DC No Boundaries

General Information

As a part of the school’s aim to provide students with a variety of learning experiences outside the classroom, we will again be holding our annual extended off-campus excursions week for students in Years 10-12. No Boundaries trips will take place between 16 November – 22 November 2019 and will offer a range of exciting learning opportunities for students in different destinations across the region.

As the name suggests, No Boundaries introduces students to learning that they cannot experience in the classroom. We aim for our students to develop further independence and interpersonal skills in environments that balance challenge with comfort. Through their participation in the No Boundaries Programme, students have the opportunity to develop an understanding and appreciation of different cultures and communities, and where appropriate, empathy for those who are less privileged than ourselves. In doing so, we hope that their experience will act as a catalyst to engage in ongoing principled action and in doing so, develop a shared understand that we call all can all have a positive impact on lives of others. By offering new experiences and broadening perspectives we aim to develop in students a deeper understanding of self and of others.

The following points were considered in designing the experiences we offer our students:

  • Provide students with hands-on-learning experiences and real-world connections to curriculum
  • Create opportunities for students to deepen their appreciation of others
  • Provide an opportunity to interact with a community foreign to the student
  • Offer experiences that will help develop self-awareness by providing personal, physical, intellectual and emotional challenges
  • Give students exposure to new cultures and points of view
  • Allow for variety of lenses through which to view, and respond ethically to, issues faced in the 21st century
  • Design activities that will promote independence, leadership, responsibility, cooperation and goal setting among students
  • Foster international mindedness in students through development of all attributes of the IB Learner Profile
  • Challenge students to Grow. Discover. Dream.

Additionally, No Boundaries options will extend student understanding of international mindedness. By direct interaction with those from other communities we aspire to better our understanding of others, increase civic engagement and give clarity on our place in the global community, and, where applicable, to foster empathy for those in a less-advantageous position.

No Boundaries options for students will offer them the opportunity to participate in independent and group activates related to the ongoing development work taking place at each destination. All groups will work in partnership with a local NGO, who will assist in the development of an annual needs assessment, which will direct the meaningful work being undertaken by the students. The service element of each trip is to be developed using the following criteria:

  • Planned service activity is relevant, meaningful, challenging, of an extended duration, and directly addresses an identified need
  • Partner community is able to be involved in planning, and implementing, of service activities
  • Students will be able to interact with the partner community (pre, during and post trip)
  • A reliable and reputable NGO/organization at each location is available to work with our students in developing a meaningful service programme.
  • There is strong potential for ongoing connection between the school and the community to be supported

Students in each year level will have a roster of ten trips that they can choose from, including a Hong Kong-based option and nine regional trips. As No Boundaries is a part of our school programme, attendance is required from all students.

No Boundaries Expo and selecting trips

Students will attend a No Boundaries Expo on Monday 8 April, to support them in making their trip selections.

Following the Expo, students will submit their trip selection form by the deadline of Friday 12 April. It entails specifying 1st 2nd and 3rd preferences and offering a short written justification for their 1st preference in particular.

Student selection process

  • Once finalized, synopses for each trip and projected total costs will be placed on the school website.
  • Students/parents will use this information and make preferences, submitting selections indicating first, second and third preference.

When student interest exceeds the maximum number of places available, a selection process will take place to assign students to trip based on the following considerations: – Students returning to an excursion that they have been on previously*; Students whose buddies have chosen the same excursion; The strength of the written justification students provide. (* The intention of this is to encourage students to commit to a social cause over several years and ‘see through’ their work over time).

  • Once places have been allotted, final student lists will be publicised on the No Boundaries webpage.
  • An eNotice will be sent home for respective activities. Once signed and returned along with first payment, student lists will be finalised.

