Community service is considered an integral part of the academic program at AIA starting from childhood. Serving the community and the environment is constantly incorporated into the Learning Units in all subjects. Community service provides opportunities for students to think about their own values and actions, to understand the connection between their lives and their environment, and to develop a sense of civic duty. It also encourages students to evaluate their commitment to helping others particularly those most in need. All IB programs have community service components and for a student to obtain the IB Diploma, he/ she must serve the community for a certain number of hours.
Community service can take several forms but it has to be meaningful in the sense that it meets a real need in the community and that it has a clear and long-term impact. It is recommended that students get involved in different types of service such as:
- Direct service: Students interact directly with people or with the environment to perform acts of service such as spending time reading or doing activities with special needs children or the elderly, or cleaning part of a natural reserve.
- Indirect service: Students perform acts of service in a manner that does not entail interacting directly with the beneficiaries of the service but they can verify that the service will benefit the community or the environment. An example for such a service is to design a website for a non-profit organization.
- Advocacy: Students defend a cause or issue to encourage public engagement or raise awareness. Organizing a campaign against smoking is an example of advocacy work that can be performed by students
- Research: Students collect information and analyze them on a certain topic to help influence policies and decisions. An example of research-based service is to carry out a social survey about the effects unemployment.