Round Square is an international program subscribing to the educational philosophy of Kurt Hahn and is based on 6 pillars known as IDEALS, an acronym for Internationalism, Democracy, Environment, Adventure, Leadership and Service. The Round Square objective is to empower youth to become committed, responsible global citizens through active involvement. BCS has been affiliated with Round Square for over 25 years and every student at BCS is a Round Square member. Participation in the Round Square program takes place on all levels, from school activities and events, to exchanges and third world projects. 

Contact

Mrs. Shelley Gardner-Bray
Round Square Coordinator
Email | Tel. 819-566-0238 x213 or x226

International Service Projects

Round Square International Service (RSIS) projects are another key division of the program. These projects are an exciting opportunity for BCS students to travel to countries such as Guatemala, Honduras, India, Kenya, South Africa and Thailand to assist in a wide number of service activities, such as building water systems, constructing schools and working with children.
Service projects have been carefully evaluated by Round Square International to make them as safe as possible.
 The RSIS projects bring together students from all over the world to work as a truly international team and provide much-needed assistance to disadvantaged communities.  

A touring component is usually included in all projects. These projects allow students to build leadership skills, develop a deeper understanding of other cultures and themselves, and garner a true perspective of what it means to be a global citizen.

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  • Honduras 2012 (Sarah Cooper)

    Sarah Cooper in Nuevo Paraiso, Honduras
    Posted January 23, 2013

    My Round Square International Service Project involved me flying to Honduras, which is a small country located in Central America. Once arrived, I got acquainted with the other fellow members of the team. My team was composed of 10 students who came from Australia, South Africa, England and Canada. We were then sent to Nuevo Paraiso, a village in the mountains of Honduras. Our task was to complete the building of 15 cooking stoves for 15 different families in the village. The new stoves would be energy efficient, cost efficient, fuel efficient and also reduce the risk of respiratory diseases.

    Another huge component of the project was to play with the orphan children of Nuevo Paraiso. Nuevo Paraiso in Spanish means New Paradise. This New Paradise housed 60 children ranging from 3-16 years of age who were given up by their parents because they couldn’t afford to take care of them. Even though we didn’t know a word of Spanish and they didn’t know a word of English, all they wanted was an “amiga” - a friend to play with. By the end of the project, each member had learned to love the children and were sad to say goodbye at the end of the fiesta. At the fiesta, we even taught the children how to dance Gangnam style. They ended up loving the dance and we danced it seven times!

    We completed the 15 stoves ahead of time and were invited to the village’s sixth grade graduation. We all thought that we were just going to watch the young Honduran children of this community get handed their diplomas. But no! We paraded through the school where the members of the community applauded us, thanking us for the work we had done. We also got to participate in the handing out of the diplomas, which was an opportunity in itself. At the end of the graduation, the principal of the school made a speech about how grateful she was that we came to help this small community. She dedicated a poem and prayer to our team for safe journeys.

    We then started the cultural phase of our project. We traveled to the northern coast of Honduras, to the beach town of Tela. We stayed there for a period of four relaxing days. We visited a national park with monkeys and jaguars; we also visited a botanical garden, a garifaura village and learned how to dance garifaura. One of my fondest experiences from Tela was playing soccer on the beach every afternoon for our Gringos vs. Hondurans games.

    At the end of the project I felt a sense of accomplishment. To see the faces of all the people we helped - it changed my life.
  • South Africa 2011 (Hélène Babakissa)

    Back From The Rainbow Nation – Philippolis 2011
    By Hélène Babakissa

    This summer, I went to the town of Philippolis in South Africa for a Round Square Service Project. The experience was amazing and I learned many things about myself and about the world. I had never travelled to Africa before and that was quite something.

    Philippolis is a small town in the south of the Free State Province. It is a town that is still scarred by racism between the three main races of the place: the Whites, the Coloured and the Blacks. They all live in different townships and do not have the same quality of life. The Apartheid was abolished in 1991 in Philippolis but many scars of this time are still visible. The goal of our project was to finish the construction of a nursery school in the coloured community and play and teach the local children.

    Every day, we went to the work site where we were separated into different groups. There were many things to be done. The tasks were the following: plastering the walls, finishing the brickwork, laying the floor in the nursery school, restoring segments of the scooter track, digging sand, mixing cement and teaching the kids both in the black community and in the coloured community. The days were long but cut in half by the lunch break. At night, we would take time to write in our journals, watch presentations by different schools and play evening activities.

    During our project, we made two trips. One was a rafting trip on the Orange River. The trip was wonderful and full of emotions. It was a great break and we enjoyed the beauty of nature again. At night, we had the pleasure of eating the local food and real steaks on the BBQ cooked by the owners of the place. Our post-project trip was a safari in Kruger National Park. It was an amazing experience. We spent three days in the game lodge Thanda Nani. We saw many wild animals such as giraffes, leopards, elephants, rhinoceros and alligators.

