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​​Global Service-Learning Opportunities

Travel, experience, reflection, and academic inquiry form the foundation of global service-learning experiences at Providence College. In a process that deepens learning and enhances either a Winter or Spring Break travel experience, students analyze and reflect upon travel and community engagement in a related course throughout the spring term. This experience serves as a central “text” of the course which students analyze and reflect upon their with their classmates, both while on the trip and back on campus through  class discussions, assignments and in sharing their experience. While the semester course offerings and related trips are expected to rotate and change each academic year, The Feinstein Institute is dedicated to working with community partners and building mutual relationships with organizations abroad through this program. The Global Service-Learning Program is run through the Feinstein Institute for Public Service, in partnership with several academic departments and the Center for International Studies. All of the global service-learning courses are housed in the Global Studies Department and offered as a 4-credit course (GST 371 Topics in Global Service-Learning) which fulfills the diversity and civic engagement proficiencies.


Courses & Trips for 2015-2016

Storytellers in Our Communities: El Manzano Uno, Nicaragua

December 27, 2015-January 3, 2016 

The Storytellers in Our Communities course will explore matters pertaining to community literacy and storytelling. Utilizing service-learning as a framework, learners will experience the unique characteristics
of rural and urban youth communities that should be considered in discussions about education
equality and social justice. In partnership with Waves of Hope, participants will engage in community-based projects that support the organization’s literacy programs involving the Northern Nicaragua communities of El Manzano and El Manzanillo.

Specifically, learners will engage in dialogue-based workshops, story circles, with high school students that will provide opportunities for cultivating active listening, youth empowerment and intercultural partnerships. The local service-learning aspect of the program will be co-developed with Providence CityArts, a community—based arts center committed to ensure the city’s most challenged youth access to quality arts programs. Learners will be responsible for working with CityArts’ educational leaders and artists in designing a programming that will foster collaboration and mentorship across borders.

The course and trip will be led by Dr. Nuria Alonso García and Grace Twardy '16.


Food Security and Local Agriculture: Ometepe, Nicaragua

February 27 -March 5, 2016

With ever-increasing environmental instability and grave concerns about food security on a global scale, learning how to live sustainably is more important than ever. Through engagement with local agriculture and community-based farming projects, students will develop a well-rounded understanding of the global food system by examining and working with major players in various local contexts.

hrough a service-immersion trip to the Island of Ometepe in Nicaragua, where students will physically work alongside local farmers through Project Bona Fide for a week, and engagement in various sustainable food and community-based agriculture projects in Rhode Island, students will see first-hand some of the diversity of efforts occurring worldwide to address concerns over food security and environmental degradation. Students will come away from this course as informed and engaged participants in their local food system, eager to live a more sustainable life.

The course and trip will be led by Dana Ginestet and Pat McNiff, in collaboration with Unearth the World.


Global Border Crossing: Tijuana, México

February 27 -March 5, 2016

The Global Border Crossing course focuses on the historical and current relationships between the United States and its bordering communities, examining the political, economic and social aspects of these relationships. By diving deeply into learning about the U.S./México border region, and other border regions around the world, participants will be prepared to be immersed in a border region for one week during the spring break service-learning experience.

The trip will focus on working with community members in Tijuana, México through Esperanza International, a transnational non-profit organization that works to build a community both literally and figuratively along the border of the U.S and México. In Tijuana, participants will work alongside Tijuanenses to help build homes for community members. Participants will also explore other facets of border life, through a variety of excursions which include visiting a health clinic, the border wall, a migrant house, and more. 

The course and trip will be led by Dr. Kara Cebulko, Magali García-Pletsch, Taylor Gibson '17 and Stephen Skelly '17. 

Social Infrastructures in South Africa: Cape Town, South Africa

June 11- June 25, 2016

Social Infrastructures in South Africa is focused on the study and practice of community engagement in Cape Town, South Africa. It will give students an opportunity to immerse themselves into the diverse, complex, and vibrant communities of Cape Town while learning alongside University of Cape Town students also interested in exploring these issues. Students will get a chance to think about the complexity of the social dynamics of development, and build their competencies to engage citizens in meaningful ways as professionals.

