Service Learning

ILR student Katie Lim at the Viveka Tribal Centre for Learning, India Global Service Learning, Summer 2015ng, Summer 2015

Global service learning is the experience that can help students understand the problems that plague a local community through collaborative work and solution based efforts.  For students it widens the extent and possibility of scholarship, but for the world it can offer an invaluable means of relief.  Service learning projects provide for a more educated and informed student (a responsible global citizen) who can use this experience to think critically about the theory of an issue, the real world outcomes and how to change them by hands-on practice.  Students are forced to engage in the problems that afflict global communities at even the most local of scales. Service learning motivates reflection with one's own humanity and inspires personal growth, while significantly aiding the global community in its quest for a better tomorrow.

Description of Project Component

Following the initial 2-week Learning component, students will be placed in either 2 or 4-week (ILR students) or 6-week (GH students) Service projects at an SVYM site. Projects will be selected during spring semester before going to India, and an attempt will be made to match the students' top choices and interests with the needs and desires of SVYM. ILR students have two options for service projects:


Projects are 2-weeks in duration and may include teaching English, assisting with career-development programs, program assistance, proposal writing assistance, etc. Students are to deliver a single 5-page reflective paper to both ILR and SVYM while in India and another after returning home. No grades or credit will be issued by ILR. SVYM will provide an evaluation of the student's performance in the classroom and in the field to ILR.

Project-Based Program

Projects are 4-weeks in duration and are based on pre-determined topics defined by SVYM. Topics will be broadly related to the ILR student's education, and may include labor market research, disabilities studies, gender and diversity issues, human resources management or child labor. After returning to Ithaca, the student will complete a project paper under the supervision of an independent study advisor (to be determined prior to the GSL trip to India). Additionally, the student will submit a 5-page reflective paper while in India and another paper upon returning to Cornell. The grade will be jointly determined by ILR and SVYM.

Global Health students will participate in health-related service projects in Mysore, Saragur or Kenchanahalli.