulate relevant learning and personal reflection.  To this end required readings will be assigned and considerable options with respect to written assignments will be offered.  There will be two types of written assignments: 

            1.            Research/Discovery Paper:  This is primarily intended for learning new                            information about a topic. 

            2.            Reaction Paper:  This is primarily intended for reflecting about a course                            theme that was previously reviewed in class, was part of one’s experiences                            on the trip, or contained in a reading. 

Experiential Component

There will be a variety of service learning opportunities distributed across a few locations.  Formal classes will be conducted whereby teachers and students will be given opportunities to discuss their reactions to the learning experiences and which will offer support for their adjustment to the new environments.  Upon returning to Canada, the students will meet to reflect and process their experiences, and will be given an opportunity to formally present their learning to corporations, institutions, family and friends.  

Topics for discussion during classes in India will be governed by the nature of the activities in which the students will be engaged.  Daily journal writing will be an essential component of this time. 



Reading List
A short reading list will be provided at a later date.


Journaling
Daily journal writing will be an essential component of the program. A composite journal with volunteer submissions from all participants will be compiled and offered to all participants at the end of the experience as a memory of our shared experience.

Service and Leadership Opportunities

  1. Community appreciation: Learn about the ministry of Mother Teresa and the Loreto Sisters in India.

  2. Issues education: Hands-on exploration of issues like child labour and the environment.

  3. Cultural education: Connect with local youth by sharing educational opportunities.

  4. Wilderness Adventures: Experience the beauty of northern India's Himalayan landscape by hiking in the Darjeeling foothills.


Tentative Travel dates:  March 2 - 18, 2018.

NOTE: The chronology of activities may be slightly redesigned based on practical requirements.

Tentative Itinerary:  

Friday March 2 Evening departure Toronto to Kolkata
Saturday March 3 in transit
Sunday March 4 early morning arrival in Kolkata
Mass at St. Thomas Church, Middleton Row
Lunch and interactive activities with Rainbow children
Monday March 5 excursion to rural area
Learn about strategies against Human Trafficking
Evening activities with Rainbow children
Tuesday March 6 morning teaching
Afternoon volunteering at Asha Niketan-L'Arche
Evening activities with Rainbow children
Wednesday March 7 early Mass at Mother Teresa's convent, visit her tomb
Visit to Child in Need Institute (CINI)
Closing Dinner at Loreto Provincialate
Thursday March 8 early departure to airport, flight to Darjeeling area
Orientation at Mary Ward Social Centre in Siliguri
Arrival in Darjeeling in late afternoon
Visit to Haydon Hall, Jesuit Development Centre
Friday March 9 Mass at Loreto Convent School
Interactive activities with students
Afternoon visit to St. Michael's School
Tour of tea plantations with local students
Saturday March 10 Morning visit to Tibetan Refugee Centre
Afternoon hike and lunch at Waterfalls
free time
Sunday March 11 very early morning drive to Tiger Hill for Everest Sunrise
Hike back to Darjeeling for Mass
free time
Optional activities: Buddhist Monastery, Himalayan Mountaineering Institute, Darjeeling zoo
Monday March 12 departure for Panighata School and Lolay School
Interactive activities
Tuesday March 13 Teaching activities and Olympic Day
Wednesday March 14 departure for Siliguri
Program evaluation
Closing dinner
Thursday March 15 morning visit to Jesuit Provincialate
Learn about Leprosy and visit to Jesu Ashram-Leprosy Health Clinic
Afternoon flight to Delhi
Friday March 16 morning tour of Delhi, including Gandhi Memorial and Lotus Temple
Closing dinner and final reflection
Saturday March 17 full day excursion to Agra to see Taj Mahal
Evening return to Delhi, midnight departure for airport
Sunday March 18 Depart for Toronto


Travel Arrangements

Transportation
Local transportation will be organized and provided by local professionals as recommended by our hosts. International air travel will be provided by a reputable national carrier.
                                              
Accommodation
In India, the accommodations will be primarily provided by the Loreto Sisters.  The adult supervisors will always reside in close proximity to the student residences.  Appropriate separation between genders will always be ensured in these residences.  In some locations the accommodation will be at reputable hotels. Adult supervisors will always be staying in the same facility in close proximity to student rooms.

NOTE: Living standard and practices with respect to the provision of utilities, services and accommodations at the destination may differ from those found in Canada.


Finances
$4295 includes all taxes and service charges, fees and gratuities. No price increases are permitted.

