Publication Date

Spring 5-11-2016

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Alla Korzh

Abstract

Service-learning has become a highly popular approach to increasing experiential learning, expanding study abroad, and supporting the trend in the internationalization of higher education. There are many challenges arising around the use of service-learning in international study abroad contexts. There is no agreed upon definition of service-learning, which makes it difficult to distinguish it from other forms of international education, volunteerism, community service or charity.

International service-learning by its very nature takes place in fragile communities and with people who need assistance or service, due mostly to poverty. There is limited research and assessment of how international service-learning programs impact local communities. Many of these programs lack insight into the ethical, economic, personal, and social negative effects that service-learning has on the population they are meant to serve.

The remodeled Semester at Sea IMPACT Scholarship Program has been designed to encourage awardees to reflect on their own personal experiences while fostering an expanded awareness of cultural respect, proper conduct in fragile environments, and an understanding of the service-learning spectrum. The IMPACT Scholarship Program puts the power into the students’ hands to decide what social challenges they want to focus their learning on. It assists Semester at Sea participants to inquire and reflect on personal motivations for participating in these types of programs, and possible positive and negative outcomes.

Disciplines

Curriculum and Instruction | Educational Leadership | International and Comparative Education | Scholarship of Teaching and Learning