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Service learning

WHAT IS SERVICE-LEARNING?

Service-learning is a unique combination of study abroad and community-based volunteer work where participants immerse themselves into the local community while developing professional and personal skills. At its core, service learning focuses on the local community and its  needs. Thus, service learning programs are adaptable to the local community’s settings as well as participants’ backgrounds.

What makes Service-Learning different from Volunteer? It’s the “learning” part. Upon working locally and reflecting from experiences in a structured format, participants gain an understanding of the local community, the social issues it faces and find approaches to resolve these issuess.

Why Service-Learning with ABROADER?

  • Local community as program co-designer. As local ourselves, ABROADER works with local organizations to make sure the programs fit their needs, available resources/assets and cultures.
  • Immerse in the local community to understand local context and solve local problems, which later on would contribute to your deeper and more global understanding of international issues.
  • Opportunities to gain hands-on experiences and new skills, including but not limited to intercultural communication, leadership and teamwork.
  • Customized structured coaching and reflection sessions led by local Vietnamese experts in the field of community development and social work to support your personal and professional growth.

Service-Learning: What can I do?

At ABROADER, we match your interests and skills together with the local community’s needs to design the most suitable program. The result is a service learning program where you contribute real benefits to the local community, leveraging their capabilities and interests.Our two key factors to determine your ideal service-learning programs include:

  • Local community’s needs - for example: employment for people with disabilities, education for disadvantaged kids, healthcare for immigrant workers. Ideally you should work for a local community whose needs resonate with your interests.

  • Your interests, skills and backgrounds.

In short, service-learning programs are highly customized. The result is a program where participants contribute real benefits to the local community using their capacities and interests.

Curious to see what it’s like to participate in service-learning programs? Here are some of our past projects:

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These projects are all part of the Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI), an award-winning service-learning study abroad program under the Global Learning Office (GLO), Buffett Institute for Global Affairs, Northwestern University (USA) which offers credit-bearing study abroad, exchange, research, and academic internship opportunities in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Ghana, Guatemala, Uganda and Vietnam that prepare Northwestern undergraduate students for success in today’s interconnected world.

Interested to be part of a service learning program? Get in touch for more info
Visit our Reviews page for more Stories of Past Students

The placement I received was great. ABROADER Vietnam has helped me the whole way! I would recommend this program if they are looking to go somewhere completely different and cool!

Cole McDougall

Optometry Internship ,South Dakota State University, USA

My experience was very unique in the sense that it was first virtual internship. I was not expecting to have one so I was little sad at first but in the end it was really fun and educational experience. Even though it was virtual, I was engaging with local buddies at Vietnam all the time as if we were friends for the longest time and learning and talking about Vietnamese culture every week. We also had some good events amongst ourselves which I will cherish for a long time. The company I worked at was also great. The supervisor was helpful and communicative for the most time. I learned so much working wise also. What was the most surprising thing you saw or did? Singing happy birthday song in Vietnam was definitely one of things I was not expecting to do!

Jae Joon

Business Assistant Remote Internship ,Princeton University

Being in Vietnam is the best experience in my life so far!!! I cannot believe 6 weeks have actually gone by. I love my internship at Siten. People in the company are really helpful and understanding. They are like a family. Like when I was sick and asked for a morning off, they told me to stay at home for the afternoon so that I can truly feel better. My Thuan – my supervisor has taught me so much. He actually encouraged me to go explore Vietnam – so different from other leaders I know. He let me do what I want to do. The largest problem was the language barrier but we managed to communicate with each other quite well. They said I inspire them to learn English. So yeah, everything is pretty perfect. The best experience in my life so far! At Siten I worked on a project for learning English in which I helped develop the website and prototyped games. The staff also me HTML which I really enjoyed learning. Besides going to work, I spent all of my weekend travel to new places like Sapa, Hoian, Danang, Ha Long Bay. I met with so many nice people who are so friendly and they really want you to immerse into the culture. If there is one thing I feel that I have grown, it must be my ability to talk with people, to be more open towards anything. Before coming here I knew pretty much nothing about Vietnam. Still I managed to live here and was actually never lonely my whole time being in Vietnam. I am glad that I came here. I cannot believe I am gonna leave this place so soon. Thank you all so much!

