International Biosphere Stewardship Program July 1st to 9th 2018
100% Rating
(5 Reviews)

International Biosphere Stewardship Program July 1st to 9th 2018

The International Biosphere Stewardship Program brings together teenagers from Bali and all over the world to join in a program of adventure and learning aimed at inspiring young people to become intelligent stewards of our earth's biosphere.

This is a unique opportunity for overseas students to join with their Balinese counterparts, learn first hand about Balinese culture and tradition, explore a wide variety of ecological biomes, and make friends for life.

Students go hiking in the mangrove forest and monsoon forest and snorkeling on the coral reefs, learning about their value and the challenges they face. Students are introduced to the farm and the city and the concept of human activity as an integral part of the biosphere.
Students take part in hands on service work, with the projects of of the Biosphere Foundation, and are encouraged to think about how to apply what they learn to their home situation.

Locations
Asia » Indonesia » Bali
Asia » Indonesia
Program Categories
Length
1-2 Weeks
Timeframe
Summer
Accommodation
Dormitory
Inclusions
Accommodation
Activities
Airport Transfers
Meals
Transportation
Exclusions
Airfare
SIM cards
Travel Insurance
Visa
Language
English
Age Min.
13
Age Max
18
Deposit
$500.00
Starting Price
$1,550.00
Currency
USD
Price Details
This is an 8 day program and the cost is inclusive of everything except airfare and travel insurance which we require all students to carry

Questions & Answers

Program Reviews

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Program Reviews (5)

Default avatar
Mackenzie
Female
20 years old
Los Angeles

The Experience of a Lifetime: Biosphere Stewardship Program

10/10

My experience at the International Biosphere Stewardship Program was absolutely incredible. I had the opportunity to be part of group of 15 students from Bali, India, Cambodia, Puerto Rico and the USA. The varied cultural perspectives we each brought to the program helped create an experience unlike any other in my life. Although we came from different cultures and backgrounds, and didn’t all speak the same language, we quickly became a team. We built our friendships on our shared goal of preserving our precious blue planet.

Our daily activities centered around learning about the ecosystems of Bali Barat National Park, as well as the environmental challenges facing the region and our Earth as a whole. Snorkeling on Menjangan Island’s coral reef, we discovered the beauty of the underwater world but were also struck by the alarming signs of human destruction caused by anchor damage and plastics pollution. I loved having the chance to work together as a team on coral reef and other community conservation projects Biosphere Foundation is doing in collaboration with Friends of Menjangan. We worked with local Balinese on beach cleanups, reforested a mangrove, weeded a plot for a sustainable farming project, and cleared the invasive species lantana from the monsoon forest to promote reforestation. We also learned how to repurpose Styrofoam trash to make cushions and how to recycle plastic to make wallets and bags at a local waste recycling program.

Since many of the local Balinese students spoke little English, one of my favorite parts of the experience was learning how to communicate and connect deeply without words, especially during times when we were not with the whole group and our translators. Although in these moments we couldn’t find the words to express what we were feeling, emotions became our new language: laughter, happy tears, nostalgic tears when the program ended, and smiles.

The most memorable moment for me was on the last night when we walked down to the jetty and released little boats made out of banana leaves with a candle inside onto the water, and made a wish. Over the ten days of the stewardship program our group became unbelievably close. We not only made friendships to last a lifetime, but we also individually made vows for how we were going to bring change to our own communities to fuel the healing of our Earth.

I absolutely loved this program and would recommend it to every person in the world if I could. It pushes you out of your comfort zone in the best possible way, opening your eyes and heart to new and moving experiences. It has inspired me to wish to always seek profound connection with others in service of our world for the rest of my life.

Default avatar
George
Male
19 years old
York
University College London

A life-changing experience!

