How are EDI’s global-service learning experiences different from regular study abroad or exchange programs?
Global-service learning has been defined by the Cornell Public Service Center as “an experiential education approach that links academic learning with meaningful community service activities, personal growth, and social awareness and responsibility.” This means that the main purpose of the experience is not to learn facts about another country or take classes in a foreign setting, as may be the case for general study abroad or exchange programs, but to engage in community service and problem-solving while in a global setting and building intercultural relationships. Through EDI’s GSL experiences, participating students will have opportunity to work with local organizations and citizens disability-related programs/projects. Delivering valuable service drawing upon academic learning and skills and contributing meaningfully to programs/projects in the host country remains to be one of the key elements of the program.
Are non-ILR students eligible to participate in GSL programs?
Yes. EDI’s GSL programs are open to all Cornell undergraduate students regardless of their major, prior travel, or work experience. We seek students who are mature, self-motivated, have abilities to work in unfamiliar environment, and have a positive attitude and strong interpersonal skills. However, ILR students are given preference during the selection process and applicants need to be returning students in Fall 2014. An understanding and appreciation of the disability focus of the program is expected. Applicants are selected based on the quality of written applications, recommendations, and an interview.
Do I receive academic credit for my participation in a GSL program?
You receive 1 credit for the mandatory pre-departure course you take during the spring semester before going abroad. No academic credit is given for the time you spend in-country.
How do I pay for my participation in an EDI GSL program?
All selected applicants are fully funded by EDI. Students are awarded travel advances that cover all basic program-related travel, accommodation, insurance, and food costs. Additional personal expenses for sightseeing or souvenirs are not included.
Is the service-learning placement a paid internship?
No. You will not receive pay or compensation for the work you do while in-country.
When can I go abroad?
All current GSL programs have in-country stays during the summer. To qualify for a summer 2014 GSL experience, you must apply during the fall 2013 semester and, if selected, enroll in a 1-credit pre-departure course during spring 2014.
Do I have to speak the local language?
No. Many people you will work with in both Israel and India will speak at least some English. In addition to this, the first few weeks of the India program include cultural learning courses, including basic language classes.
What are the accommodations like on site?
Local accommodations will generally be arranged in hostels. Rooms are basic but clean, safe, and private. Working in partnership with the host organizations, EDI will arrange the accommodations for you.
Who will support me while I am in a service-learning placement abroad?
Each program is led by a faculty member familiar with your foreign surroundings, who may be present for part of your stay and who is always available by phone, email, and Skype. In addition, you will have regular contact with your supervisor in the host organization and a local mentor familiar with Cornell students. Additionally, the EDI GSL Student Coordinator and Project Assistant help prepare you for your stay abroad during the spring semester before leaving, and also keeps in touch with you throughout the six weeks to gather weekly feedback from you and assist you with any issues that may arise.
India Faculty Support Personnel: Arun Karpur, 212.340.2844, email@example.com
Israel Faculty Support Personnel: Judy Young, 917.597.9124, firstname.lastname@example.org
EDI GSL Student Coordinator: Erin Sember-Chase, 607.255.6690, email@example.com
EDI GSL Project Assistant: Kate MacDowell, 607.255.7727, firstname.lastname@example.org
What happens after I return to the United States?
In addition to completing your final written paper or assignment, and completing a final survey, students will participate in a debriefing with EDI staff and faculty to provide additional feedback on their GSL experience. You will also be invited to share your experiences during the EDI information sessions in the Fall semester and participate as resource persons for the pre-departure course for the new group of students who get selected for the following year’s GSL program.
These disability-focused Global Service Learning opportunities are sponsored by the Employment and Disability Institute at the ILR School, through a generous gift from Cornell University ILR School alumna K. Lisa Yang, in collaboration with the ILR School International Programs Office.
Are you interested in going abroad, but looking to do more than learn facts about another country, take classes in a foreign setting, or participate in a general study abroad program? Would you like to enhance your ability to solve problems in a global setting while applying your academic knowledge to the real world and building intercultural relationships?
Global service-learning (GSL) enables you to put classroom learning to work in the field, help local citizens meet a vital need through a community-driven project, and learn from others while contributing to their community and/or work-related efforts. This program helps you understand how you can make a difference in the world.
In EDI’s service-learning programs, students connect academic learning, reflection, personal growth, and civic responsibility to meaningful community service experiences related to disabilities and the workplace. Current EDI GSL opportunities are available in Israel and India, and run for approximately six weeks each summer.
EDI’s GSL programs aims to bring academic learning in class rooms and community service together to offer experiential learning in an international setting. As such, participating students will generally:
Applications for the 2015 program will be available Fall 2014. Thank you for your interest.