Cornell University

International Programs

117 Ives Hall, 607-254-7255

Global Service Learning Program in Zambia

Zambia Airport 2013The ILR Global Service Learning Program (GSL) in collaboration with the Global Health Program (GH) offers ILR students the opportunity to participate in an eight-week summer GSL program in Lusaka, Zambia. During the summer of 2014, a group of 6-8 ILR students and Global Health minors will conduct research projects at the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR). The students will work in small groups to write a research paper on an issue relevant to Southern Africa, which will then be considered for publication in one of SAIPAR’s online journals. Students may also assist SAIPAR with other projects, to be determined by the Director of Research and Programs.

Possible research topics include, but are not limited to: 

  • The process behind the introduction of Statutory Instrument 47 (2012), which is the revision of the minimum wage. Who was consulted, why did the government choose to introduce it unilaterally and what tension did it create with the various stakeholders (employers, trade unions, etc.).
  • The impact of the revision of the minimum wage, sector-specific (e.g. the construction sector, commercial farmers, etc). Examine the impact in terms of resulting conflict/tension in the workplace and job-losses.
  • The process behind the drafting of the new constitution and the responses from the public (civil society) to the draft constitution (specific topics could be women's rights, e.g. abortion).
  • Judges at the local courts (where most domestic cases are dealt with) are predominantly male. What are the implications for women, in cases dealing with divorce settlements, gender-based violence, abortion, etc.?

For housing, Cornell students will be paired and placed in local homestays arranged by SAIPAR (two students per family).  


ILR students selected for the program will receive a scholarship to cover the cost of room & board in Lusaka. Students must pay for their flights, visas, and immunizations. There is a global service learning competitive grant to cover part or all of the flight.


The Zambia Global Health program is managed by the Global Health Program in the Division of Nutritional Sciences.  ILR students interested in applying to the Zambia GSL program can contact Donna Ramil, Associate Director, in ILR, or Grace Seo, in the Global Health Program.


3.0 GPA and successful completion of Labor and Employment Law by the end of spring 2015. Key qualities and skills: service-mindedness, flexibility, cultural sensitivity, adaptability, maturity, excellent research and writing skills, ability to work in teams, prior international experience a plus.  Seniors returning to ILR in Fall 2015 are eligible.

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Zambia GSL Application

Apply here by October 29th

Zambia GSL Blog

Click here to learn more about what students did during their field experience in Lusaka, summer '13.