Faculty-led Courses with a Community Based Learning component Sample Experiences

south africa

Culture and Communication in Post-Apartheid South Africa

This course explored the roots of apartheid and the transition the country experienced in the move to a democratic government in the 1990’s.  The cultural dimensions of several of the prominent ethnic groups in South Africa were studied.  Students traveled to several locations including Johannesburg/Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and the Hluhluwe game park. Lectures, guest speakers and site visits were incorporated to showcase a variety of communication strategies in a small business, electronic media, educational institutions, healthcare, government, eco-tourism and agriculture.  Highlights of the course included a Community Based Learning project at a school in Cape Town and interaction with graduate students at a local University. Other memorable occasions included a cable car ride up Table Mountain, a visit to Robben Island, a guided tour of the Apartheid Museum and an excursion to Soweto.  


Community Based Learning Project in Portugal

Over the past 10 years during their spring break, this school has taken students on a Community Based Learning project to different locations all over the world. The group’s most recent Community Based Learning experience occurred in Portugal.  This 13 day excursion included Lisbon, Porto and Coimbra, Portugal.  Touring Lisbon included the Jeronimos Monastery, the Belem Tower and the National Coach Museum.  The group also experienced the historic city center of Porto, a designated UNESCO World Heritage site.  In Coimbra, the group toured one of the first universities in the world dating back to 1290 and walked through the Botanical Gardens and the Santa Cruz Monastery.   The Community Based Learning project consisted of   students spending 4 full days interacting with and assisting children ages 4-19 in a Youth Home.    The project involved helping to clean, organize and decorate some of the rooms, coordinating activities such as art projects and  playing games, especially football, conducting English classes and creating a database for the school.  Highlights of this successful spring break included: attending a Portuguese folk-music show, a soccer game, a performance of Rock the Ballet and especially interacting and making friendships with the children at the Youth Home.


Aging in Greece: Comparative Cultural Practices and Social Policies

Ikaria, Greece is an island that has been identified as a location for longevity research. This small, mountainous island is one of a handful of places on earth where residents are 10 times more likely to live past the age of 100. This course incorporates an intensive service-learning project with a local nursing home. Students explore aging from cross-cultural perspectives with a focus on the history and geography of Ikaria and how these surroundings have affected the lives of elders on the island. The service-learning project combines cross-cultural activities and a legacy project of the elders during nursing home visits. During this 14 day course, students also spend a day seeing the sites of Athens including the Plaka and the Modern History Museum, visit several monasteries in Kalavrita and explore the beautiful Greek Islands of Patmos and Samos.


south africa, dance