Service learning combines educational objectives with hands-on experience as a vehicle to help you become a better global citizen. Engage with local communities and NGOs to get a comprehensive understanding of structural issues and collaborate alongside them to follow through on community needs. Take these learnings with you and apply them to your own life.
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Before you spend 4-6 weeks in another country developing a greater understanding of meaningful service, it would probably be useful to learn a bit more about how this all works.
EF Gap Year is serious about our educational philosophy around service learning. Service learning differs from volunteering or voluntourism in that it’s an educational approach: one that combines learning objectives with community service in order to provide a pragmatic, progressive learning experience while meeting societal needs.
It’s a form of experiential education. Students engage in activities that address human and community needs and have structured opportunities for reflection. Service learning offers a more sensitive and self-aware approach to overseas volunteering.
The idea here is that our students see themselves as culturally humble visitors who intend to learn from local people to understand how they can contribute and collaborate, both during and beyond the module.
The specifics depend on the country you choose! The three overarching categories are community development, education and empowerment, and environmental sustainability.
While you’re touring around the country, you’ll stay in shared rooms at hotels and hostels that are typical for that region. Your meals while traveling usually include breakfast and one dinner in each city. On your service projects, you’ll typically stay in simple but comfortable residence halls, and all of your meals will be included.