Cornell University

International Programs

117 Ives Hall, 607-254-7255

Learn more about service learning from Cornell's Public Service Center (pdf)

What is Global Service Learning?

Global Service Learning is a course-based or co-curricular form of cross-cultural, experiential education wherein students, faculty, staff and institutions collaborate with diverse community stakeholders on an organized service activity to address social problems and issues in the community. Richard Kiely, Director of Teaching Assistant Development, Center for Teaching Excellence, Cornell University

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.