Payments will be made by installments according to the following schedule:
            $695                Deposit accompanying application
            $1,200             December 4, 2017
            $1,200             January 15, 2018
            $1,200             February 15, 2018
           
Payment Options :
a) Personal cheques, made payable to Adventure Learning Experiences Inc.
b) E-transfer (to info@adventurelearningexperiences.com)
c) Visa or Mastercard (2% surcharge)

Inclusions
economy return airfare: Toronto to Kolkata, Delhi to Toronto
2 regional flights: Kolkata-Bagdogra, Bagdogra-Delhi
all ground transportation, all meals and accommodations
preparatory learning program

Exclusions
cost of passort and India visa
any medical costs and inoculations
out-of-country health insurance and cancellation insurance (assistance available upon request)
private expenses

Fundraising

There are two fundraising activities designed to help students offset their trip expenses.

Sponsor Booklet: This is intended to provide an overview of the program and will feature the participants. Students are invited to sell advertising for the booklet and these funds will be directly applied to their trip fee, except for a nominal fee for the printing of the booklets. Please be aware that advertisements that are purchased by companies in support of a student will not be eligible for a refund in the event that the particular participant being supported withdraws from the program.

Raffle: Students will be invited to proportionally share in the proceeds of a raffle. This optional activity is available to all participants who donate a raffle prize worth $75.

Refund Policy
For withdrawal before December 4, 2017 a full refund minus 50% of the deposit will be provided.

For withdrawal between December 4, 2017 and January 15, 2018 a full refund minus the deposit will be provided.

A|l payments are non-refundable for cancellations after January 15, 2018, except through cancellation insurance (if purchased).

 

Documents

Passport: For Canadian citizens, it must be valid for at least three months beyond the date of expected departure

Tourist Visa: This must be obtained in Canada prior to departure.

Insurance
All participants are advised to consult with a reputable insurance company about out-of-province health insurance and cancellation insurance. The travel agency (Airliners) that is providing the air tickets offers such insurances. Its contact information is as follows:

Airliners
1220 Ellesmere Road
Toronto, ON M1P 2X5
www.airliners.ca
Attention: Zenab Warah
zenab@airliners.ca
416-485-6387

NOTE: It is the sole prerogative of each country or region to determine who is allowed to enter.


Health and Safety

NOTE: It is most strongly recommended that each participant seek proper medical advice for all potential health concerns at a travel medical clinic prior to departure.

Careful attention to sound health and safety practices will be an important part in the preparation of the program.  This will involve mandatory immunizations, learning  healthy eating and drinking habits, and understanding effective illness prevention practices. For maximum benefit it is recommended that participants, in general, be in good health and achieve a sufficient level of fitness prior to the trip.  Physical and dental check-ups are highly recommended prior to the departure date. 

Immunization

a)           The following are ordinarily administered through one’s family doctor in the course of                normal Ontario health care.  All participants are asked to ensure their protection with                inoculations against the following diseases:

               Tetanus – Diphtheria-Polio
               Measles-Mumps-Rubella

b)            Protection against malaria is by tablet and is taken on a regular basis prior, during,                 and following the trip.  The exact regimen will be prescribed by a travel clinic.  It is                 expected that all participants take a mosquito net and protective skin lotions.
                

c)            Inoculations against the following may be required: 

                        Typhoid
                        Meningococcal meningitis

                        Hepatitis A
                        Hepatitis B
                       

The cost of these inoculations are not covered by OHIP but may be included in private health plans. 

Precautions

As indicated above, careful preparation prior to departure about safe eating and drinking habits and illness prevention practices will be undertaken.  Participants will be expected to purchase “The Travel Doctor” by Dr. Mark Wise (Firefly Books, 2002) as part of this preparation.  A close working relationship has been developed by the authors with Dr. Mark Wise.  Dr. Wise is a family physician in Thornhill whose medical practice includes a travel clinic. He  is considered a leading authority in tropical and parasitic diseases.  Dr. Wise will conduct a 90 minute training workshop about preventative health practices for our students prior to departure and will make recommendations about appropriate inoculations.

Our groups will greatly benefit from the local contacts which the authors have established in India with the Loreto Sisters in the event that medical care in required. Each participant will be expected to purchase out-of-country health insurance. In addition, Dr. Lato and Mr. Rogers are both members of the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers (IAMAT). 

Each participant is expected to complete the Consent to Medical Treatment Form in the event that urgent and emergency care is required.

Application Process
Completed applications and deposit may be mailed/sent to Jennifer Wilson, who is the Office Administrator for Adventure Learning Experiences Inc.

E-mail: info@adventurelearningexperiences.com

Mailing address:
Adventure Learning Experiences Inc.
c/o Jennifer Wilson
41 Kimbourne Ave.
Toronto, ON
M4J 4J1

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  • Connect with local youth by sharing educational opportunities
  • Hands-on exploration of issues like child labour and the environment
  • Learn about the ministry of Mother Teresa and the Loretto Sisters
  • Experience the beauty of northern India's Himalayan landscape



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