Service Learning Trips

Our service learning trips are where the idea of service really gets ratcheted up a notch. With some trips, you work here in the United States. We’ve rebuilt homes in Mississippi after Gulf Coast hurricanes and taught children on a Navajo Reservation in Arizona.

On international trips, you are definitely not in Kansas (or Pennsylvania) anymore. Students have worked on conservation efforts in Africa, helped children in Vietnam, and renovated churches in Cuba.

Some of the trips are sponsored by the Language Department and have a language proficiency requirement. So if you want to work as a teacher’s assistant at our sister school in Nicaragua, you will need to hone your Spanish.

All of the trips are led by faculty and happen during school breaks. Wherever you go, there’s a lot of hard work as well as some time to sightsee and absorb the local culture. You’ll live with local families on many trips, but you’ll return with a broadened perspective and indelible memories from all of them.

Service Learning

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Service Learning Trip Opportunities 2019-20

Ecuador (March 7 – March 21, 2020)

Students will connect and collaborate on a sustainable community development project with an indigenous community just outside of Quito. The group plans to improve access to education through a female empowerment-focused project, which also helps preserve the indigenous heritage and culture. Sightseeing will include a visit to the beautiful Cotopaxi National Park.

Approximate Cost: $3,195

*3rd-year language proficiency required.

Greece (March 7 – March 23, 2020)

This is a two-part service learning opportunity taking place in Athens, Greece to support and learn from the refugee population. The first part of the experience will involve a handful of meaningful volunteer experiences that will include, but are not limited to, working with Solidarity Now to build a garden with refugee youths at their Solidarity Center; teaching media production skills to refugees at the Greek Forum on Refugees to help these populations take control of their own stories in support of a media literacy initiative; and assisting in an art therapy workshop for children at a refugee camp with Love Without Borders. The other part of the service trip will involve students collaboratively producing media with their peers about these experiences and the refugee crisis in general. Students will learn media production skills and how media can be used as a tool for education, empowerment, and empathy.

Approximate Cost: $3,695

South Africa (March 5 – March 23, 2020)

Students will be in a cross-cultural exchange with local families near Cape Town, South Africa. While volunteering at primary schools in the area, the students will serve as tutors and assistants to the classroom instructors. To help students understand the historical, political, and cultural climate of the country, the group will visit museums and historical landmarks around Cape Town and Johannesburg.

Approximate Cost: $4,995

Washington, DC (March 8 – March 23, 2020)

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: $2,195

Arizona (June 7 – June 24, 2020)

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 might include camping out on the Black Mesa, or rafting down the Colorado River, and visiting the Grand Canyon.

Approximate Cost: $3,395

Cuba (June 6 – June 19, 2020)

Students will help in the major reconstruction of a church in Holguin. Plans also include working in an urban hydroponic garden and visiting a community orphanage and a school for the blind and deaf. The group also expects to visit the city of Santiago, the Quaker community in Gibara, the historic town of Bayamo, and the beach at Guardalavaca.

Approximate Cost: $3,695

Uganda (June 5 – June 23, 2020)

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 mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The Mtaala Foundation will help guide our group through research and service efforts.

Approximate Cost: $4,695

Japan (July 30 – August 11, 2020)

As guest scholars with the Nuclear Studies Institute of American University, students will travel to Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Tokyo to study the atomic bombings and related history. Students will attend commemorations of the seventy-fourth anniversaries of the attacks and will meet surviving hibakusha (“explosion-affected people”). This extraordinary opportunity will allow participants to connect their coursework in Japanese history to people who lived it and to bear witness to their stories. Sightseeing will include visits and half-day excursions in each city we visit.

Approximate Cost: $5,395.