Global Learning and Community-Campus Partnerships: Questions Outstanding or Questions Answered?

July 13, 2017

This blog post was written by Eric Hartman, PhD, the Executive Director of the Center for Peace and Global Citizenship at Haverford College and the co-founder of

The full blog post was originally published by NAFSA and can be found here

In a field such as international education, which is touched by all disciplines, it is uniquely difficult to share a clear understanding of seminal works, current questions, and foundational knowledge. This challenge is only confounded when a distinct field such as international education is integrated with another distinct field, such as community-campus engagement, to develop new programming at the intersection of global learning and community-engaged learning. These challenges of shared understanding, as well as the real, documented risks of scattershot international education, volunteerism, service-learning, or community engagement, brought together a coalition of colleges and universities several years ago, which led to the launch of the Global Service-Learning Summit series and

  1. Do students learn on study abroad programs?
  2. Do students learn through community engagement?
  3. What do we know about the effects of engaged learning in communities off campus?
  4. For global learning, must students travel internationally?
  5. What are the benefits and risks of adding community engagement to study abroad programming?

In Sum: Intentionality is vital in pedagogy and partnerships, increasing the likelihood of intercultural learning, global citizenship development, and positive outcomes for host community members. At we have collected hundreds of open-access, peer-reviewed resources, teaching tools, and syllabi supporting deeper understanding and intentionality across this work. It is absolutely not safe to assume that all forms of global, community-engaged learning contribute to global citizenship or community development outcomes.

In the post I work to briefly summarize the streams of research that inform understanding of the questions above (for more information see the GSL Research Wiki). I look forward to continuing to investigate these and similar questions with colleagues at the 5th Global Service-Learning Summit, which will be hosted by the University of Notre Dame from April 15 – 17, 2018.

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