Johanne Hale Vermeulen attended International School Bangkok (ISB) in High School from 2002 through 2005, graduating with the Class of 2005. In her senior year, Ms. Vermeulen took part in a life-changing school trip to Zambia as part of what was then called Week Without Walls, now called DELVE (Discover. Explore. Learn. Volunteer. Enrich.).
Experiential Learning Beyond the Classroom
“In 2005, my senior year at International School Bangkok, I took part in a trip to Zambia for Week Without Walls (WWW), an ISB program that gave high school students the opportunity to learn outside of the traditional classroom. We spent the week camping on the Zambezi river, where we got to experience the real culture of Zambia. We had the opportunity to visit a school, take part in cultural experiences such as mud boat canoes, eating mapane worms, and even spending a night camping in the middle of the Chobe Game Reserve.
Africa has always been a special place to me, having been born in South Africa. But visiting Zambia was an amazing experience. I learnt so much from my time at ISB, but one of the most valuable [things] was how important it is to give back to communities. WWW was such an amazing way of encouraging students, whether it was a cultural trip, volunteer work in Thailand, or further exploration abroad.” - Jo Vermeulen
Such community trips at ISB are a part of our Creativity, Activity, and Service requirement for Grade 11 and 12 students because we know how impactful such experiences can be. They provide students with problem-solving and self-management skills through experiential learning that carries them well into their futures. Ms. Vermeulen has carried this experience with her well beyond her time at ISB. After high school, she attended St. Georges University in London, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Physiotherapy. Jo is currently living in the U.K., where she is the Regional Sales Manager of Arthrex, a global medical device company, and leader in new product development and medical education in orthopedics.
“Since my trip in 2005, I have always wanted to return to Zambia and contribute to the local communities. Finally, this year has presented the opportunity for me to return with a group of 9 people from the company for which I work. As part of our CSR, a small team from our company Arthrex UK will be travelling to Livingstone, Zambia, in March of 2023 to help with renovation projects within the local community, where funds for renovations and building are often limited. By raising money and travelling abroad to work for a week, this gives the resources for these essential renovations/building to be completed,” said Johanne.
Well done, Jo, ISB congratulates you on your efforts! We are so incredibly proud of you for continually exemplifying the ISB values of Care and Global-Mindedness. If you are so inclined, you can help support this worthy endeavor by following the link below: https://bit.ly/3Ez7007