A number of study abroad programs now include community-based service-learning courses or internship placements with non-profits and NGO’s. Such opportunities can provide valuable understanding about global issues and insight into communities and cultures that may be quite different from your own. It is important, however, to consider a number of factors to assure that your experiences benefit the community, as well as you and your education. Service-learning experiences, whether at home or abroad, should meet certain best-practice guidelines that consider issues such as power and privilege, community voice, and reciprocity.
Global service-learning (credit-bearing) vs. volunteering (non-credit) can be found in a number of study abroad programs. For those seeking a full service-learning experience, the International Programs Office and CESL are working closely to identify strong, sustainable programs.
For more information on service-learning abroad, please visit IPO to register and plan, early in your process.
Some Service-Learning Abroad opportunities also meet requirements for the UMass Civic Engagement & Public Service Certificate.