Although we like to think of the learning experience as a whole, for academic purposes we divide the entire experience into 4 courses plus an optional independent study. Please click on the Slide Show for more complete course descriptions (they can be found toward the end).
Identity and Place (3 credits)
This course asks students and community counterparts to examine who they are as related to the ever-changing environment in which they live. For this course, environment is approached broadly. While it most often refers to the immediate world around us, this course asks students to see the interconnections between one’s present surroundings and a global ecology. We challenge students to rethink who we are with regards to our collective identity (or identities), examining our globalized society as interconnected communities. (Download Syllabus)
Design and Evaluation of Sustainable Community Projects (3 credits)
Our many courses, and the resulting projects, must be carried out according to well-studied and effectively practiced methodologies in design and evaluation. This course takes students through the different phases necessary for effective design and evaluation of a development project. Topics are chosen by students and their counterparts based on conflicts or needs existing within our host community. (Download Syllabus)
Storytelling: Language and Movement (3 credits)
This course takes students through a process that seeks to unleash the power of stories, but most especially we attempt to harness such a power in the creation and presentation of our own stories. Based on the realities present in our host community, students work with their counterparts, combining theory with practice, to create and tell stories to the community at large. The telling is done orally and physical expression. (Download Syllabus)
Theatre for Social Change and Innovation (3 credits)
The cohort learns processes of creating social change by being creative. With particular focus on the identification and transformation of conflicts that are pertinent to participants’ lives, we engage in exercises and activities that pull from the areas of Theatre of the Oppressed, Participatory Theatre, Performance Activism and Theatre for Community Development. We work closely with community leaders to evaluate the work from our course for its potential with later community-based innovative activities. (Download Syllabus)
Independent Study (Optional 3 credits)
Internationals are welcome to add on an independent study as a fifth course. The independent study can be carried out as an internship or personal research project. Depending on our host community, there are numerous options available for internships, including working in primary education, English instruction, public health, agriculture, and social entrepreneurship, among others.