Department of Agricultural Economics, Sociology, and Education
Local Community and University Perspectives of International Service Learning
International service learning is a wonderful opportunity for international collaboration and enhanced intercultural understanding. It can also be a negative setting where people in a local community may be degraded or patronized.Many people hosting these programs have little ability to share their perspectives and have their voices heard. This dissertation study seeks to understand the varying perspectives among community members in Costa Rica that host international service learning programs and university participants. bringing this seldom heard voice to the forefront through interviews, observation and participatory research including photovoice (where respondents take photos to identify their own world).The study seeks to identify points of shared and disparate perspectives between university participants and community members, which will illuminate areas of consideration for service learning and development projects globally.