What’s New with LearnServe Abroad?
Summer, 2015 in Kingston, Jamaica: a cohort of American LearnServe students asked their Jamaican peers at the Maxfield Park Children’s Home what their community needed to thrive. The response? Healthy food, readily available. The solution? Grow a vegetable garden.
One year later in Viñas Cue, Paraguay: another LearnServe cohort asked students at Colegio San Clemente the same question. The response? Warm winter clothes. The solution? Create a clothing bank.
LearnServe Abroad invites high school students from across the DC area to work closely with their peers in Jamaica, Paraguay, South Africa, or Zambia to imagine and implement relevant, practical volunteer projects. We offer a global perspective on social innovation, developing students’ design thinking and leadership skills in the process.
Our students work alongside dynamic community leaders and social entrepreneurs, to deepen their understanding of local solutions to global issues. They immerse themselves in the day-to-day life of their host country, and support organizations making a difference in health, education, environment, and economic development. Our students reflect on the implications of their work in their own communities, and raise awareness about global issues upon returning home.
Get Involved +
Students in grades 9, 10, and 11—as well as teachers—are eligible to participate in the LearnServe Abroad Program.
For Students: We accept applications from the DC area only on a rolling basis, beginning December 1st each year, and ending February 1st. Upon completing the online application, prospective students will be contacted for a short phone interview, and will be requested to provide a reference letter from a teacher of their choice.
For Teachers: If at least one student from your school has registered for a LearnServe Abroad trip, you can apply to join a LearnServe trip. Interested in nominating your students for a LearnServe Abroad opportunity? Traveling with a group of your students? Or designing a custom international experience for your school? Email Learnserve Abroad Director Sabine Keinath.
How it Works
LearnServe Abroad is an 8-month program centered around a 3-week experience overseas.
Preparation: Travelers meet biweekly throughout the spring semester, beginning in February, to prepare for their summer journey. They learn about the host country, international development, human-centered design, and cross-cultural communication as they plan for their work in country.
Travel: Travelers spend 3 weeks in country, from late June to early July, participating in service projects planned by host organizations or jointly designing projects through a human-centered design process.
Post-Travel: Travelers meet 4 times during fall semester to reflect on their experiences, prepare and practice public presentations, and design action plans inspired by their work abroad.
Cost: Program costs vary by destination. Needs-based financial aid is available on a first-come first-served basis. Questions about trip costs? Email LearnServe Abroad Director Sabine Keinath.