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Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, v17 n2 p43-66 2013

Previous research on service-learning in international contexts tends to focus on the benefits and outcomes for students and educational institutions. This essay is intended to provoke further examination of issues related to university-community engagement in global contexts, particularly in terms of the consequences for host communities. In order to explore complex issues surrounding international service-learning, the author offers a composite scenario in a series of snapshots gleaned from projects organized by U.S.-based organizations and universities in partnership with host country organizations and communities. Revealed are a variety of typical outcomes--intended and unintended, positive and negative--for students, faculty, organizations and their staff, and the communities that host visiting service-learning teams. A framework for analysis is offered along with recommendations for ways to mitigate potential unintended negative consequences of international service-learning.

Descriptors: Higher Education, Service Learning, Global Approach, Study Abroad, Foreign Countries, School Community Relationship, Attitude Change, World Views, Outcomes of Education, Negative Attitudes, Holistic Approach, Longitudinal Studies, Context Effect, Partnerships in Education, Well Being, Mental Health, Conflict Resolution, Best Practices, Program Design

Office of the Vice President for Public Service and Outreach, University of Georgia and the Institute of Higher Education. Treanor House, 1234 South Lumpkin Street, Athens, GA 30602. Tel: 706-542-6167; Fax: 706-542-6124; e-mail: jheoe[at]; Web site:

Autor: Crabtree, Robbin D.


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