Notes –

  • It is important that students/parents carefully consider the nature of the activities on offer, and if the student is capable of participating in them. An example would be whether a student is able to cope with the intensity of trips that are physically demanding. We ask that much care and deliberation is taken when selection is made. Final decisions will be made by the school (with input from families)
  • The cost of trips must also be closely considered, bearing in mind that confirmation of trip selection will only be made following permission from parents/guardian and first payment has been made.
  • In regards to costs, despite our best efforts, some fluctuation in final costs may occur beyond our control. For example, accommodation and transport costs may alter according to the final number of students on a trip. While we calculate final costs to the best of our ability, please appreciate that our predicted final costs may differ to actual costs.
  • For trips that involve overseas travel, students must hold a passport valid for six months at time of departure (valid until 23 May, 2020)
  • Please ensure that you carefully read details about visa and passport requirements for each trip. Processing of visas and visa costs are the responsibility of parents.
  • The school will make flight bookings based on details provided by parents. If changes in flight bookings are required as a result of incorrect details supplied by parents, costs for such changes are the responsibility of parents.
  • An activity that is undersubscribed may lead to it being cancelled. In this case every effort will be made to allocate students according to their other preferences.

Payment procedures

All payments for No Boundaries will be made via the ePayment system. Payments will be made in three instalments. The first two payments will each be a third of a projected total cost, with the final payment to be adjusted after costs are finalized. The first payment will confirm participation in an activity. All payments are non-refundable and non-transferable.

Payment dates:

  • 6 May 2019
  • 28 August 2019
  • 2 October 2019

Withdrawal from No Boundaries

Should your child be forced to withdraw from No Boundaries after their enrolment in an activity has been confirmed and the first payment has been made, please note that the school’s policy on refunding fees is as follows:

  • 50 percent of the total fee minus non-refundable items (such as flights, accommodation, transport, fees) and an administration fee will be refunded if a student withdraws on the day of the event and the family provides notification to the school that is deemed reasonable.
  • 100 percent of the total fee minus non-refundable items (such as flights, accommodation, transport, fees) and an administration fee will be refunded if a student withdraws three school days or more before the event and gives notification in writing.
  • Refunds are to be requested in writing to the teacher supervising the activity, and must be accompanied with relevant medical certificates in the case of a student withdrawing from the activity due to illness.
  • If a student gives no notification of withdrawal or non-attendance then no refund is due.
  • Refunds will not be made if a student is sent home from the activity due to illness or injury occurring at the activity or due to disciplinary reasons.
  • Refunds based on absence due to family reasons will be decided upon on an individual basis by the school Principal.
  • All refunds will be made via the ePayment system.

Force Majeure

Some of our destinations could be considered unpredictable and may face political or social instability. Added to this is the risk caused by extreme weather conditions or natural disasters that may lead to alternative plans for a trip being required, or even the cancellation of a trip. In such cases, the school complies with ESF Policy which uses the following site as a guide – http://www.sb.gov.hk/eng/ota/

While the school will do everything that it can to prevent financial loss by families, in exceptional circumstances, this may happen and those costs are the responsibility of families. The school will not incur those costs.

Risk Assessments

The safety of all participants in a No Boundaries experience is a key priority. As for all DC excursions or field trips, the college follows a risk assessment protocol for all No Boundaries experiences that is of international standard. Much effort goes into identifying hazards, minimizing the chances of them occurring, and designing a risk mitigation plan. To further enhance our risk assessments and mitigation, the college employs the services of International SOS, who provide us with professional integrated medical and security support and advice.

Offsetting our Carbon Footprint

To show our continued commitment to environmental sustainability, all No Boundaries trips outside of HK, regardless of destination, will have an added calculated cost to offset carbon emissions from flights used during that trip. For example, the offset cost for a return flight to Bangkok (a flight emission of 0.35 tonnes of CO2) will cost around HK$50. As a school, we will discuss and then decide how the collected carbon offset fund will be spent, with options including contributing to recognized carbon offset projects or developing our own school-based ones, such as solar panels on our roof. We may also explore the possibility of members of the DC community making voluntary contributions to this fund for travel made throughout the year.