Zareen Fazleabas

IT Internship ,Pennsylvania State University, USA

The study tour was a fantastic program full of cultural and fun experiences in both Vietnam and Singapore. Before the trip both of these places had been on my travel list, so when the opportunity for this trip came up I couldn't say no and I'm so glad that I did it. The buddies, the people I travelled with and the organisers made the trip even better. Industries in both countries were super helpful and our visits to these factories was one of the highlights. Networking with these companies, the food, cultural exposure, the people and the organisers made it a beautiful way to study our university course!! The most unfamiliar food that I tried was definitely chicken feet! Sugar cane drinks were also unusual but they tasted awesome! Thank you!!!!

Jared Haysman

Electrical Engineering and Computing Study Tour ,University of Newcastle, Australia

Doing a big trip like this will make you learn about yourself whether you realize it or not. Being in the culture that is so different from what you are used to will really make you think about the world as a whole. My favorite part was meeting new people and getting to know their background and future exciting plans. THANK YOU SO MUCH! The program was busy, yet still had the right amount of freedom. I enjoyed all activities and had an AMAZING time in Vietnam!

Victoria Dusseau

Let's Vietnam 2016 Faculty-led Program ,University of Findlay, USA

My internship in Vietnam with ABROADER was a life changing experience. I was a marketing intern at a travel company in Hanoi and now work for the same company as a full time employee. Being in Vietnam has taught me so much about different people and cultures, as there are many other foreigners working here as well from all over the world. My internship coordinator at ABROADER was so helpful, and was a huge support for me whenever I needed it. I would definitely recommend ABROADER if you are looking to do an internship here. They really cater to your needs and care about what you want and are looking for.

Lillian Sarah Grant

Marketing & Communication Specialist Internship ,University of Massachusetts Amherst, USA

I enjoyed the time in Ho Chi Minh city. The experience was much better than I expected. I came with an open mind to face anything, but everything was smooth and easy. The host organisation is satisfying. They tried their best to help me learn. It was satisfying. I would do this again if I get the chance. The abroader staff was really friendly and they prepared everything for me before I landed in Vietnam. So I did not have to worry about anything. I am satisfied with the program and I would recommend this program 100%.

Dan Fernando

Trainer & Communication Internship ,Deakin University, Australia

I would highly recommend this internship with ABROADER for my friends or anyone who is interested in doing an IT internship in Vietnam. My IT Internship was done at Global Cybersoft in Ho Chi Minh City, Global CyberSoft (GCS) is a leading global IT solutions provider founded in California. With extensive experiences and rich expertise, GCS poses as a major IT pioneer and trusted partner in Vietnam. The first team I was with (Business Analysis Team) went out of their way to give me responsibilities that challenged me to learn, and provided help for me to learn how to do these tasks, I felt my work on the Business Analysis team was important, and I made a significant contribution as an intern. Next, I was moved to programming team which I felt I did not have as much training compared to the first one. Given that the company was not used to having an intern like me, they did a good job giving me responsibilities that would help me learn. My supervisor was the local team manager and he helped me a lot during work and cared about my well-being. Among many concerns one has when deciding to do an internship, for me, the most important part was having as much help as possible getting into contact with prospective companies, and further set up with a bank account, etc. and felt very satisfied with the services provided by ABROADER concerning these procedures. The most helpful improvement would have been a more timely completion of all the steps so that there is the largest choice of companies to choose from, and one can prepare as soon as possible.

David Mechael Duplantier

IT Internship ,University of California, San Diego, USA

The local buddies were amazing!! Such a wonderful experience!! I would recommend to everyone, even if you don’t know anyone else. Was such a great time meeting new people and exploring a culture that was so welcoming. Due to the local buddies we got to experience the local side of Vietnam and all the places the average tourist won’t get to see. I also know my class mates at lot better. I have made connections with industry professionals that will stay with me after I graduate. Loved it!!!!!!!!!!

Baillie Wheatly

Electrical Engineering and Computing Study Tour ,University of Newcastle, Australia

I had a blast with the remote internship with ABROADER. The cultural sessions were exciting and informative of the way of life in Vietnam. What made this unique for me was the staffs engagement with me and the other students. I liked getting to talk about the differences in cultures and similarities. The staff was always excited to see me and liked talking about my interests as well. I really liked the food cultural sessions and the opportunity to make Vietnamese food in my own home. I think any future participant would like this program if they wanted something outside their comfort zone. It was an entirely different world from the US to Vietnam and I enjoyed every second of it. What was your funniest moment? The funniest moment was when I was caught laughing at a video during a cultural meeting. The video was a music video and had hilarious content and I got called out because the host of the meeting saw me laughing. I thought this was not just funny because the video but also because the hosts were glad I was enjoying the cultural session.

Marshall Keller

Business Assistant Remote Internship ,Princeton University