Article by: Sarah Kim

Just a few months away from ICARE, ISM students have finally received their long- awaited ICARE sites . ICARE, which stands for the International Community Actively Responding to the Environment, is a week long service trip that gives students the opportunity to give back to their community and environment. Students are not only helping and giving back to the Philippine community, but are also able to learn more about the Philippines and the Filipino culture. ICARE is the epitome of a joyful and worth-while service trip, and is also a great way for students to make sure that their CAS requirements are completed.

As soon as the ICARE sites were released, many students quickly took action to switch sites. Whether it was to finally experience a provincial ICARE, to stay in a metro manila site, to join a site they felt passionate about, or to be with their friends, Mr. Woods was bombarded with a plethora of requests to switch sites. This then brings up the question; does switching ICARE sites defeat the aim of getting to know new people in ICARE and having a random generator to assign the sites? William Batchelor, grade 11, states that ICARE is “all about giving back to the society and making new friends”, concluding that switching icare sites “definitely hinders the experience.”

While many oppose to the idea of switching sites, some see great benefits. “I switched my ICARE site because I had it last year, I disliked it and I had no friends,” explains junior Tim Young. He additionally mentioned that having an ICARE site you want to go to would “benefit a lot because you would be looking forward to the events in the site, thus being actively engaged with all activities”. Kyle Kim, a sophomore who also switched out of his site introduced a different point of view on the positives of switching. He explains that, “switching from provincial to local makes me able to make more friends in a wider pool of people”, especially since local sites tend to have bigger groups compared to provincial sites.

The validity of switching ICARE sites really depends on whom you ask; however it is evident that regardless of the site, all of the students at ISM will feel proud of the accomplishments that they have made by the end of their ICARE experience.


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