Duke of Edinburgh's
International Award

The International Award (IA) is an exciting and prestigious, self-development programme available to all young people worldwide, equipping them with life skills to make a difference within themselves, their communities and their world. To date almost 5 million young people from over 110 countries have been motivated to undertake a variety of voluntary and challenging activities.

The IA is flexible and can be done by anyone aged 14–24 in his or her own time. Mental or physical ability or social circumstances should never be a barrier. Moreover, the individual chooses what activities to do depending on his or her interests and resources. The IA is an opportunity for all participants from any walk of life and any ability level.


There are 3 levels of the award in which one can participate: Bronze, Silver and Gold, with each successive level demanding increased participation time and commitment. You do not have to start at the Bronze level. If you are over 15 you can join directly at the Silver level or if you are over 16, directly at Gold.

Minimum Age: 16
Length of Participation: 18 months

Minimum Age: 15
Length of Participation: 12 months

Minimum Age: 14
Length of Participation: 6 months


To encourage a sense of responsibility to the community. This section emphasises the regular giving of time or effort towards a service:

  • Community service projects
  • Conservation work and animal shelters
  • Voluntary service in hospitals or community homes
  • More specialised training such as lifesaving, first aid or rescue services

This section is covered by most of the clubs and societies offered at MNS-R.

To encourage the development of personal interests and learn practical skills. There are over 200 hobby and vocational skills from which you can choose, such as:

  • photography
  • magic tricks
  • programming
  • cacti growing
  • magazine production
  • dancing
  • cooking/baking
  • learning a new language
  • metal work.
  • The list is huge.

Many skills chosen will be unique to participants but the staff at MNS-R is incredibly diverse in their own talents and can provide the mentorship needed.

To encourage improved performance and physical fitness, participants are required to take part in some form of organised physical recreation and show individual progress. Most team and individual sports are included, such as:

  • football
  • athletics
  • archery
  • swimming
  • canoeing

The list of things that make you sweat is endless, depending on what appeals to you.
This section is covered largely by the sport clubs offered by MNS-R.

The AJ is the highlight of the award and is designed to cultivate a spirit of adventure and discovery; an understanding of the environment, and the importance of working together in a team with a common purpose. This is where participants truly learn their capabilities and strong bonds of friendship are forged.

The AJ may be by foot, bicycle, sailboat or horseback (or camel) – any non-motorized method of travel. Weekly training and preparation, self-sufficiency, self-reliance and the exploration of new surroundings are the key elements.

If you are feeling particularly adventurous then the AJ could be fulfilled overseas, perhaps on an organised exchange with an award group from another country.

Weekly, compulsory training sessions are provided by MNS-R to train the participants for the AJ.

For Gold level only.
Intended to broaden your experience through living and working with others (who are not your everyday companions) over a period of five consecutive days.

How to enrol

Students wishing to take part in the Bronze Award must be within 3 months of turning 14 when the program begins. The program at MNS-R begins in September and culminates with the AJ in March. New students entering MNS-R can enrol at the start of the academic year in September.

Students wishing to participate in the Silver Award will have to have completed the Bronze Award if they attended MNS-R in Year 10. Direct entry into the Silver Award may be available for Year 11 and 12 students only.

There is also the possibility for direct entry into the Gold Award. This is only eligible to students in Year 12. Enrolment forms for the IA can be downloaded here.

*Multinational School – Riyadh is an Independent Award Centre (IAC). It provides only the training for the Adventurous Journey and helps facilitate the requirements needed in the Skills, Service and Physical Recreation sections. MNS-R does not supply any kit or equipment needed for any of the four sections required by the International Award. Any costs for registration with the International Award Association and school, as well as equipment are the responsibility of the participants.
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