Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and for many Muslims a month of fasting during the day time hours. As the entire IBO 2013 was taking place during Ramadan, all guests were asked during online registration to indicate whether they will observe Ramadan and if so, to submit their precise fasting times as these may vary. Special dinners and breakfasts were organized for all 11 persons (including one volunteer) that registered, with breakfast being ready before sunrise (provided in the evening of the previous day) and dinner being served after sunset.
Beverages / Water
Switzerland is known as the water tower of Europe, and furthermore, Bern is known as the “City of Fountains”. To reflect this fact, all participants were offered a reusable bottle and were informed that all tap water and almost all water from fountains (except otherwise indicated) in Switzerland are of high quality and can be drunk without concern. All guests were kindly asked to refill their bottles and hence to help reduce the amount spent on pricey and mostly equal (in terms of quality, taste and mineral content) bottled water. Information on tap water was available on the website, in the program booklet and in one edition of the IBO newsletter mIBO. Additionally, all guides were instructed to remind especially the students to fill their water bottle every morning before leaving their hotel and to promote the use of tap water.
For students, alcoholic beverages were forbidden throughout the week with exception of the gala dinner after the closing ceremony. There, consumption was left to the responsibility of the participants and their accompanying jury members.
Jury members were free to consume alcohol at their own discretion. Alcoholic beverages were only offered during the reception in the Natural History Museum of the Burgergemeinde Bern on Tuesday, July 16 as well as during the gala dinner on Saturday, July 20. As mentioned before, no alcohol was used in the preparation of any dishes for neither jury nor students.
5. 4. 4 Transport Every host of an IBO has to organize and finance all program related transports for all guests, including the transfers to and from the train station and / or airport of the city the IBO is held in (see IBO Rules and Guidelines for the host country). As the local, though international, Bern-Belp Airport offers only a limited numbers of flight to mainly European destinations, the organizers decided to extend the shuttle services to Switzerland’s biggest airport in Zurich. These shuttles on July 14 and 21 were free of charge for all guests. During the week, IBO transfers were carried out either by hired busses, public transport or wherever acceptable, on foot. The transport system received high marks in the evaluation by both students and jury members (over 90% very positive), a good result also related to the use of public transport system.
Pick-up service to the IBO registration site in Bern was offered from three locations on July 14: from Bern-Belp and Zurich Airport as well as the Bern main train station. In addition, guests were free to reach the registration site on their own. All delegations were asked to 44 | finalreportIBO