How do students learn the skills necessary to work with those who are different from them? How do they come to understand the global ramifications of local actions? How does higher education effectively train this generation for the global workforce? The answers to these questions can be found through international volunteer service, which is increasingly seen at a broad range of institutions of higher education in a multitude of forms. “While it is not new to higher education, international service pedagogy is at the threshold of a new era,” she says. “We have both the opportunity and responsibility in higher education to support and critically assess the international service performed by our students,” says Amanda Moore McBride, PhD, associate professor and research director at the Center for Social Development (CSD) at the Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis.
Leaders in higher education and international service will come together on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis March 30-April 1 for the International Service and Higher Education Symposium. “International service is not new to higher education, but it is at the threshold of a new era,” says Amanda Moore McBride, PhD, director of the Gephardt Institute for Public Service and research director for the Center for Social Development at Washington University.
“Since the founding of the Peace Corps 50 years ago, international service programs have grown dramatically across the public, private and nonprofit sectors,” says Amanda Moore McBride, PhD, assistant professor at the Brown School and expert on civic service as Research Director at the School’s Center for Social Development (CSD). To date, most research on the field of international service has focused solely on the volunteers themselves. While impacts on volunteers are important, CSD researches not only the impacts on volunteers but also the impacts on the host communities and organizations that they serve. In their most recent study, McBride and colleagues looked at the impact of international service on the development of volunteers’ international contacts and how those contacts, in turn, are used to further host community development around the world.