Old Dominion University
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College of Arts and Letters

Department of Women's Studies

Service-Learning and Study Abroad


What is Service-Learning?

Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with central course themes in ways that promote reflection, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Courses that promote service-learning combine the process of gaining knowledge with direct involvement in community-based projects, usually centered on social justice. Through this intentional integration of university learning environments with community-based initiatives, service-learning shapes both students and communities in a variety of contexts. For example, a course on Violence Against Women might build into its curriculum students' direct participation in settings such as domestic violence shelters, legal support organizations, or rape crisis centers. Additionally, service-learning can contribute to a broader global community; for example, a course on global women's issues, such as gender rights, could integrate overseas travel into its curriculum. By engaging in service-learning at either the local or global level, students are able to greatly expand their academic inquiry, providing new ways of understanding and a journey of discovery not found in a traditional setting. At the same time communities and organizations benefit from the students' skills and contributions that ultimately helps to broaden our global community.

What's Going on Now?

Study abroad course website