    Our team was made up of twenty-three students and three adults from more than 10 different countries. We called our team “the rainbow team,” making a reference to the “rainbow nation.” We were all very different but we developed a bond with each other. We became brothers and sisters and were living 24 hours a day together.

    My experience in South Africa was incredible. The village welcomed us better than I could have imagined. The children were full of life and happy all the time. I have never met children so faithful and loving. They had nothing but they would give us everything. The South African culture is so rich and was so much fun to discover. From the “fat cakes,” to the language, I tried many things. I also discovered the challenges of this society fighting racism, HIV and violence but, coming back, I have never been so hopeful for the world to change.

    My service project was a fabulous experience and I would return to South Africa any day. I met people that I will remember for life. This trip changed me for the better and I cannot fully express how thankful I am for this opportunity. I do recommend this to anyone. On July 29th of 2012, I left Johannesburg with a heavy heart and the feeling that the sky was definitely bluer in South Africa. I miss it every day.
  • Kenya 2011 (Candice Barritt)

    Candace Barritt Visits Kenya
    Posted January 25, 2012

    Saying good-bye to the Canadian winter and arriving in hot, dry Nairobi Kenya. Leaving friends and family was the easy part, what would be hard was spending 18 days with no electronics!

    With just a camping back pack, my journey began on December 10th, 2011. I was the Bishop College student going to Kenya, so I was very excited meeting new students from other countries. There were 14 international girls from different Round Square schools around the world like Scotland, Peru, Australia, South Africa, and Canada. There were also 5 international guys from India, Canada, and Australia.
    The nineteen of us plus the fifteen Starhe Boys (Round Square school in Nairobi) helped  to build a class room for a small local village- Riandira Primary School. The experience of actually building a room was amazing, I’ve never made cement, or used a hammer before.

    After a tough ten days of moving stones, mixing and applying cement, I realized how privileged I am to go to a boarding school like BCS. I learned that working hard and going to school will take you far, and that education is key to succeeding in life and work.

    I also learned things about my self that made me stronger as a person. I never new I could live in a tent for ten days, not having warm water everyday (for showers), making cement, bending metal wires etc. I’ve learned that I could live with the bare minimum for 18 days, and how much I take the simple things, like a toilet, for granted.

    What stuck with me the most was visiting a local person’s home which was thirty minutes away from the school. It stuck with me the most because when we arrived we gave them food and it was the basics (rice, maze flour, tea and more) and the amount we gave the women for her family of five would last 2 weeks! Her house had 3 bedrooms, and her kitchen was outside. She made a living by growing and selling corn, and she had chickens, rabbits, and cows on her land. My group asked her questions and helped her weed her corn field, we also met her children.

    The most relaxing part of my trip was staying in a lodge after spending ten days living in a tent. We had a wonderful buffet of food, soft drinks and juices and I got to see lions, elephants, hippos, cheetah, giraffes, zebras and many other animals.
    Being chosen to travel away from the BCS community to help other students in a third world country was worth the wait, and being away from my family at Christmas, couldn’t have happened if BCS was not a Round Square school.
  • India 2011 (Alex Tokarsky)

    Click here for the downloadable PDF.

Exchange Program

As part of Round Square, Bishop's College School participates in the International Exchange program. Students at BCS are encouraged to participate in exchanges with any of the other international member schools and are eligible to exerience learning abroad for four to eight weeks. Exchanges are organized for students in Form IV and can be to countries as exotic as South Africa, India or Peru. The International Exchange program provides students with an amazing opportunity to see the world, meet new friends and participate in an active form of education.

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  • Australia 2011

    News from Down Under
    Posted November 17, 2011
    (Marc-Andre B.)

    Marc-Andre B. is currently at Ballarat Grammar School in Australia and writes us with an update:
     
    "Here at BGS I have done and seen many things. I’ve created strong friendships, I’m doing my homework, preparing for laundry day...  But other then academics, I have seen hail storms that I did not think could ever happen in Australia.  I have seen many wild animals like the deer, kangaroo and cute koala.  I have met so many people in this first week that my brain can't remember them all.  I am the guy that everyone knows but doesn't know anyone. It hasn’t worried me because Australians are really nice people and mindful of others. 
     
    I think this exchange is the best thing that happened in my whole life.  Everything is going great, my friends are awesome - life is GREAT.  I keep in touch with my mom, and my friends at BCS.  I am really enjoying my time here in Australia." ~ Marc-Andre B.

    From Ballarat Grammar School in Australia
     
Bishop's College School is an independent English-language boarding and day school for grades 7 to 12 in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada.