The students and their instructors are leaving the classroom and engaging with their communities in order to make learning come alive and to experience real-life connections between their education and everyday issues in their country. Depending on the curriculum or program, the length of your experience can vary from a couple of hours to a few weeks or months, and occasionally to an entire year.
Service-learning differ from volunteering or internships because you will intentionally use your intellectual capacities and skills to address community problems. While you will have an opportunity to put your knowledge and skills into direct practice, you will also learn how to reflect on those experiences in making your community a better place in which to live and work. In service-learning you will work with your classmates and instructor to use your academic discipline and course content in understanding the underlying social, political, and economic issues that contribute to community difficulties. In essence, you will learn how to become an educated community member and problem solver through serving the community and reflecting on the meaning of that service.