Title

Student perceptions of the benefits of service-learning and study abroad opportunities in Australia and New Zealand

Publication Date

1-1-2003

Degree Name

MA in International and Intercultural Management

First Advisor

Richard Rodman

Abstract

This study examines the benefits and problems associated with adding service-learning opportunities to current study abroad programs in Australia and New Zealand. This study was conducted as a preliminary market research study in order to examine two issues: whether or not U.S. students would be more attracted to study abroad programs that have service-learning opportunities, and what benefits would students derive from service-learning opportunities. In addition to these questions, the students in this study were asked to provide their definitions of service learning for the purpose of helping AustraLearn further define its marketing strategy for service-learning programs. The research presents a study of current literature on service-learning opportunities and a case study of 181 students in the AustraLearn program. AustraLearn is a nonprofit study abroad organization specializing in direct-enrollment study abroad programs at universities in Australia and New Zealand. The study examined definitions of service learning, student interest in service learning, and the benefits gained from participation in service-learning programs. The study is intended to serve as a model for designing, promoting, and adding service-learning opportunities to existing study abroad programs. The research found that while students appeared to be interested in service-learning opportunities, they lacked an awareness of what service-learning opportunities really are. This research can be used to assess the value of adding service-learning opportunities to study abroad programs and also to provide useful information in the development of marketing strategies for service-learning programs.

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