Service Learning Trips
Our service learning trips are where the idea of service really gets ratcheted up a notch. Yes, you’re still going out to lend a hand to folks, but you’re getting on a plane to do it.
With some trips, you work here in the States. We’ve rebuilt homes in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina, taught kids on a Navajo Reservation in Arizona, and cleared trails in the park through Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia.
On international trips, you’re definitely not in Kansas (or Pennsylvania) anymore. Students have worked in AIDS clinics in South Africa, renovated churches in Cuba, and created art with hearing-impaired kids in India. (And then sold the art here at home to buy them hearing aids!)
Some of the trips are sponsored by the Language Department and have a language proficiency requirement. For example, you can go to Managua, Nicaragua to work as a teacher’s assistant in our sister school. Yes, it’s as interesting as it sounds but you’ll have to bone up on Spanish first.
All of the trips are led by faculty and happen during spring and summer breaks. Wherever you go, there’s a lot of hard work as well as some time to sightsee and absorb the local culture. In many cases, you’ll live with local families during your stay.
Service Learning Trip Opportunities 2018-19
Philadelphia (Fall Break 2018 and Midwinter Break 2019)
The Philadelphia Service Learning Project is a unique opportunity for students to complete their service learning requirement during Fall Break in October and Midwinter Break in February. Students will volunteer at various nonprofit agencies in the city feeding the hungry and homeless.
Approximate Cost: $795.
Note: The permission form for the Philadelphia Service Learning Trip is due Wednesday, October 16 by 4:00 p.m. It will be filled on a first come, first served basis.
Cuba (March 8 – March 24, 2019)
In addition to completing a short service project in Havana, George School students will help in the major reconstruction of a church in Holguin. Plans also include working in an urban hydroponic garden, visiting a community orphanage, and a school for the blind and deaf. We also expect to visit the city of Santiago, the Quaker community in Gibara, the historic town of Bayamo, and the beach at Guardalavaca. This service learning project will conclude with a visit to a Cuban Quaker community in Miami.
Approximate Cost: $3,595.
*3rd year language proficiency required.
Haiti (March 10 – March 25, 2019)
Students will work with an organization called the N a Sonje Foundation (NSF) located in the tiny village of Gwo Jan, a mountainous region about forty-five minutes from the capital, Port au Prince. NSF orients visitors, volunteers, and researchers to the history, Creole language, culture, and ethos of Haitian life. For the first several days, students will stay in the NSF guesthouse, with the opportunity for home stays with local families. During the second week, we will explore the wider Haitian community with the NSF team acting as guides. Possible activities may include volunteering at an earthquake resettlement community, meetings with members of youth organizations, visiting rice fields, and a sugar cane mill.
Approximate Cost: $3,695.
Uganda (March 7 – March 25, 2019)
Students will work with community leaders on social justice issues and conservation efforts in the region. The group will collaborate on educational projects with their Ugandan peers from Awegys Secondary School located in the outskirts of Kampala. They will also trek deep into Kibale Forest National Park with Uganda Wildlife Authority trackers to assist in the habituation of wild chimpanzees. Students also may have the opportunity to visit with the endangered mountains gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The Mtaala Foundation will help guide our group through the research and service efforts.
Approximate Cost: $4,595.
Washington, DC (March 10 – March 23, 2019)
Students will volunteer with the Youth Services Opportunity Project (YSOP), a nonprofit organization. Using orientation and reflection to frame their service experiences, YSOP inspires participants to broaden their perspectives and become engaged citizens. Additionally, students will have the opportunity to visit museums and explore our nation’s capital.
Approximate Cost: $1,895.
West Virginia (March 10 – March 23, 2019)
Students will volunteer with Almost Heaven Habitat for Humanity in Lewisburg, West Virginia, to help with the construction of new homes. Students will live at The Rhema Christian Center for the duration of their stay, and the group will have an opportunity to explore Greenbrier County during their downtime.
Approximate Cost: $1,695.
Arizona (June 9 – June 26, 2019)
Students will work as teachers’ aides in the Kayenta Elementary School located in the Navajo Nation of Arizona. Homestays with local families provide the opportunity to experience the daily life and culture in the Navajo Nation. After-school activities for George School students may include camping out on the Black Mesa, rafting down the Colorado River, and visiting the Grand Canyon.
Approximate Cost: $3,295.
Bonaire (June 8 – June 22, 2019)
This service is twofold with a focus on local island youth and environmental stewardship on the Dutch Caribbean island of Bonaire. Environmental service components include beach, mangrove, and underwater cleanups, as well as scientific data collection of invasive species, coral health, and marine life. Students are required to be or become scuba certified, and those who are not certified will be trained on campus by a PADI-certified Open Water Scuba Instructor at a greatly reduced cost. All students will be required to demonstrate competency and comfort with scuba diving before trip departure. Because the Bonaire service trip has set a goal of being 100 percent carbon neutral, students must demonstrate a commitment to environmental stewardship by altering some of their personal habits and behaviors in order to completely offset the negative environmental impact of traveling to Bonaire.
Approximate Cost: $4,000 – $4,395*
*Range due to estimated airfare cost.
Costa Rica (June 10 – June 21, 2019)
Students will travel and work in the rural northern and central parts of Costa Rica, visiting with local families. Service activities emphasize ecological conservation and may include projects with schools, grassroots organizations, and communities. Students learn about Costa Rica’s commitment to environmental stewardship through visits to national parks, wildlife preserves, and conservation organizations. The group will visit a variety of habitats, including coastal, tropical dry, mountain, tropical rain, and tropical cloud forest types.
Approximate Cost: $3,895 – $4,195*
*Range due to estimated airfare cost.
Montreal (June 10 – June 23, 2019)
Students will work with two nonprofit organizations, Santropol Roulant and Moisson Montreal, preparing and delivering meals to individuals and families experiencing food insecurity. Participants will have numerous opportunities to practice their French while volunteering in Canada.
Approximate Cost: $2,595
*3rd year language proficiency required.
Vietnam (June 8 – June 23, 2019)
Students will volunteer at the Bac Ninh Orphanage and Nurturing Center for Deaf Children near Hanoi. Service often includes working with young children, painting and repairing facilities, and gardening. Students will meet with individuals who suffer from the effects of Agent Orange used during the Vietnam War. This project includes a week-long homestay with Vietnamese families. Cultural experiences may include visiting remote Hmong ethnic villages, taking boat trips on Ha Long Bay, or exploring the historical Vinh Moc tunnels.
Approximate Cost: $4,595