10/10

On 24th June I flew to Denpasar in Bali and drove five hours to Bali Barat National Park, in the northwest corner of the island, to join the Biosphere Foundation International Environmental Stewardship Programme, along with other international and Balinese students. The programme aimed to bring together young people from all over the world and teach them about the world’s biospheres and how to protect them. Bali is an incredible location for this as it is home to such biodiversity, due to small size and huge scope of regions; from mountainous regions to costal areas. Throughout my time on the programme I learnt about the different regions of Bali and their unique ecosystems. I say unique because they are all in such close proximity, but in fact Bali plays host to biosphere’s that are found all around the world, which is why it is so interesting for scientists, such as Sierra Silverstone, who runs the programme.
I arrived in Bali Barat late on the first day, but we all ate together and, with the help of a translator, the Balinese students asked questions to the international students and vice versa. This was a really good way to start the programme, not only because it helped everyone get to know each other, but it made the international students, including me, realise how vastly different our cultures were. It truly was a cultural immersion for both the international and Balinese students and the start of real friendships.
Every morning we were woken up early to go with the Balinese students to pray, so that we would know what to do when we visited the temple later on in the week.
Over the course of my time in Bali, we joined various environmental projects that the Biosphere Foundation was working on, such as: clearing rubbish around the mangroves, looking at the work that the foundation was doing to protect the coral reefs, planting endemic species of trees which are becoming more and more rare in Bali, and removing invasive species, as well as working with local farmers to try and implement more efficient irrigation systems to try and combat draught, which is becoming an ever increasing problem on the island. Each day we were able to travel a very short distance to visit a new biome thanks to Bali’s rich biodiversity. Whenever we came back from a project, in the evening we would have a presentation, from either our guide Nono or Sierra from the Biosphere Foundation, to give us a broader understanding of the problems that faced that specific biomes and how the work of charities like the Biosphere Foundation were helping to improve the situation.
I think that clearing the rubbish from the mangroves had a very big impact upon the Balinese students because it demonstrated the direct effects of throwing out plastic waste. There is no government operated rubbish collection available in Bali, so much of the rubbish is thrown on the side of the road and is carried down to the water during floods in the rainy season. I think this made the Balinese students consider whether their rubbish ended up, and it was a very visual reminder for us of the importance of the mangroves acting as a ‘natural filter’ and barrier, protecting the land from erosion and the sea from plastic waste.
The Biosphere Foundation works with farmers in various regions of Bali to try and resolve issues of water shortage in the dry season and flooding in the rainy season. As the programme took place at the end of the rainy season, during the time we were there, we worked with farmers in preparation for the dry season. So as to carry out their experiments, the charity uses a small sample area of a farmer’s land. Whilst we were there, we experimented with inter-planting of crops, using sorghum (a grain) and cucumber seeds, which we hoped would grow well with one another because sorghum uses relatively little water and grows tall and straight which we thought would act as a support for the growing of the cucumber, which uses more water.
One of my favourite experiences during the trip was visiting the various coral reefs which surround Bali, despite the fact that a tragically large percentage of the coral had died or been bleached, we were still able to visit and help protect some of the most amazing and diverse coral reefs in the world. The fact that we visited these incredible biomes with people who were truly interested, knowledgeable and passionate about protecting them, made the whole experience even more special, because we learnt so much.
I am so glad that I had the opportunity to go to Bali and join this programme. I have feel that I have come away with a greater environmental knowledge and consciousness, as well as experienced an otherwise impossible cultural immersion which has taught me so much and made me consider the way that I act in my day to day life.

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Fumika
Female
21 years old
Singapore

4 years ago, yet still very memorable

10/10

Biosphere Stewardship Program was one of my best memories I've made in High School. Bali Barat National Park, and the surrounding coral reefs and mangroves were the most beautiful sites I've ever seen. From chilly midnight chats with my friends, to bumpy boat rides across the crystal clear oceans, the memories I've made here are endless.

The program was very organised, and it allowed us to get an insight to the various sites of Bali, and the conservation work that goes on. It not only exposed us to the natural beauty of Bali, but also showed us the cultural sides, which gave us a glimpse into their local cuisine and dance performances. The staff were very supportive and their passion for conservation shone through.

The diversity of participants in this program was also a great feature of this program. There were students from California, Hawaii, Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia, including students from the local communities, and I enjoyed hearing all of their stories.

If you appreciate the natural beauty of this world, you must go on this program to see how beautiful Bali is. I highly recommend it!

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Kimheang
Female
20 years old
Cambodia

The opportunity to get our hands on and not just talk about it

10/10

I was very lucky to spend 10 days of my summer in 2015 being involved in The International Biosphere Stewardship Program. I have learned a lot about the environment around us, Balinese cultures and got to made long-last friendships with people I met.

Everyday we learned about different part of our ecosystem or the biosphere that we live in. We didn't just sit in class to learn the theoretical part about it but we went outside to actually see it, try to preserve it and work with the community to spread the awareness about how important it is. I remember, the first day we arrived in the evening, I was one of the only two international participants there. The rest of the students there were Balinese. We smiled and introduced our names but couldn't say much more. The language barrier was present but it didn't stop us from trying to communicate and understand each others. After a few days, we all grew very close. We took care of each other's safety and well-being. A few of us got sick during the program, even our head leader Sierra but we gave each others positivity to get through it and make the best out of the opportunity.

