Good Guidance on the Ground: Mentoring International Service Learning Programs


  • Bill Roberts St. Mary's College of Maryland


Higher Education, International Service Learning, Service Learning


There is increased interest among institutions of higher education across the country to develop international service learning programs that enhance their more globally oriented curricula and provide an attractive alternative for students who want to study abroad. In countries where human needs are greatest and the opportunity for a service learning project to make a positive contribution is also high, educators should bear in mind the common goals we share with the U.S. Peace Corps, a service learning organization par excellence. This article describes St. Marys College of Maryland's collaboration with Peace Corps, The Gambia (West Africa) to provide multiple mentors for "on the ground" guidance to students in individual service learning research projects. Collaboration between Peace Corps programs around the world and universities and colleges on service learning projects can generate multiple mutual benefits for all stakeholders: organizations, communities and individuals.