What does 'Service Learning' mean for a Global Service Corps volunteer?
Volunteering in Thailand, Cambodia or Tanzania in a GSC Service Learning Program provides a mutually beneficial experience for both the volunteer participant and the community in which they are working. Each service learning volunteer program in Thailand, Cambodia and Tanzania begins with an in-depth training session that provides the foundation for imparting valuable education and sustainable aid to each host community.
Engaging in significant and fulfilling volunteer work in a foreign community for a period of time is what GSC strives to provide for each participant. We at GSC understand that it is often difficult to devote an extensive period of time to volunteering, and that playing a vital role in a community depends on addressing a number of issues that are not always easy for an individual to quickly assess and act upon. The structure and support of GSC’s service learning programs enables volunteers to immerse themselves quickly into a vital, ongoing effort to support, educate, and develop a community while gaining a true understanding of another culture. The unique GSC program aspects of orientation and training, counterparts and homestays along with our in-country professional staff and partners provide this vital structure and support.
Your experience as a GSC volunteer can be compared to running one leg of a relay race: you will have the opportunity to be involved in a successful community service program, continue GSC’s impact in the community, and then hand off the baton to the next “runner.” Two weeks, or even six months, may not seem long enough to instigate real change, but when you recognize the entire race you are a part of, you will see the difference you can really make as a volunteer.
'Service learning' according to a Global Service Corp perspective, is not only about what our volunteers absorb and contribute during their international volunteer experience, but what they continue to gain from it upon returning to their home country. Volunteering overseas is often an adventure that resonates with you for weeks, months, or even years after your return, and can be an eye-opening and even life-changing event. Many international volunteers return with a new or renewed inspiration to be more active in their own communities, or in the field of international development. The information and experience you bring back with you is immeasurable, and many volunteers’ reflections on their trips have led to remarkable endeavors back at home. By sharing your experience with friends and family, your volunteer work will continue to have a positive effect, as you cultivate a broader awareness of global issues and perhaps open another’s eyes to a way to contribute.