The other international participant/student who was there was from Hawaii. She came with her teacher, who only stayed with use for the first few days. They brought such rich cultures of the other side of the world that I didn't know much about at all. They brought songs, dances and taught to all of us very gracefully. By the end of the week, we all could perform 2-3 Hawaiian songs. Those songs and their cultures that we got to learn relate very much to nature. They were about mountains, rivers and everything around us. Those songs really got us to appreciate our biosphere and stand up to take care of it.

These are only a few stories our of very many from this 10 days program. Some other highlights that I want to share are the environment that we lived in during that. We had a place in the middle of the jungle, which is about 5 hours drive of Bali city areas. The drive there was beautiful with the best and most kind driver, Ketut! We lived with nature and wild lives, deers and monkeys. Living in Singapore for 4 years, I really appreciated the nature that was around us. Even in Cambodia, where I am from, not many of the forests are still there. I was very lucky to be there. The food was amazing, best Balinese food I have ever had! 10 days of food heaven! The activities we go to do taught us about many difference parts of our ecosystem such as: monsoon forest, coral reefs, mangroves and many others. The people were the best, Sierra, Nono, Jake and Kate took the best care of us and we took the best care of each others. My Balinese friends and Hawaiian sister are long-last friends, we still exchange stories till now.

In summery, I have learned so much that I couldn't imagine I could in 10 days. I got inspired by people I met about their stories, cultures and informations about our planet. After that 10 days, it woke me up from "I'll worry about that" later world to "we have to act now" world and I know we can make changes after being shown how. The International Biosphere Stewardship Program gave me the push and showed me the ways to make small changes that we all can, to help our mother earth.

Thank you everyone! Let's make those impacts together! And you, the one who is reading can have the same or better experience, just apply! We need more people to start caring about this world in the right ways!

How can this program be improved?

Have a place where alumni still keep in touch and work together with different initiatives would be great!

Default avatar
Annaleena
Female
18 years old
Tallinn
Other

Changing the world starts with simple acts

10/10

A week in Bali Barat National Park in a nature camp organized by Biosphere Youth Stewardship program was honestly the best time spent in my life. First of all, the location is amazing - coming from Estonia and studying in Singapore, I had never seen real mountains or monsoon forest before. I arrived to Bali and the nicest driver Ketut drove us to the national park via routes that go up and down in mountains, between lakes and little villages. It was really interesting and beautiful! And of course the base camp in Bali Barat - wild deer and monkeys in the forest, mangroves and ocean seen from the window, wildlife around us - made the experience even more special. For me, the best part were the people. It was a privilege to learn about Balinese culture, food, dance, language and traditions from the local students who quickly became friends. We had local Indonesian food every meal, the girls told and showed me about traditional Balinese dances and I also had an opportunity to learn that by myself. When we felt like eating coconut, one girl invited us to her farm that is nearby and we just climbed a tree and took fresh coconuts! Also, we visited a local market where our friends told us everything about Balinese fruits and food ingredients. It was unique to learn about Balinese religion by praying with the friends every morning and visiting the temple. I had a chance to learn few words in Balinese and Bahasa from the local students. I still often think about the friends I met during the time in Bali Barat, their enthusiasm and creative thinking inspired me a lot!
Yet, as a nature enthusiast, the most memorable and valuable part during this program was education about ecosystems and everything that our teachers Nono, Sierra, Jake or local people taught us. When we wanted to see corals after having a lesson about the importance of corals in world, they took us to snorkel around Menjangan island, when we listened about life inside the Biosphere 2, we had an opportunity to visit Biosphere Foundation boat Mir and meet with two other inspiring people who have been part of Biosphere 2 project. We learned about sustainable farming by helping a local farmer to plant the crops. We gained knowledge about recycling by making a bag out of used plastic with Nono. The opportunity to not just learn theory but actually to be outside and investigate the ecosystems by ourselves was eye opening. We had many different plays and debates about environmental questions where everyone had a chance to have a say.
Altogether, I am very grateful for the Biosphere Foundation by creating an opportunity for local and overseas students to learn about our world and nature and understand how little changes like switching off the lights or using fabric bags help to protect the Earth and animals by coming together and sharing the same experience.

About The Provider

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Our goal is to inspire intelligent use of the earth’s natural resources and empower individuals to become leaders in biosphere stewardship.

We collaborate with island communities to find sustainable solutions to the environmental challenges facing our oceans, reefs, forests, and rivers.

We see humans as

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