By Service-Learning Program Assistant Asta MacKie
Northeastern University is well known for encouraging students to gain learning experiences abroad, and Service-Learning plays an important role in this opportunity. Read on to learn from some of the faculty members and past and present Service-Learning Student Leaders in our network about their own experiences participating in Service-Learning while abroad in the United Kingdom! To learn more about opportunities in Zambia, Ecuador, the United Kingdom, and Greece, check out our series on the S-Log!
N.U.in Dublin, Ireland
Students participating in the N.U.in Dublin, Ireland program had the opportunity to connect their studies and global experiences in a hands-on role working with various community partners across the region. Each student is partnered with a Service-Learning partner based off of the student’s previous volunteer experiences and interests, and works on a project such as tutoring, marketing support, or aiding the homeless populations, and will stay with this community partner throughout the duration of their time in Dublin in order to create a meaningful relationship with their host site.
Kelsie O’Flanagan – now a Service-Learning Program Assistant, Team Manager, and S-LTA for Hilary Sullivan’s and Lucy Bunning’s Community Learning courses – began her Service-Learning journey in Dublin in 2014. There, she worked as a Teaching Assistant with a college class of students with intellectual disabilities, ranging from autism to Aspergers to Down syndrome, and was able to support the students with their learning goals and aid in activities both inside and outside of the classroom. This experience was incredibly eye-opening for Kelsie, and in particular allowed her to gain ample experience in volunteering in a foreign country, and about working with students with different learning styles. “I learned how being a support system in both small and large ways can mean so much for an individual, a family, and a class,” shares Kelsie, and this is something she’s continued to bring to the many roles she serves in the Service-Learning program today.
Anika Krause, a former S-LTA, Team Manager, and Northeastern student, served as a staff member for the NU.in Ireland trip last summer. There, her role had an emphasis on the reflective piece of Service-Learning, a very important aspect of the experience and connecting it to the students’ studies on global citizenship. Her students served in a variety of locations, from charity shops to after school programs. Anika spent her time with several of her students serving with the Five Lamps Festival to support them in planning a fun Halloween festival to provide an alternative to the illegal mischief that often occurs in that area and makes the neighborhood unsafe for children. Anika has continued her work with teaching and leadership as a Paraprofessional for Excel Academy Charter Schools.
Sources: Kelsie O’Flanagan, Anika Krause, and Northeastern University N.U.in Program
Are you inspired to set out on your own Service-Learning journey abroad? Check out these upcoming Dialogue of Civilizations for Summer 2018!