International Award

meriteThe International Award ( is an exciting self-development programme that Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, started 60 years ago. The programme is available to young people around the world, and has had over 8 million participants between the ages of 14 and 24 since inception. The premise of the programme is that not all learning takes place inside a classroom.

The goal of the International Award Programme is to equip young men and women with a variety of life skills, such as a sense of responsibility, team spirit, perseverance and a love of discovery. The key distinguishing point of this programme is that it is not a competition, but rather an opportunity for personal growth. The International Award Programme comes highly recommended, and has had a positive and lasting impact on the lives of its participants. Young programme graduates go on to make a difference in their own lives, their communities, and the world at large.

International Award Programme Benefits

The International Award Programme has documented a wide range of benefits for its participants, their families and their communities. We encourage you to consider this list, and welcome any questions you may have about incorporating this wonderful opportunity into your child’s Haut-Lac International Bilingual School experience.

  • Improved academic achievement;
  • Improved health and well-being;
  • Increased involvement in civic life;
  • Stronger connection to the local community;
  • Improved awareness of environmental issues and sustainability initiatives;
  • Acceptance of individual and cultural differences, and
  • Empowerment of both young men and women to archive their highest potential.

The International Award Programme is a natural fit for Haut-Lac’s philosophy and educational approach. We are proud to give our students the chance to join other young people around the world in helping others, improving communities, mastering a sport or undertaking an adventurous journey.


The International Award at Haut-Lac

Haut-Lac students typically complete the Bronze level in MYP4, the Silver level in MYP5, and the Gold level in DP. Each successive level demands more commitment.

Four components have to be completed at each level to obtain the corresponding award.

  • Service – Young people are encouraged to regularly volunteer to help their community. Students usually volunteer to do an activity based on their strengths, preferences, and interests once a week. Some of the options include charity work outside school, such as visiting and supporting people in need, helping a fellow student with his or her homework, or running a sports club.
  • Physical Recreation – Participating in sports and other physical activities on a regular basis to improve health and fitness levels is essential. A variety of physical activities and sports, including football, rugby, horse-riding, martial arts, tennis, and many more help fulfil this requirement. It may be met through Haut-Lac sports clubs or similar activities outside school.
  • Skills – The skills section provides an opportunity for our students to develop an existing area of personal interest, or try something completely new. Students may choose any area of interest that requires a new skill, such as music, sport, arts and crafts, gardening, public speaking, journalism, and even games like chess or pool.
  • Adventurous Journey – The expedition component of the programme encourages a sense of adventure as students head off on a team journey. Small teams of participants will plan, train for, and undertake a journey of 2-3 days with a defined purpose in an unfamiliar environment. Such expeditions are an essential concluding part of each International Award level.  All these expeditions are overseen by teachers and take place on weekends. No travel outside Switzerland is required (typical destinations include the Jura, the Préalpes, and the Alpes Vaudoises).

Pupils are free to choose activities that appeal to them for each of the abovementioned sections. Teachers are always there to help them make great choices, support their efforts, and answer questions along the way. All of the activities can easily be carried out within the framework of, and count towards, the IB programme’s CAS and C&S requirements.