Global Studies at Providence College > Global Service-Learning

Global Service-Learning

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​”When the world becomes your classroom, feelings evolve, walls break down, and true learning begins.
Theories are good for a lecture hall, but I’ve never met a theory I could share a meal with.”
 Alex Pollan ’18
Alumnus of Global Border Crossing & Social Infrastructures

Travel, experience, reflection, and academic inquiry form the foundation of global service-learning experiences at Providence College. In a process that deepens learning and enhances either a Summer, Winter, or Spring Break travel experience, students analyze and reflect upon travel and community engagement in a related course throughout the summer, fall, or spring term. This experience serves as a central “text” of the course which students analyze and reflect upon with their classmates, both while on the trip and back on campus through  class discussions, assignments and in sharing their experience. While the semester course offerings and related trips rotate and change each academic year, we are dedicated to working with community partners and building mutual relationships with organizations abroad through this program.

The Global Service-Learning Program is run through the Feinstein Institute for Public Service and Global Studies Department, in partnership with the Center for International Studies. All of the global service-learning courses are housed in the Global Studies Department and offered as a 4-credit course (GST 371 Topics in Global Service-Learning) which fulfills the diversity and civic engagement proficiencies.

Students from all academic backgrounds are encouraged to apply for a global service-learning course! You do not need to have prior experience in a Global Studies course in order to be considered for the program.

Global Service-Learning at Providence College
Storytellers in Our Communities Album ’15-’16

Courses & Trips for 2017-2018

August 12-26, 2017

The Storytellers in Our Communities course will explore matters pertaining to identity, vocation, and storytelling. Utilizing service-learning as a framework, learners will experience the unique characteristics of rural and urban youth communities that should be considered in discussions about education equality and social justice. In partnership with Waves of Hope, participants will engage in community-based projects that support the organization’s youth programs involving the Northern Nicaragua communities of El Manzano and El Manzanillo.

Specifically, learners will engage in dialogue-based workshops and story circles with high school students, which will provide opportunities for cultivating active listening, youth empowerment and dialogue across borders. Upon returning to Providence, learners will work with 360 High School to lead workshops with high school students from Spanish-speaking countries – further promoting dialogue across borders.

The course and trip will be led by Dr. Nuria Alonso García (Global Studies & Urban Teaching).

Global Border Crossing: Tijuana, México & San Diego, CA

March 3-10, 2018 (Spring Break)

The Global Border Crossing course focuses on the historical and current relationships between the United States and its bordering communities, examining the political, economic and social aspects of these relationships. By diving deeply into learning about the U.S./México border region, and other border regions around the world, participants will be prepared to be immersed in a border region for one week during the spring break service-learning experience.

The class will work with community members in Tijuana, México through Esperanza International, a transnational non-profit organization that works to build a community both literally and figuratively along the border of the U.S and México. In Tijuana, participants will work alongside Esperanza community members to help build homes. Participants will also explore other facets of border life, through a variety of excursions which include visiting a health clinic, the border wall, a migrant house, and more.

The course and trip will be led by Dr. Kara Cebulko (Global Studies & Sociology), Magali García-Pletsch (Feinstein Institute), Delina Auciello ’18 (Global Studies & Public/Community Service Studies), and Silvana Mercado ’19 (Global Studies & Economics).

Click here for more information.


Foreign Aid: Masaya, Nicaragua

March 3-10, 2018 (Spring Break)

The Foreign Aid course will focus on the basic theory, institutional architecture, and practice of international development and humanitarian assistance. Using a series of case-studies drawn from various regions across the developing world, students will begin to understand the main sectors pertinent to development organizations: governance and security, economic growth and poverty alleviation, health, education, and the environment.

During Spring Break, students will participate in an international service-learning trip, during which time they will be exposed to at least one innovative and successful development organization. Further information on the nature of the trip is forthcoming.

This course will be led by Dana Ginestet (Global Studies), Amelia Aaron ’20 (Global Studies & Public/Community Service Studies), and Sara Murphy ’20 (Global Studies & Public/Community Service Studies).

Sustaining English Teaching Practices: Tucumán, Argentina

May 22 – June 8, 2018

The Sustaining English Teaching Practices course will focus on the pedagogical experience of teaching English in an international environment. Learners will come to better understand the role of teaching and learning English as a foreign language through the development of the four-skill model of foreign language learning: listening, speaking, reading, and writing competencies. Students will also have the opportunity to explore the rich culture, history, and language of Argentina, before traveling to Tucumán.

In partnership with The Santa Rosa School, participants will develop two-week lesson plans, which they will present to elementary school students and secondary school students. Participants will complete practicum hours at The Santa Rosa School and receive feedback from teachers.

This course and trip will be led by Dr. Nuria Alonso-Garcia (Global Studies & Urban Teaching) and Gabriella Sanchez ’18 (Global Studies).

Click here for more information.


