- Experiential Learning
- Service Learning
Service at HIS
Hokkaido International School is an international boarding school that believes in the importance of helping others. Service starts at home but expands outward as we seek to meet the needs of our tight-knit Husky community and the ever-tightening global community. Helping connects us to others just as much as it builds our sense of empathy and understanding.
HIS has been emphasizing service since its beginning in 1958, but the service got more student-centered in 2011 when the ACT club began with its focus not just talking about the needs of others but taking action. Eventually, ACT club evolved into our current-day MUSH, which stands for Multicultural Understanding and Service House but also pays homage to our mascot the Husky as the word MUSH is also used as a command for dog sledding. Since MUSH begin in 2020, it has continued with the goal of taking action as it expanded to include such activities as weekly trash clean-up, food drives, Project Santa donations to orphanages, composting and gardening, working in a soup kitchen, providing sanitary products in our bathrooms, and collecting bottle caps for a Hokkaido NPO that recycles and upcycles plastic.
Another large part of Huskies Service has come through our annual service trips. Traditionally, these trips have been attended by the junior class, often through Habit for Humanity. Students might help build a house or repair a toilet, while also getting the opportunity to explore how other parts of the world live. With the pandemic, our international service trip was suspended, paving the way for discussion as we decided to follow suit with our service club in making our service projects much more student-centered. 2021-2022 focused on internal projects that culminated in a Huskies Service Week where secondary students taught and engaged elementary students in activities around the school-selected United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.
SDG #3: Good Health and Wellbeing — Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
SDG #10: Reduce inequality within and among countries.
SDG #13: Climate Action — Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impact.
These same goals were used in 2022-2023 as our Huskies Service Project model expanded back outward to domestic trips. Students went north to preserve a wetland, south to learn about and take back organic farming, and over to our sister school in Niseko to work with the Niseko students on nutrition. Regardless of what the student projects focused on or where the students went, at the end of the day we are confident that all students have a greater sense of the service process from discovering a community need to constructing a project, logistics and all, that will meet that need.
We look forward to our Huskies Service Projects expanding further as we pivot past the pandemic. Please enjoy the videos below sharing about student service projects in high school along with the posts below that highlight another HIS Pillar: Huskies Service.