The program will consist of a two-week immersion experience in Cape Town, South Africa where students will participate in a humanities course for engineering students studying social infrastructures and community engagement led by Prof. Janice McMillan of University of Cape Town (UCT), Prof. Longo, and student assistants from UCT. Students will also participate in a two-week service project with Mothers Unite, an innovative community-led youth serving programming in an informal settlement community in Cape Town.

The course and trip will be led by Dr. Nick Longo, Magali García-Pletsch, Dr. Janice McMillan (in Cape Town), and student leaders. 


Previous Trips: 

Global Coffee Culture: Managua & Matagalpa, Nicaragua

The Global Coffee Culture course was a Global Studies course taught by Athena Fokaidis and Kiley Leduc. The course focused on exploring the societal, economic and cultural implications of the coffee trade worldwide. Participants examined these themes locally by utilizing partnerships in Providence, such as New Harvest Coffee and Common Grounds Café, and globally through the service immersion trip to Nicaragua. Coffee is a large part of many cultures and this course helped students understand what puts coffee in their cups, by analyzing the process of growing, trading, and distributing coffee . ​ 

The service immersion trip in Nicaragua was facilitated by the Center for Global Education and Experience (CGEE) at Augsburg College. Once in Nicaragua, guided by CGEE staff, participants toured a coffee producing region, learning about the daily life of coffee farmers and the intricacies of the trade. Participants also lived with local families for a portion of the trip, to get to know community members better and undrestand their relaitonship with global coffee culture. 


Visualizing Peace and Justice: Quito, Ecuador 

The Visualizing Peace and Justice, global community lens course, was cross–listed with Art, Global Studies and Political Science. It was a photography course that examined the ideas of peace and justice through the lens of art. How do we use art as a way to reach out to the global community to promote these ideas of peace and justice? Students also participated in local community engagement in Providence and put together a final photography exhibit for the Providence community.  Dr. Jeffery Pugh and Dr. Eric Sung co-led the trip and co-facilitated the class.

Within Ecuador, students worked with the organization founded by  Dr. Pugh: the Center for Mediation, Peace and Resolution of Conflict. The organization helps to utilize art as an outlet in promoting community and non-violence. Participants worked in a variety of situations including with local organizations, schools that CEMPROC has instilled a youth peace program and within a village.


Supporting Community Literacy in Nicaragua: Manzano & Manzanillo, Nicaragua

The Community Literacy in Rural Nicaragua course was cross-listed with Education and Global Studies. Participants designed a literacy and library fundraising program for the community they worked with in Nicaragua. Students worked on these projects after returning from Nicaragua and continued the relationship with the organization through this project. Dr. Nick Longo and Dr. Nuria Alonso Garcia were the two faculty who led the trip and facilitated the course.

Within Nicaragua, participants worked with an organization called Waves of Hope. Waves of Hope directly works in the rural communities in Nicaragua to promote local education and literacy. Participants worked on creating a library at a local high school and promoting education literacy courses for children and adolescents. Students worked to create an environment of engaged learning and a space for a culture of reading. 


Community Health in the Dominican Republic: Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic

This trip coincided with the Justice Across Borders course, which was cross-listed with Global Studies and Public and Community Service. The course focused on historical and current relationships between the United States and its bordering communities. It examined the political, economic and social aspects of these relationships. The course was co-taught by Dr. Eric Hartman and Kaytee Stewart.

Once in the Dominican Republic, students worked with a public-health oriented organization called Outreach 360. The organization and students volunteered in an orphanage located in Monte Cristi focusing on community health and education. Participants worked directly with the children in the orphanage to promote better community health initiatives and create a healthy space for the children and adolescents in the orphanage. 


​Upcoming Dates:

  • Winter Break Trip: December 27, 2015- January 3, 2016
  • Spring Break Trips: February 27th- March 5th, 2016

​In the News:

Click here to read an article about the GSL Spring Break trips, as well as other Providence College spring break trips. 
Click here to read an article from The Cowl about the México and Nicaragua spring break trips.


Trip Photos:

Flickr Photo Album, Tijuana 2015Visit our Flickr album to see pictures from the 2015 Global Border Crossing trip to Tijuana, Mexico

​Recommended Providers

Can't go on one of our GSL trips? Consider a trip with Unearth the World

Unearth the World shares our vision of reciprocal and sustainable global service-learning, and has programs in Zambia, Ghana, Peru, and Nicaragua.

Learn more about their programs here.

Magali García-Pletsch
Program Coordinator
Feinstein Institute for Public Service

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