Service-Learning Abroad

Mindful and high-impact international education

UMass CESL Service-Learning Abroad

A number of study-abroad programs now include community-based service-learning courses or internship placements with nonprofits and NGO’s. Such opportunities can provide valuable understanding about global issues and insight into communities and cultures that may be quite different from your own. It is important, however, to consider a number of factors to assure that your experiences benefit the community, as well as you and your education. Service-learning experiences, whether at home or abroad, should meet certain best-practice guidelines that consider issues such as power and privilege, community voice, and reciprocity.


Mark Eckman
Director of Education Abroad, International Programs Office


  • Connect your education abroad studies to a hands-on, engaged community service experience and earn academic credit through a service-learning placement. 

  • Enroll in specific courses abroad that focus on various social issues, while engaging with a community-based organization, within the context of your study abroad experience.

  • Connect with other students, faculty, staff and community members who are strongly committed to working for social justice, in a setting outside the USA

  • Engage in thoughtful, interdisciplinary and cross-cultural learning as it relates to “service” in a global context. Explore the complexities when engaging in global issues, as an international traveler, volunteer and student