Skip to main content

You are here

Week Without Walls

ICS believes in the importance of supplementing in-class learning with field experiences, taking advantage of the many educational opportunities available in Ethiopia. Elementary students may visit a local farm, a weaving studio or a coffee plantation. Secondary students take overnight trips to different locations in Ethiopia, including the Bale Mountains, the Historical Circuit and Harar, for in-depth studies of science, history and culture.

Week Without Walls starts in Elementary school in Grade 4 with 1 overnight and the program builds each year.


  • enrich classroom learning
  • develop socio-emotional growth
  • increase cultural understanding of the host country
  • understand one’s own identity in a more profound and positive way


  • Engage students in modelling the ICS Learner Profile Traits
  • Build sustainable community service
  • Stimulate student’s intellect
  • Enrich student’s physical and emotional skills
  • Widen student’s cultural and environmental knowledge
  • Explore Ethiopia
Elementary School Trips


Fourth grade students use archaeology as a lens to look at Africa's rich past and to better understand our place in the present. This is an inquiry-based field trip where students will be gathering information and coming up with their own hypothesis. At Tiya, students make observations of the stelae and use their background knowledge and leaning to try to understand the purposes of the stelae, and the interpretations of the markings on the stelae.

Sample brochure


In social studies class, students study the local economy. Their Week Without Walls offers students the opportunity to compare subsistence and commercial farming by visiting a rose farm and by visiting a community farm. The trip gives insight on alternative crops like false banana. The trip also provides opportunities for team-building and promotes reflection upon their host-country, Ethiopia.

Sample brochure


Middle School Trips

There will be no WWW trips for SY1617. Our program is being reviewed in order to explore new opportunities to engage students in WWW adventures for next year.

High School Trips


The trip focuses on various Bale Mountains ecosystems, including the Gaysay plains, the Dinsho reserve and Harena forests. Students will engage in a variety of ecology sampling techniques and get a first-hand look at the Bale Mountains National Park, which is a 2200 km2 area that protects the higher reaches of the Bale Range (the altitude ranges from 1500m - 4377m). Student will also have the opportunity to explore the IB CAS learning outcomes.

Sample Brochure



Land Use in the Awash National Park. Students explore land use issues from three different perspectives: anthropological, economic and environmental.

Students learn to be more open-minded, understand diversity, listen and refine their debating skills, and make meaningful proposals for the local community to consider.

Introduction to CAS Learner Outcomes. Students increase awareness of self, undertake new challenges, plan and initiate activities, work collaboratively with others, show perseverance and commitment in their activities, engage in issues of global importance, consider the ethical implications of their actions and develop new skills.

Grade Brochure



The retreat is a vital hands-on induction to the Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) component of the ICS High School Diploma and IB Diploma. CAS provides students with opportunities for service learning beyond the traditional four walls of a classroom.

Another goal for the retreat is to build a stronger sense of community among class members, many of whom are new to ICS this year. Research tells us that students are more productive learners if they can trust and work well with one another.

Sample Brochure



This is the last outing for our seniors before college life takes over. In view of this last step to adulthood, the Grade 12 Week Without Walls is designed to offer the following opportunities:

Work on program completion - university application process, Extended Essay and CAS portfolio requirements

Self-actualization - increase self-awareness, develop an understanding of new cultures and values, develop organizational and planning skills, improve communication skills, develop an appreciation for others, take responsibility for planning and carrying out tasks

Service – engage with the local community, collaborate and work with a team to improve a local school

Sample Brochure


Expectations & Security

The Week Without Walls Program requires parents to fill a permission and release form, providing the organizers with essential medical information to keep the students healthy. This information also helps the organizers act appropriately during emergencies. The program always takes certified medical personnel to further contribute to the safety of the trip. Prior to the trips, the school nurse reviews the permission and release forms. We also keep an eye on some endemic or seasonal maladies and inform parents of any risks. We count on any information that could be provided, including yours.


Student expectations

  • Respect the ICS Way
  • Follow school/trip rules
  • Participate fully
  • Be on time
  • Be attentive and alert
  • Be open minded
  • Be reflective

Parent expectations

  • Help student follow the packing list
  • Provide full, accurate medical and parent permission form on time
  • Pay the trip cost to ICS Cashier
  • Discuss the learning with your child on return: awareness of self and others, new challenges, perseverance, global issues, etc.)


ICS pre-assesses the safety of:

  • destinations
  • routes
  • lodging
  • surrounding social context
  • flora / fauna
  • vehicles and drivers

We inform and guide students on:

  • clothing, food, and water
  • Sun, insect, and plant protection
  • altitude
  • endemic or seasonal issues


We work in close collaboration with:

  • ICS Safety and Security Officers
  • local law enforcement agencies
  • ICS contacts in the local community
  • US and other Embassies
  • Nurse’s office: we always take certified medical personnel to further contribute to the safety of the trip

Parents must return a medical and permission form prior to the trip. Class advisors and other teachers serve as chaperones for their student.