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.

Service Learning Programs Abroad

Displaying 61 - 75 of 502 programs
Global Volunteers
Lift Up Disadvantaged Children in St. Lucia, Caribbean
St. Lucia
10 •5 reviews

Join Global Volunteers in the volunteer experience of a lifetime in St...

Global Volunteers
Make a Genuine Difference in Vietnam as a Volunteer
8.86 •7 reviews

Join Global Volunteers for one to two weeks in Vietnam as a volunteer...

Village Book Builders
Become an Online Mentor
Multiple Countries
10 •12 reviews

Due to COVID we are putting expeditions on pause but you can still...

Amigos de las Americas
Amigos de las Americas - Ecuador: Santa Elena
10 •1 review

Venture into rural, coastal communities around the beautiful province...

Global Volunteers
Help Children Learn in the Idyllic Cook Islands
Cook Islands
9.17 •6 reviews

Join Global Volunteers for one to three weeks in a variety of...

Global Volunteers
Volunteer in Appalachia – West Virginia Coal Country
United States of America
10 •2 reviews

Volunteer for one week with the resilient people of Fayette County in...

Global Volunteers
Volunteer on Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota
United States of America
10 •2 reviews

Experience life in an American Indian community on the plains of South...

Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
Virtual Global Health Fellowship
10 •4 reviews

FIMRC's new and exciting Virtual Global Health Fellowship is a 4-week...

Child Family Health International
Global Health Experiential Education in Ecuador
9.71 •7 reviews

Observe, learn, and experience Ecuador’s healthcare system first-hand...

Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
FIMRC's Virtual Volunteer Programs
9.75 •4 reviews

In response to COVID-19, FIMRC has developed innovative and exciting...

United Planet
Volunteer Abroad in Ghana with United Planet for 2-52 Weeks
8.6 •5 reviews

Teach in a primary or secondary school tutoring in English, math, or...

Global Volunteers
Teach English in Portugal
9 •5 reviews

Join Global Volunteers as a volunteer English teacher in Portugal -...

Child Family Health International
Global Health Experiential Education in Ghana
9.57 •14 reviews

Discover the cultural intricacies of Ghana, located in West Africa...

Discover Corps
Cuba: "Building Bridges" with Discover Corps
9.75 •4 reviews

Over the course of the trip, you will engage with the children of...

ME to WE
ME to WE Youth Volunteer Trips Kenya/Tanzania
Multiple Countries
9.78 •9 reviews

- Volunteer in rural Maasai communities in Kenya or Tanzania. -...

What People Are Saying

My daughter wanted a Spanish immersion program and the environmental sustainability focus of the Amigos PZ program caught her eye. As a parent, the 5 month training leading up to departure was key to...

Costa Rica Beach

Volunteering in Germany is the least likely thing I would expect to be doing after 5 months of lockdown due to the coronavirus, but I'm so glad I did. I did conversational English lessons with Syrian...

Sarah receiving her certificate

Traveling to Pune allowed me to get a better idea of what I am passionate about. Before my trip, I never considered myself exploring teaching professionally. However, after meeting and spending a week...

My family

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