Global IMPACT: A Service-Learning Course for Semester at Sea

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

Linda Gobbo


Semester at Sea is a global, comparative third-party study abroad program for undergraduate students. This multi-site program affords students a unique opportunity to rapidly shift their worldview over the course of a semester. At its core, Semester at Sea promotes itself a facilitator of meaningful engagement in the global community through hands-on field experiences and interdisciplinary coursework. International service-learning is increasingly recognized as a high-impact, experiential teaching pedagogy that concurrently promotes civic engagement. Thus, this proposal suggests that Semester at Sea would benefit from adopting a more rigorous, sustainable service-learning curriculum via a 1-credit elective course called Global IMPACT. This course would appeal to a new cohort of IMPACT scholars who are recognized for their outstanding commitment to service. The course aims to maximize trends showing a growing interest in service opportunities amongst U.S. undergraduate students. It will meanwhile tackle perceptions of volunteer tourism in the current model of Semester at Sea service trip delivery. Students will explore the basic principles of service-learning and global citizenship. Reflection activities will be central to learning outcomes in this largely discussion-based course. Students will be empowered to steer their own learning journey while completing a requisite number of service visits to instill in them a personal philosophy of social justice and global engagement.


Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Education | International and Comparative Education | Service Learning

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