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Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award

International School of Bucharest is a licensed center for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award which is the world’s leading youth achievement award.

About the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award:

The program guiding principles have been established in order to ensure that a young person has a meaningful and purposeful journey through their Award, as well as ensuring that the impact of achieving their Award provides a lasting personal legacy.

The Award’s guiding principles are as follows: 

Contact isoc Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Coordinator, Ingrid Stanciu: ingrid.stanciu@isoc.ro

Ingrid Stanciu Award Coordinator
Teodora Varzaru Award Leader & Supervisor/Assessor
Recep Yolcu Award Leader & Supervisor/Assessor
Olsi Zhguni Award Leader & Supervisor/Assessor
Gareth AvenellAward Leader & Supervisor/Assessor
Monica TeleAward Leader & Supervisor/Assessor
Ozcan KaracaAward Leader & Supervisor/Assessor
Oytun Pekel Award Leader & Supervisor/Assessor
Bogdan Manu Award Leader
Mihai Gheorghe Award Leader
Guzel Mirasova Award Leader
Eva Scarlat Award Leader
Vesile Dogan Award Leader
Damaris Dobre Award Leader
Florina Ungureanu Award Leader

Throughout the many hours of service that I have completed, I have managed not only to improve myself as a person, and contribute to both society and to my own well-being, but I have also had a great time doing said activities. The Duke of Edinburgh experience led me to completing these hours of service to show me directly what it means to contribute to my society, guiding me to becoming a resourceful and active participant in my society.

As of right now, I have completed the Bronze and Silver parts of this course, and am half way through the Gold section. As a result, I am still enjoying my time working hard to aid in my society’s well-being.

My current activity is helping animals in need. As a result, I have decided to dedicate my time helping 3 amazing stray cats: Grey, Clyde and Tuse. To help them survive, I have ensured that they all have a sleeping shelter, by building a small hut for them; simultaneously, I have also fed them and given them water every single day, twice a day. Also, when necessary, I made sure to take the cats for regular medical check-ups at my local veterinary clinic, to make sure that they are in good health. For example, one day, I realised that Grey was limping, so I decided to take him to the vet, and found out that he scratched his paw, as a result, he had to undergo a mini-surgery, as well as a period of time where I took extra care of him.

The previous example that I gave was my personal choice for a service activity, although the DofE course actively encourages students and young adults to help those around them in many ways. The opportunities that DofE accepts as service activities are almost endless, making it even more entertaining for students to participate in.

Anyone can join the DofE, and if you are interested in helping your society as much as I am, then why not give the Duke of Edinburgh a try?

The entire course in the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award program helped me understand and test my limits in a variety of ways, including artistic, physical, volunteering, and adventure. Together with my teammates and guided by program instructors, I experienced unforgettable moments, culminating in the Global Forum Award in Cluj-Napoca in October 2022.

I had the privilege of being one of 150 gold level graduates, young people from over 130 countries, who received the diploma in a festive setting. The presence of three royal houses, the United Kingdom, Romania, and Luxembourg, gave the event a special meaning and made me realize how special you can be through the daily activities that you do on a regular basis but always with responsibility and dedication.

Shortly after receiving the diploma, I enrolled in the Award Leaders course, and this is how my experience with the Duke of Edinburgh program continues, but on a different level, as an instructor and guide for young people who want to learn more about it. I want to combine my experience as a participant with my experience as a guide in the DofE program, and I hope to infuse in young people the desire to complete all three levels of the program.

Physical activities are really important in a person’s life both physically and mentally as they keep us fresh and fit. However, nowadays, people may not be consistent when it comes to doing sports and DofE helped us a lot with increasing consistency since we had to achieve our set goal and this can only be done by being consistent. Moreover, the program increased our self-satisfaction as we saw that we can achieve our goals, personal goals which we might have struggled with for a long time. The physical activities help us improve some very important skills such as planning, teamwork and consistency.

The adventurous journey was one of the best experiences I have had. One of the things that I loved the most about the trip was the amount of freedom we had. In the organization and trip itself, we had to choose everything by ourselves, from the location to the food we ate, to the activities we had each day. This really made us act seriously and carefully, while also developing an organizational mindset.
For the trip we had to pack everything as we weren’t allowed to use any of the resources there. I even carried a stove in my backpack! We also had to take tents and camping gear with us as we were not allowed to sleep at hotels. This made the experience even more enjoyable as it was a lot more exciting to sleep and live in the nature with my friends. Some of the things that we had to carry were split strategically between the group members to ensure equal contribution as well as efficiency in the long journey that we had until the settling place. The food that we carried with us was also very carefully chosen as we had to choose foods which would not rot in extreme conditions. We were packed with 5-min soups, energy bars, bread, bread-spread, etc. Cooking our own food at the portable stoves was very challenging, but in the end it gave a better taste to the food, due to the hard work put in it. We also had to prepare food for the journeys we had each day, which surely increased our culinary skills.
Preparing the tent was also challenging as we not only had to make the tents, but actually toorganize and place our belongings carefully inside so we would not lose anything. The temperature during the night (10 degrees Celsius) also made us pack very thick clothes and sleeping bags. During the first night, I had some trouble sleeping due to the low temperature, but luckily my friend gave me an extra thicker blanket. I surely learned from this experience and next time I will pack thicker sleeping gear.
I recommend the DofE experience to everyone as it is a very fun experience which takes learning and experiences out of the classroom. Thank you to the school for offering this opportunity as an extracurricular activity! By Luca T