CCS offers volunteer and intern abroad programs that are popular with students; many of whom have obtained academic credit for their participation, especially in the fields of education, health, and social services. To encourage the trend, CCS has been actively involved in positioning international volunteering as a respected form of education abroad — especially international service-learning.
CCS recently attended the 2011 NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference in Vancouver, B.C., which brings together thousands of international educators each year. While the field of education abroad has traditionally been reserved for study abroad experiences, Work, Intern, and Volunteer Abroad (WIVA) programs have recently been on the rise as a result of increasing demand.
“We’re seeing a trend of students who are looking for experiences beyond study abroad, where they can be more deeply immersed into a country and culture by working or volunteering within it,” said Lesley Robinson, Senior Manager of Partnerships at CCS. “By connecting international service with both higher education and international education, CCS programs incorporate life skills that are necessary for creating global graduates.”
CCS has attended the annual NAFSA conference for many years. This year, CCS presented on the topic of “Risk Management in Internship and Volunteer Abroad Programs” at NAFSA. CCS Founder & Executive Director, Steve Rosenthal, also presented on “The Future of International Service Learning Abroad and Its Impact on Social Responsibility.”
CCS is deeply invested in the connection between international volunteering and higher education. Earlier this year, CCS also attended the Forum on Education Abroad conference in Boston to present at the “The Forum Standards Project for Work, Internships, and Volunteering Abroad” session.
CCS has continuously been at the center of the conversation on how to encourage volunteering abroad on campus. The organization attended a conference held by Washington University in St. Louis, “International Service and Higher Education: At the Threshold of a New Era,” and has proudly served as a case study in the first academic research study of its kind on the effects of international volunteering. The study, funded by the Ford Foundation, is being conducted by the Center for Social Development at Washington University.
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Cross-Cultural Solutions (http://www.crossculturalsolutions.org) was founded in 1995, and has supported over 25,000 people to volunteer abroad in 12 countries around the world. CCS is proud to advise and build partnerships with schools and organizations looking to structure academic experiences through volunteering abroad. CCS is an international not-for-profit organization with no political or religious affiliations.