Study Abroad Plus Service-Learning | API Study Abroad


Study Abroad “Plus” Service-Learning

In addition to our portfolio of stand-alone service-learning programs in Costa Rica and Ecuador and our volunteer programs around the world, API also offers students the option to engage in service-learning options while on a semester, academic year, or summer study abroad program. In some cases students can earn academic credit, though some opportunities are offered without credit. Most service-learning opportunities are included in the cost of the program, though a few may be offered offered for an additional fee. Consult the links below or contact the API office for additional information on these options.


Brisbane/Gold Coast, Australia – Direct Enrollment program at Griffith University-Community Internship

Griffith offers a 10 CP free-choice elective course  to all students who have completed a minimum of 80 CP of study. It provides an opportunity for students to develop a range of professional and personal skills while making a difference in their community through combining volunteering with academic learning through a community internship organized by the University. The 50-hour minimum volunteering activity may be related to the student’s discipline studies, or could be an opportunity to explore working with an organization outside of their normal discipline learning context. Community Partners who have joined with the University to offer volunteering internships to students include organizations, schools, government departments and corporations engaged in not-for-profit community activities. The community-based volunteering is aligned with a structured academic program of learning that provides insight into the student’s role in the world and explores a range of issues that relate to improving a variety of community needs.


San Joaquín de Flores, Costa Rica – Spanish Language and Latin American Studies at the Instituto San Joaquín de Flores

Advanced-level students who seek active involvement with local community members in San Joaquín are encouraged to select the Advanced Spanish Conversation course, which is designed to promote the interaction between ISJF students and the local community. As part of the course, students complete 20 or more hours of community service at local schools, libraries or retirement homes. Students’ volunteer experiences allow them a closer look at Costa Rican societal issues within a framework of respect for cultural differences, while at the same time benefitting the hosting institutions. Students will learn about theories of service and will reflect on their experiences through guided group discussions.

San Jose, Costa Rica – International Center for Development Studies (ICDS)

This program combines academics, service-learning, and cultural immersion to provide students with the opportunity to acquire in-depth knowledge of human rights, analyze challenges to environmental sustainability, and understand human development in greater complexity. The program’s central course, “Community Engagement and Sustainable Human Development,” is a service-learning course in which students participate in regular community-based volunteer work. This work is complemented by guided reflection sessions to properly contextualize their experiences and analyze the cause and effect of service-learning.


Quito, Ecuador – Integrated Liberal Arts at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito

The Integrated Liberal Arts program at the Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) offers students the opportunity to complete a service-learning course which includes work with diverse organizations in Quito and the surrounding areas. Students complete 80 hours of service in addition to meeting in an academic setting once per week. The course examines the social issues of Ecuador and is offered in Spanish or English.


Dublin, Ireland – Direct Enrollment at University College, Dublin

University College Dublin (UCD) offers a module through the School of Business-Service Learning (BMGT20080).  Students on this module will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and skills by completing a business project for a local charity or non-profit organization. By making that important link between theory and practice, students will be able to explore the key management issues affecting the non-profit sector, while also making a valuable contribution to the local community.  This is a project-based course with a considerable amount of group work. All students will be assessed on both their group work and their individual contribution to the project. **This course does indicate limited availability

Galway, Ireland – Direct Enrollment at National University of Ireland

The National University of Ireland, Galway (NUI, Galway) has introduced a service-learning module designed specifically for study abroad students. This semester long, credit-bearing course, “Literacy and Learning in the Community,” teaches students about literacy, reading awareness and reading strategies and involves working on a one-to-one basis with elementary and high school students in homework clubs based in Galway. Visiting Students who do not get the opportunity to participate in this course can volunteer their services through the University’s ALIVE program (A Learning Initiative and the Volunteering Experience).

Limerick, Ireland – Direct Enrollment at the University of Limerick

The University of Limerick (UL) has introduced two new service-learning modules designed specifically for study abroad students. These options, called “Community Wellness, Empowerment, Leadership and Life Skills (CWELL)” and “English Immigrant Understanding of Irishness,” consist of an elective course/project worth 3 U.S. credits focusing on community health, social work, and public outreach.


Florence, Italy – Lorenzo de Medici, The Italian International Institute-Florence

Students may choose to participate in an internship or service-learning project while attending LdM. Students earn 3 credits for this option, which is counted toward their total academic load for the semester, and appears on the academic transcript along with a pass/fail notation. Students are assessed based on a weekly journal, a minimum of two papers, and an evaluation by their academic advisor/tutor at LdM. Internship options, which include service-learning opportunities, are listed on the API course schedules on the website.

Tuscania, Italy – Lorenzo de Medici, The Italian International Institute-Tuscania

Students have the opportunity to earn valuable credits through service-learning and internship experiences with LdM in Tuscania! Students earn 3 credits for their project, which is counted toward their total academic load for the semester, and appear on the academic transcript along with a pass/fail notation. Students are assessed based on a weekly journal, a minimum of two papers, and an evaluation by their academic advisor/tutor at LdM. Service-learning projects include: Working with women, children, elderly, disabled, and/or immigrants; Language exchange with local high school; and Environmental projects.


Wellington, New Zealand – Direct Enrollment at the University of Wellington

The Victoria University of Wellington (VUW) offers several opportunities for personal exploration and professional development through innovative leadership certificate programs, such as the Victoria Plus Certificate Service & Leadership Development Program. The goal of this service program is to develop leadership, social responsibility, and employability skills among students. The program may be customized to fit students’ interests, and consists of three different components: extracurricular work with community groups and NPOs/NGOs; personal and professional development; and reflections and building of an ePortfolio focused international leadership, cross- cultural communication, global connectedness, and sustainability. Participants are required to attend and submit feedback on two seminars (at least one New Zealand-focused); attend two speaker events; and complete at least 20 Experiential Activity points.


Bilbao, Spain – Business, International Relations, and Spanish Language-Universidad de Duesto

The University of Deusto offers students with an advanced level of Spanish language the option of enrolling in “Service Learning: Social Participation and Development” valued at four (4) US credits. The course focuses on developing attitudes and values such as opening up to social reality and sensitivity towards global injustice, social exclusion, and the situation of the victims of such reality. The course will be based on the service-learning methodology, and includes a solidarity service that aims at meeting actual community needs and favoring students’ learning process through experience.