Service-learning provides you with the opportunity to observe real-world issues and social problems by working with organizations that serve their local communities. Through a service-learning experience abroad, you can develop the intercultural skills and ethnorelative attitudes that are necessary to become an active global citizen in our rapidly changing, diverse world.

The ISA Service-Learning worldwide network is committed to facilitating your transformative experience abroad. As an ISA Service-Learning participant, here is what you can expect throughout your program:

Before You Depart

Working with ISA Service-Learning in Austin

The ISA Service-Learning team in Austin, Texas will assist you from the very first step. Our Outreach Manager will advise you to help you find the program that is the best fit for you and your ISA Service-Learning Program Manager will guide you through the application process. Your Program Manager will assist you through the post-acceptance process and provide you with pre-departure orientation materials to introduce you to service-learning, your host country, and host organization so you can be prepared before you arrive.

Once You Arrive

Working with your ISA On-Site Service-Learning Coordinator and ISA On-Site Staff

From the moment you arrive in your host country and throughout your entire program, the ISA on-site staff will encourage, help and support you. For most programs, on-site staff will greet you at the airport and you will begin your experience through the Bridging Cultures Program. This comprehensive on-site orientation will give you a more in-depth understanding of your new home as well as equip you with the tools you need to navigate the city safely. On the first day volunteering at your host organization, the On-Site Coordinator will guide you on your first commute, introduce you to your host organization supervisor, help you create your schedule and facilitate group discussions twice a month. Throughout your program, the Service-Learning Coordinator will be available to ensure that your service is going smoothly and to give you support and feedback when you need it.

Working with Your Host Organization

Each host organization has agreed to accept you into their workplace based on your past experiences and future goals. The on-site Coordinator will check-in with your on-site supervisor periodically to ensure that everything is going well. The on-site supervisor will complete an evaluation of your work at the end of your program, which will be included in your ISA Service-Learning Portfolio.

You play an integral role in your success as well as the long-standing success of the service-learning program. You have volunteered to dedicate your time and energy to your host organization, and your host organization will count on you to help meet its mission. It is expected that as an ISA Service-Learning participant you are patient with yourself and with others, proactive, flexible, open-minded, punctual, respectful, responsible and communicative with your on-site Coordinator and on-site supervisor. Remember that you are an ambassador for ISA Service-Learning and your country, and that you have chosen to step outside of your comfort zone in order to contribute to international community development.

Working with ISA Service-Learning in Austin

When you begin serving at your host organization, your ISA Service-Learning Program Manager will follow-up with you to ensure that you are staying on track with your required service-learning Portfolio requirements.

When You Return

The ISA Global Community

Once your program is complete and you return home, the ISA Service-Learning team in Austin, Texas will provide you with re-entry resources and will keep you connected with the ISA Service-Learning community through social media, the ISA photo contest, and opportunities to serve as an alumni contact. 6-8 weeks after your program, you will receive your ISA Service-Learning Portfolio via e-mail.