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 76 - 90 of 502 programs
Naturally Africa Volunteers
Lake Malawi Volunteer Projects - Medical, Teaching, Sports, Childcare
9.43 •14 reviews

Naturally Africa Volunteers provides community development projects...

Foundation for International Medical Relief of Children
Virtual Global Health Volunteer Experience
9 •1 review

FIMRC's new Virtual Global Health Volunteer Experience is the most...

Oyster Worldwide
Teach & Learn Spanish in Patagonia, Chile
7.3 •10 reviews

The program offers the chance to practice your Spanish skills, whilst...

ME to WE
India: Volunteer in the Land of Flavour and Color
10 •3 reviews

For ME to WE (at the time Free the Children), South Asia is where it...

ME to WE
Me to We Ecuador: A Natural and Environmental Discovery
8.4 •5 reviews

• Volunteer abroad and help build a school for children who have...

Discover Corps
South Africa: Wildlife Conservation Experience with Discover Corps
South Africa
9 •1 review

Live in harmony with nature on an exclusive reserve and become part of...

The Small Things
Early Childhood Education Volunteer in Tanzania
9.69 •16 reviews

In order to provide chance, not charity, for the children and families...

JAKERA Adventure
Learn Spanish & Volunteer - Costa Rica - 1,2 or 4 Weeks
Costa Rica
9.5 •2 reviews

Learn Spanish & Volunteer in Santa Teresa – a jungle surf camp hidden...

A Broader View Volunteers Corp
Most Rewarding Social Programs in La Ceiba, Honduras
10 •16 reviews

In La Ceiba there is a growing need for native English speakers to...

7 Elements
Volunteer with the Native Yanesha, Experience the culture of Peru
10 •2 reviews

The 7 Elements program in Peru is based in the lush Amazon Basin...

Kaya Responsible Travel
Kaya Volunteer Programs in Thailand
9 •2 reviews

Famous for their food, paradise islands, and bustling cities, Thailand...

African Conservation Experience
Care for Africa's Wildlife in a Legendary Nature Sanctuary
8.5 •2 reviews

The team behind this family-run project has created a friendly...

Vida Volunteer
Vida Medical, Dental & Veterinary Programs in Costa Rica
Costa Rica
9.45 •55 reviews

Despite having a relatively strong primary health care system, Costa...

7 Elements
Eco-Health and Service with the Mayans in Belize
10 •2 reviews

Increased migration to Belize has increased tensions between Belizean...

Vida Volunteer
Vida Medical, Dental & Veterinary Programs in Guatemala
9.59 •34 reviews

Guatemala is the biggest country in Central America. Unfortunately, it...

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...

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