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ABROADER SERVICE LEARNING

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

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. 

Service Learning: What it means for Educators?

Service learning offers a unique opportunity to provide your students with a structured environment where they can apply classroom knowledge in the real world in a meaningful way. The preparation and reflection proponents facilitate students’ learning and guide their work at the local community. Common goals achieved through service-learning programs include: a deeper grasp of the course/ curricular content, a nuanced understanding of the local communities and social issues and an enhanced sense of self-identity and civic responsibility.

Why service learning with ABROADER?

ABROADER works closely with educators like you during the entire process of designing and implementing a service-learning program in Vietnam for your students, including:

  • Preparation: Brainstorm the program from course materials, design program agenda to achieve learning objectives, identify local community’s needs and key stakeholders.

  • During program: Facilitate student’s work and planning process, conduct on-going evaluation of students’ work, facilitate on-going reflections.

  • After program: Facilitate assessment of local community, students and teaching objectives, conduct final evaluation of students’ work.

We endeavour to guarantee that throughout the whole process, issues like power and privilege, community voice, and reciprocity are taken into full consideration to make sure that every stakeholder is heard and included.

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Your students as the program participants are going to experience the following:

  • 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 students’ 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 students’ personal and professional growth

Service Learning: What can your students do?

At ABROADER, we match students’ interests and skills together with the local community’s needs to design the most suitable program. The result is a service learning program where participants contribute real benefits to the local community, leveraging their capabilities  and interests.

Our two key factors to determine your students’ 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 your students should work for a local community whose needs resonate with their interests.

  • Your students’ interests, skills and backgrounds

To have a more in-depth look at some of our past successful service-learning projects, check out the following blog posts:

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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 in designing a service-learning program for your students? 

 Contact us and express your interest here at partner@abroader.org

ABROADER is a valued partner for our four week Faculty-led study program in Vietnam. We have engaged ABROADER to facilitate the yearly program since 2016. What has made the program so successful and engaging for the students is the professionalism and extra effort made by the staff to ensure that the finest details of the program are meticulously planned. Their fastidious attention to detail is one of the distinguishing factors that sets them apart from other providers. ABROADER is easy to work with and always accommodating of any last minute program suggestions. ABROADER has an extensive industry network that they utilise to provide the students with industry tours relevant to their classroom work. They have well established links to a number of Vietnamese Universities and use them such that coordinated activities and learning experiences are shared between Vietnamese students and the students from Newcastle. ABROADER maintains a local buddy system which pairs Vietnamese students with Newcastle students hence providing an amazing insight into the Vietnamese people and culture. Students from Newcastle also appreciate the culture and volunteer days, not only as a break from their classroom studies, but as a learning experience as well as a chance to give a little back to Vietnam. ABROADER, you are providing a great service and have a well satisfied partner! 

James Welsh

Associate Professor, School of Electrical Engineering and Computing ,University of Newcastle, Australia

I thank you for your warm greetings ever since my first visit to Hanoi in 2015.  We mainly deal with study tours for Japanese university students, but it is not unusual for students to go abroad for the first time. In an environment where individualized care is required for such students, sincere support has always been provided. Also, seeing our students interact with local students and host families in English, which is not their native language, allows for communication from the heart, which extends beyond just language. That experience has led to their confidence, and this is always touching. All of this is thanks to the pre-training of local students and host families and your efforts as a team. As a result, every student has provided an excellent evaluation every year, which leads to new business for us. We hope that we will continue to grow together and continue to be good partners.

Yuko Takamochi

Corporate Sales Manager, Private Organization for Overseas Education ,Ryugaku Journal Inc., Japan

I would like to thank you for your leadership, guidance and support of our pre-service teachers on the recent Vietnam International Professional Experience. Your thorough planning, preparation and attention to detail, along with your outstanding leadership during this professional experience, ensured that it was a great success for all concerned. The experiences that you enabled our pre-service teachers to have, and the relationships that you have built with collaborating schools, are vital to the work of the Faculty Education at Monash University. Your wealth of knowledge and experience in support the organization of quality International Professional Experience for our students is highly appreciated and valued. I am sure that the experiences had by all participants in this practicum will remain with them for many years to come.

