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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

What a trip! From day one right until the finish every day was something new. Facilitated by the local buddies and our dedicated, hard-working Program Coordinator Duy, our experience abroad was invaluable and allowed us to experience Vietnam and its culture in a way that would have definitely been impossible without them. Industry visits were super interesting and something which never occurs when studying courses 'traditionally'. These definitely gave me an insight into how and where I might be applying my trade upon graduation. Overall the trip was quite affordable too, especially considering we were away for a whole month. This was an unforgettable experience and I would recommend this type of program to anyone for which it is available.

Timothy Chen

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

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

The whole experience of doing internship in Vietnam, living and meeting the people in this beautiful country will be a memory I’ll always remember. My host organization was ABROADER Vietnam. For the most part, I was clear about the responsibilities & rules expected to accomplish & follow during my filming and photography internship at the company. My supervisor and the program coordinator cared a lot about me, even when they didn’t pay attention to me, the only downfall was my skills on graphic design which I still need to improve to support my work in the company. My work was crucial at a marketing and branding level, which is the image of the company itself. If there is anything I wish to do that would make the internship in Vietnam perfect was that I could stay in Halong Bay one more day.

Miguel Fernando Del Moral

Filming and Photography Internship ,Relativity School, USA

The best thing about ABROADER Vietnam was being able to plan events with other interns and with local buddy. I depended on these events to originally get out of my shell in Vietnam while I was adjusting to the new language and culture. Especially with being able to offer perspective on Vietnamese culture with schooling, media/entertainment, government, and with great local attractions in Ho Chi Minh.

Patrick West

Environment Internship ,University of Notre Dame, USA

Everyone from the program coordinator to my local buddy was extremely supportive! The experience would not have been as great as it has been if I was by myself. I felt very satisfied with the service ABROADER Vietnam provided for my Nursing Internship in Vietnam at Ho Chi Minh Hopspital of Orthopedics and Rehabilitation. I was clear about the rules and expectations required of me during my placement. My supervisors instructed me and helped me with language translation and clarifications of responsibilities. With their help, I felt I was well equipped for the job I was assigned. I brought my equipment from home to the workplace and it provided great assistance for my work. During the internship in Vietnam, I was glad I was able to learn technical skills from the nurses from the hospital. They have all been very supportive, friendly, patient and open to my help. They trained me with techniques quite different from how it is occasionally done back home. I will definitely recommend this program to my colleagues!

Sandra Gomez Vega

Nursing Internship ,University of Texas Austin, USA

Working for the Cham Island MPA was a really good fit for me, I think they picked a good job. I also liked my city tour I had fun, and got to do so many things! Vietnamese people are very nice and the living environment is safe when I hang out with my Vietnamese local buddies. I also get lots of support from local buddies and become real friends in spite of different interests.

Isabella Taylor Sullivan

Environment Internship ,Portland State University, 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

No matter how much I fear working with a group, I realized, through my internship in Vietnam, that teamwork is key to success and you would be surprised how much opening your mind and listening to people’s opinions can get you far. Before the internship in Vietnam, I have always been interested in being a teacher of Japanese and this internship has made me realize how hard it can be teaching someone my own language but also how fun it can be. For anyone who are not used to working in groups, this program pushes you to, a lot of times, with your students, with your fellow interns and with your supervisor.

Yumi Kaneyama

Education Internship ,Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Japan

ABROADER, you have made my experience in Vietnam an incredible one!! For me, having a local buddy as a support system during my Social Work internship in Vietnam has been the most helpful. My work at CSAGA helped me understand social services from a Eastern Asian perspective, helped me acclimate to Vietnamese lifestyle, and understand the process that non-profits go through to obtain funding. ABROADER is always so supportive and has made me feel at home. Thank you so much and I encourage you all to keep changing lives and doing what you do.

Haley Perry

Social Work Internship ,University of Oregon, USA

My nursing internship at the Orthopedic & Rehabilitation Hospital is a treasure experience that I will never forget. Having always wanted to volunteer in Nursing in Asia, I took the opportunity and I am very glad I did. The Nursing Placement I had in Vietnam was exceptionally fulfilling, including the support from my Nurses, Coordinator and Local Buddy. All of whom made me feel very welcomed during the time I was here. The on-site support I received was brilliant, every query I had was answered promptly and professionally and the service was everything I could have asked for.

Sarah Heard

Nursing Internship ,University of Plymouth, England