First Advisor

Marla Solomon


The purpose of this paper is to contribute to information on cross-cultural competencies developed in the community service learning environment. This information can be used by organizations that are working with service learning programs and by exchange programs that are looking to develop a more cross-culturally competent participant.

This paper evaluates the experience of one of the five Up With People groups during their eleven month tour. It will discuss what Up With People students are learning about cultures and themselves through the community service experiences. Current theoretical models regarding cross-cultural adaptation and learning and service-learning are cited in this paper. Overlapping competencies surrounding cross-cultural understanding and service-learning are used to identify the points of cross-cultural understanding occurrences in the Up With People student during the community service experience. Occurrences of cross-cultural understanding were noted in areas of attitude, skill and knowledge development. The research methodology used included written evaluations, journal entries and interviews. Data was analyzed for themes, indicators of cross-cultural development, and relationships between the service situation and the cross cultural learning.

The findings in this research conclude that the service-learning activities do have an impact on the cross-cultural understanding of the Up With People students. Students are developing their cross-cultural understanding in the areas of skill, attitude, and knowledge through the community service experience. Detailed result of the research and suggested follow-up questions are presented.


International and Comparative Education | International and Intercultural Communication