Dr. Rebecca Cooper

Senior Lecturer ,Monash University, Australia

My meaningful relationship with Lucy Nguyen goes back to 2014 when I served as a Fulbright Scholar in Hanoi, Vietnam. From that time, I have personally witnessed ABROADER’s stellar trajectory of growth and success. I knew from the moment I met Ms. Nguyen that she was deeply passionate about providing high-value opportunities for students both from outside Vietnam, and domestic. To that end, Lucy created an incredible three-week, highly immersive, multi-faceted learning experience for my College of Business students. We simply couldn’t have asked for more! My students were exposed to various locales in northern Vietnam, a home stay in Sapa, political/cultural/economic knowledge expert presentations, hands-on learning opportunities, a service project, and industry visits and tours…all interwoven with unique and powerful interactions with local student buddies. Ongoing relationships with these Vietnamese buddies have endured long past our parting. Ms. Nguyen covered all bases without a single hitch—spanning from visa procurement to our flight back to the states. Our program was uniquely developed based on my requests and desired outcomes—not retrofitted into some pre-existing travel package. She superbly well communicated with me prior to our departure, during our time in Vietnam, and after our departure. My students returned home enriched and forever changed by their experience. I cannot adequately express my great respect and sincere gratitude for all that Lucy Nguyen created and provided to my students, and to me.

LOUANN CUMMINGS

DM, MBA, CPA - Professor of Business ,Findlay University, United States

I fell in love in and with Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam all thanks to ABROADER! I was part of the Ohio University Global Engagement team that visited Vietnam in 2019. Lucy and her team made the trip a never-to-forget trip. Though we were a bunch of faculty and staff, not the usual exchange students that ABROADER handles, they still were there for us. Creating meaningful and worthwhile professional and cultural engagement for us. From the stroll in the central market of Ho Chi Minh City, boat-ride down the Mekong Delta, interaction with local business leaders and university faculty – ABROADER did an excellent job! When it comes to groups, exchange students, study-abroad students’ trips to Vietnam intending to have an authentic worthy Vietnamese experience, then without a shade of doubt, I would recommend ABROADER!

Greg-Victor C. Obi, Ph.D.

Professor of Business Management Tech - College of Business ,Ohio University, United States

Working with ABROADER has been a delight; their partnership in building a program that works for both our model and local realities has been top notch. Over the last few years, we have worked closely together to open a new location for Northwestern’s Global Engagement Studies Institute (GESI) in Hanoi. This eight-week program sends small groups of Northwestern students to intern directly with community-based organizations in Hanoi to partner on work prioritized by the host organization. ABROADER builds and maintains relationships with a wide variety of organizations that are passionate about their missions, as well as hosting students. Working collectively to prioritize both student learning as well as host organization priorities/community outcomes has been ideal. During their time abroad GESI students also partner with local buddies, peers from local colleges and universities, who work with them as teammates throughout the eight weeks. Working with local buddies has proved invaluable; GESI students have gained a significant depth of perspective of live in Hanoi, both professional and personal, by working as teammates. From work placements and homestays to local buddies and cultural excursions, ABROADER has been not only available, but proactive in facilitating an experience that offers students deep engagement.

Corey Anne Portell

Senior Program Manager, Global Engagement Programs, Global Learning Office ,Northwestern University, United States

For many years, ABROADER has been my trusted partner when I send my students to Vietnam to pursue a capstone international internship as part of their Masters in International Business program. Student teams take on challenging 8-week projects where they help Vietnamese companies from a wide variety of industries deal with an issue or opportunity that is critical to their future success. From ABROADER’s vast network of relationships with great industry leaders to their ability to pair students with local buddies, ABROADER ensures that my students gain a learning experience of a life time through deep immersion into the local businesses and culture. In helping with getting my students’ visas processed and from a risk management perspective as well, their team is reliably efficient, thorough, flexible, and highly professional. My heart-felt thanks to Lucy Nguyen and her excellent team for all that you do for my students!

Professor Lynn Imai

Counsellor & Coach | Global Leadership Expert ,Ivey Business School, Western University, Canada