The Experienced Volunteer: Creating a Volunteer Abroad Program for Retired Adults


ProWorld Service Corps is a not-for-profit sustainable development organization that provides semester abroad, customized academic group programs, and individual internships. At the core of every program is a community-based project created in collaboration with host communities and the participants. All ProWorld program sites are committed to the sustainable development of local communities and to the cultural immersion and the experience for the participants.

Historically, most abroad experiences have been limited to the college-age population. ProWorld aims to create a program that reaches another market segment: the retired adult population. Today’s retirees are living longer, are healthier and more affluent than ever before. They are looking for opportunities to volunteer and to travel. ProWorld would like to attract this particular population for three reasons: to increase participant volume, to create balance between the high and low season, and to utilize the valuable skill set that exists within the retired adult population. This rationale is the foundation for this Course-Linked Capstone, titled The Experienced Volunteer.

The core of the Experienced Volunteer program is engaging volunteers in one of ProWorld’s many service projects. In addition, the program also includes Spanish language courses, weekend excursions, and weekly discussions on current issues that face the local population and cultural topics. The program is specially designed with the theories of life-long learning, andragogy, intercultural competences and international service-learning in consideration, thereby consisting of a unique and new program offering tailored to the needs of the retired adult population. The Experienced Volunteer program is a 2-12 week adult learning and cultural immersion program engaging in sustainable community development projects.


International and Comparative Education

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