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?
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:
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.
Nguyen Chau Bao
Climate Change Internship ,The College of Wooster, USA
International Relation Internship ,Tulane University, USA
Great internship in Vietnam! I recommend Westerners to go there at least one time to see things differently. ABROADER is very helpful (even if there is only women here haha) and found me a very decent internship. Time flies very fast, so you know what to do if you like the heat and cheep beers. À bientôt Vietnam!
Environment Internship ,Polytech Montpellier, France
Optometry Internship ,South Dakota State University, USA
Nursing Internship ,FH Campus Wien, Austria
Education Internship ,Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan
Surgical Internship ,University of Oregon, USA
Nursing Internship ,University of Plymouth, England
Vietnam, from my experience, is a very work-oriented and relationship-oriented country. You must come prepared to work a lot, learn a lot, and you absolutely must not try to apply the logic or expectation that you would have in the West. This will do little to nothing to help you and will hinder your ability to learn. Come here with the mindset of a student, not an authoritative figure. There is much to learn in Vietnam that will be very valuable to you wherever you work or live, and it is important that you come to Vietnam with an open and unexpecting mind, so that when you go home you will have been able to learn, enjoy and apply your experiences to your future in a positive way. Come to Vietnam with the ability to motivate and add value to people’s lives. Set an example for people, and remember that you are at all times representing you country, university and culture, so make an impression that will stand out as a positive one. Make friends as much as possible and when you can try to study the language as much as possible, even if it is just the language that relates to your job. Doing these two basic things will make living and working here quite enjoyable.
Hospitality & Tourism Internship ,University of Oregon, USA
Overall the people have exceeded my expectations, and they are really what’s going to help make my experience in Vietnam a great one. I’ve always loved leaving my country (the US) and having new experience, so I wanted to do an internship abroad. Having already spent a semester in Europe, I wanted something really different. My mom was born in Saigon and lived there before coming to the United States with her family. So I felt like a good way to get in touch with my culture and my roots would be to spend three months living and working in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In my internship in Vietnam, I have helped with various marketing efforts by giving ideas or designing things. I have learned that, of course, there is a different way of doing business here compared to the United States. Things are run differently, there’s a different office culture, there are just always many cultural differences to keep in mind when doing business in a different country, and Vietnam has not been an exception. The people ABROADER have set me up with have been beyond wonderful. Coming to Vietnam on my own seemed very daunting and intimidating, but ABROADER has helped make the transition smooth and seamless. They helped take care of everything I would need during my time here and have gone above and beyond to assure that things continue to go smoothly. I am very appreciative of their support, and it makes the whole thing a little less scary. My local buddies have been so helpful for everything, and I really feel like they are becoming genuine friends. I am generally pretty shy, so it was nice to have friends before even arriving to help introduce me to more people and get me out there. Overall the people have exceeded my expectations, and they are really what’s going to help make my experience in Vietnam a great one.
Natasha Nguyen Mohney
Marketing Internship ,Indiana University, Bloomington, USA