Title

International service-learning and community involvement for U.S. institutions of higher education

Publication Date

1-1-2002

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Linda Gobbo

Abstract

International service-learning is an experiential methodology that combines principles of study abroad with those of service-learning. While there has been some research conducted regarding the impact of international service-learning on students, there had not been any significant data collected regarding international service-learning and communities abroad. This study presents results from a survey involving service-learning administrators, study abroad professionals, and university faculty who lead service-learning projects abroad. These professionals were asked to complete an online questionnaire regarding how the local communities abroad were involved with the various stages of the international service project and to what extent. Data analysis revealed that partnership was the primary means of working with communities abroad, although with whom a university partnered varied. Additionally, results indicated that communities abroad appeared to be significantly involved in the planning and implementation stages, but not in the evaluation phase. Assessment of community impact appears to be a weak point for international service-learning, with student outcomes often becoming confused with community development indicators. Analysis of the survey and relevant documents were integrated to reach conclusions regarding what needs to be considered within the international service-learning discipline to increase community involvement and potentially increase community impact.

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