Community Service Abroad

Study Abroad student with foreign childStudents at Mary Baldwin College can earn academic credit by volunteering overseas, either during May Term or for a summer, semester, or year, under the supervision of an MBC faculty member. Community service (particularly in a community unlike one’s own) is an excellent way to gain international experience, improve language skills, and develop cross-cultural competence. It helps students become more engaged global citizens and see how their actions can make a real difference in the world. Service learning links the student’s community service to an academic discipline and requires thoughtful and structured reflection of the experience.

Mary Baldwin students can organize weeks, summers, semesters, or years of service through outside providers such as Cross Cultural Solutions, the School for International Training, or VIDA Volunteers. MBC students have volunteered in India, Oman, El Salvador, Costa Rice, and other countries. To organize a service abroad experience, visit the Spencer Center for Civic and Global Engagement, or email to set up an appointment with a study abroad advisor.



Destinations: Cherident, Haiti
Course Number: COMM 280, CE 102, CE 287/387, ED 577, or ED 514 Practicum.
Cost: Approx. $1700
Instructor: Dr. Bruce Dorries
Contact Information:

Who can go? – This trip is designed for Adult Degree Program and Graduate Teacher Education students in the education fields; however, all Mary Baldwin students (PBTL, RCW, MLitt/MFA) are welcome! Alumni and friends of the college who are interested should contact Dr. Dorries.

Where are we going? – We will be traveling to a small, remote mountain town in Haiti. Cherident is several hours outside of Port Au Prince. We will be staying in a guest house owned by the Haiti Education Foundation. Travelers should be prepared for basic accomodations and communal living. Electricity is on for only several hours a day. We will be sleeping in bunks with shared bathrooms. There is no air-conditioning or amenities.

What are we doing? – We will be building on the information gathered in the Community Needs Assessment survey conducted by Prof. Dodson and Dr. Kennedy, and relationships created during the spring 2014 trip. Our focus will be furthering the educational goals of the community. Potential projects include co-creating teaching walls and classroom murals, cultural exchanges with teachers and students, research on future projects to bring solar to schools and a community center. We will also spend two days/nights in Jacmel, an art community and beach town on the coast.