Office of Service-Learning
Study Away/Abroad Engagement Experiences Overview
|International Service Organizations||Service/Volunteer Opportunities||Funding Opportunities|
|Alternative Break Immersion Trips||Volunteer Resources||United Way Americorps|
STUDY AWAY/ABROAD ENGAGEMENT EXPERIENCES:
What Are They?
Study Away/Abroad Engagement Experiences immerse students in other cultures for one to three weeks, where they earn credit hours while living and working with people from another culture. These experiences challenge participants to engage with their own ideas of personal and social responsibility. In the South Bronx in New York City and in the Navajo Nation in the American Southwest, participants come face to face with the ideas and lifestyles of people from different cultures and backgrounds. Through dialogue, volunteer opportunities, and a variety of experiences throughout the communities in which they are immersed, students learn about themselves, their communities, and ways individuals can act together to make a difference in their communities.
Participants study the entrenched social problems that these cultures face through direct experience, visiting and volunteering at a variety of culturally-significant locations throughout the community.
- In the South Bronx Engagement Experience, participants explore how segregation and economic inequalities led to poverty in the South Bronx that persists today. Through service-learning opportunities throughout the Bronx, participants discover how community members are addressing issues in their communities.
- In the Navajo Reservation Engagement Experience, participants explore how American policies wrought lasting damage on the traditional Navajo way of life. In dialogue with Navajo hosts and through participation in Navajo cultural presentations, participants learn about contemporary Navajo lifestyles.
Participants explore the root causes of inequality in these communities, as well as ways community members are trying to address these problems. In these unfamiliar environments, participants are challenged to come to a better understanding of themselves and their own communities. In dialogue with community members and other participants, participants build intercultural skills, address their own assumptions, and build relationships. Reflection activities encourage critical thinking about values in differing communities, and about how those values are put into action. Engagement experiences foster common purpose among participants: spreading cultural awareness, promoting social change, and creating community.