Service Learning Programs Abroad

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Service learning programs abroad are a unique blend of studying and volunteering abroad. Through these types of programs, participants will learn through their volunteer work and have supplementary classes to help them understand the industry they're working in.

Since there's such a strong emphasis on learning and working in a particular field with service learning, most program participants are required to have prior knowledge of / experience within this field. Similarly, programs tend to last an entire semester or academic year. If you're still in college, there's also a chance you can receive academic credit for your time abroad.

Photo credit: Defence Images.

Most service learning trips abroad take place in developing countries throughout Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe, and Sub-Saharan Africa. However, you could realistically find a service learning project anywhere in the world -- even in your hometown.

That said, given the strong educational focus that a service-learning trip has, it's better to be flexible on the destination and instead think about good places to gain experience in your field of interest.

Are you trying to learn about international healthcare? Try Ghana. Marine biology? Consider Belize or Madagascar. Researching elephants? Head to Sri Lanka or Tanzania. Or maybe you want to learn more about small business development. Try Brazil, Kenya, or Thailand.

Academic credit

Typically, participants on a service learning trip will either be able to receive course credits through their university or count it as part of their research for their senior thesis. While program providers will be able to help guide you through this or have established partnerships with certain universities, you'll be working more closely with your academic advisor to determine if / how you'll get credit for your time.

Time commitment

Unlike volunteer trips, service learning trips tend to last a full semester or academic year. Plan accordingly.

Showing 15 Programs


Fuze Ecoteer Outdoor Adventures
Malaysia is blessed with a high biodiversity of wildlife. Unfortunately many of its most emblematic animals are under severe...


African Impact
Pair up with African Impact to start your volunteer experience in Tanzania! As East Africa's largest country, it holds a magn...


ISA Internships & Service-Learning
Lima, the capital of Peru, is located on the west coast of the Pacific along the Rímac River. Lima is a large, international...

South Africa

AIFS Study Abroad
Spend a summer in South Africa participating in a Service Learning, Sustainability and Community Engagement Program. Earn up...


Global Vision International (GVI)
Service learning is a teaching method that takes classroom education and connects it to real life services that directly bene...


CET Academic Programs
Looking to experience international development in action? CET Vietnam gives you the chance to roll up your sleeves and condu...


International Service Learning (ISL)
The home of breathtaking scenery and exquisite coffee, Colombia provides volunteers with a chance to medically serve local co...

Costa Rica

Global Routes
Global Routes offers summer community service trips for high school students who are looking for adventure travel and communi...

South Africa

AIFS Study Abroad
Spend a semester or academic year in the captivating city of Stellenbosch, South Africa. Earn up to 15 credits with the Learn...


Volunteer Inn
Volunteer Inn is a volunteer immersion program that focuses service learning to make real community impact to local organizat...


International Service Learning (ISL)
Join the International Service Learning (ISL) program in Belize! Influences of Spanish, Mayan and British cultures can be fel...

Costa Rica

International Service Learning (ISL)
Costa Rica is a beautiful country filled with tropical jungles and picture perfect beaches. Experience the vivid culture of C...


Nothing sounds better than a Spring Break spent lounging on a Jamaican beach… except for the incredible opportunity to also t...


International Service Learning (ISL)
Here you will find beautiful beaches, extravagant mountain ranges, bustling towns and cities, and of course, the Amazon basin...


International Service Learning (ISL)
Panama is a place of incredible geographic diversity! The vast rainforests are home to some of the world's most exotic wildli...