University of San Diego students have an opportunity to immerse themselves in local communities while abroad and gain valuable experience through service learning and community building activities. Some of our study abroad programs include service learning and community building as a key component of the program; in other programs, service opportunities are optional but available.
Please see below for more information about ways to engage at a deeper level within the community while you are abroad.
Service Learning & Community Building Programs Abroad (short-term programs)
Students will see China beyond the "tourist" brochures and visit areas that seldom have foreign visitors. In an effort to deal with China's enormous poverty issues, in 2003, Tsinghua University launched its Educational Poverty Alleviation Project to deal with China's enormous poverty issues. Considered to be the "MIT" of Chinese universities, Tsinghua is making a concerted effort to try and alleviate poverty in rural areas through education.
Its Summer Service Learning Program (SSLP) is designed to send teams of Tsinghua University undergraduate students, faculty, and foreign volunteers to 30 different locations in rural China. Since 2004, over 1,000 Tsinghua students, 130 Tsinghua faculty, and 300 students and faculty from abroad have participated in the SSLP. Teams spend 10-14 days at their sites where they teach English and computer skills, provide lectures and intercultural communication exercises for students and teachers in rural counties. The hope is that by exposing Chinese middle and high-school students to a wide range of educational experiences, they would be inspired to continue their higher learning.
USD sends students to Jamaica two times per year in an effort to maintain what has become a remarkable connection between the USD campus community and the locals who live in Duncans, Jamaica on the island's northern coast. In addition to earning course credit while abroad, students have the opportunity to engage in service within the community at local schools, learning centers and in rural neighborhoods. The community of Duncans holds a special place in the heart of many USD students, staff and faculty.
This four-week faculty-led program offers students the chance to study the history and culture of Jamaica while also being immersed in the community.
Join USD for this study abroad opportunity that offers students a unique opportunity to visit South Africa and to learn more about its history, politics, and culture. As a country that is ten years removed from apartheid rule, the study of South African politics and history will enable students to think critically about the legacy of authoritarian rule, democratization, and race and ethnic reconciliation. The academic component will be supplemented with opportunities to engage with South African communities, such as black townships and rural villages. These experiences will introduce students to different cultural traditions and practices that they can share with friends and family.
Semester Abroad Programs with Opportunities for Service and Community Building