Previous Trips:

Social Infrastructures in South Africa: Cape Town, South Africa

Social Infrastructures in South Africa focused on the study and practice of community engagement in Cape Town, South Africa. Through a two-week immersion experience in Cape Town, students were immersed in the diverse, complex, and vibrant communities of Cape Town while learning alongside University of Cape Town students also interested in exploring these issues. Students spent time thinking about the complexity of the social dynamics of development, and worked on building their competencies to engage citizens in meaningful ways as professionals.

The course and trip were led by Dr. Nick Longo (Public/Community Service & Global Studies), Magali García-Pletsch (Feinstein Institute), and Dr. Janice McMillan and her team at the University of Cape Town. This course will likely be offered again in the summer of 2019.

Offered in Summer 2016 and Summer 2017

Global Coffee Culture: Guatemala

This course focused on exploring the societal, economic and cultural implications of the coffee trade worldwide. Participants examined these themes locally through partnerships with Rhode Island-based coffee roasters and globally through a service-immersion trip to Guatemala. One of the most highly-traded agricultural products in the world, coffee is a large part of many cultures and this course helped students understand what puts coffee in their cups by analyzing the process of growing, trading, and distributing coffee. The service immersion trip in Guatemala was facilitated by the Center for Global Education and Experience (CGEE) at Augsburg College. Once in country, guided by CGEE staff, participants toured a coffee producing region and learned about the daily life of coffee farmers and the intricacies of the trade. Participants also lived with local families for a portion of the trip, to get to know community members better and understand their community’s relationship with global coffee culture. The course was co-facilitated by Dr. Ruth Ben-Artzi (Political Science) and Kiley Leduc ’14 (community partner, English for Action).

Offered in Spring 2015 and Spring 2017

Food Security and Sustainable Agriculture: Ometepe, Nicaragua

With ever-increasing environmental instability and grave concerns about food security on a global scale, learning how to live sustainably is more important than ever. Through engagement with local agriculture and community-based farming projects, students developed a well-rounded understanding of the global food system by examining and working with major players in various local contexts. Through a service-immersion trip to the Island of Ometepe in Nicaragua, where students physically worked alongside local farmers through Project Bona Fide, in collaboration with Unearth the World, students experienced first-hand some of the diversity of efforts occurring worldwide to address concerns over food security and environmental degradation. Students emerged from this course as informed and engaged participants in their local food system, eager to live a more sustainable life. This course was co-facilitated by Dana Ginestet (Global Studies & Public & Community Service) and Pat McNiff (community partner, Pat’s Pastured).

Offered in Spring 2016.

Visualizing Peace and Justice: Quito, Ecuador

The Visualizing Peace and Justice course, cross–listed with Art, Global Studies and Political Science, was a photography course that examined the ideas of peace and justice through the lens of art. The focus of the course was examining how to use art as a way to engage the global community to promote the ideas of peace and justice. While in Ecuador, students worked with the Center for Mediation, Peace and Resolution of Conflict (CEMPROC, founded by Dr. Jeffrey Pugh). CEMPROC utilizes art as an outlet in promoting community and non-violence. Through CEMPROC, participants worked in a variety of settings, including with local organizations, nearby villages, and schools that have developed youth peace programs. Students also participated in local community engagement in Providence and hosted a photography exhibit featuring the artwork of Providence and Ecuadorian youth. Dr. Jeffrey Pugh (Political Science) and Dr. Eric Sung (Art) co-facilitated this course.

Offered in Spring 2012 and 2014.

Supporting Community Literacy in Nicaragua: Manzano & Manzanillo, Nicaragua

The Supporting Community Literacy in Nicaragua course, cross-listed with Education and Global Studies, focused on various methods of promoting local education and literacy among youth in rural Nicaragua. Working with Waves of Hope in Nicaragua, participants created a library at the local high school and promoted education literacy courses for children and adolescents. Embedded in their community engagement work, students also encouraged an environment of engaged learning and a space for a culture of reading. Participants also designed a literacy and library fundraising program for the Manzano and Manzanillo communities in Nicaragua, a project which continued once the group returned to Providence, as a way to stay engaged with the community and Waves of Hope. Dr. Nuria Alonso García (Global Studies and Foreign Languages) and Dr. Nick Longo (Global Studies and Public & Community Service) co-facilitated the course.

Offered in Spring 2014.

Community Health in the Dominican Republic: Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic

A part of the Justice Across Borders course, this course focused on historical and current relationships between the United States and its bordering communities, examining the political, economic and social aspects of these relationships. Once in the Dominican Republic, students worked with Outreach 360, a public-health oriented organization. Through Outreach 360, students volunteered in an orphanage, working directly with children to promote community health initiatives and create a healthy space for the youth. This course was co-facilitated by Dr. Eric Hartman (Global Studies) and Kaytee Stewart (Feinstein Institute).

Offered in Spring 2014.