N.U.in Australia students engage in ongoing Service-Learning placements as part of the Global Experience course. This is a major, required component of the GE course and is often the central topic of class discussions and assignments. Having this exciting component built into their schedules enables students to build relationships with their respective organizations, engage in meaningful service, and see a different side of Australian culture by further integrating into the local Melbourne community. Simultaneously, students develop professional skills that they can apply to future courses, co-ops, jobs, and study abroad experiences.
N.U.in Australia students typically participate in a combination of weekly, individual service commitments and one-time, group service events. Service-Learning projects cover a range of areas including conservation projects, English tutoring, marketing, event-organization, and preparing and serving food to the homeless.What is Service-Learning?
Service-Learning differs from traditional volunteerism in that the volunteering is ongoing, tied to the academic curriculum, and paired with purposeful reflection. In this form of experiential learning, students engage in hands-on service roles, through which they learn about and apply course concepts while intentionally addressing the needs identified by community-based partners.
Service-Learning placements in past years included:
- The Gawler Foundation
- Bicycle Network
- Swinburne College
- Camberwell Salvation Army
- Parkinsons Victoria
Students engaging in Service-Learning practice a range of professional skills, not limited to:
- Activity planning/implementation
- Computer/technology/graphic design
- Curriculum development
- Event management/organization
- Public speaking
- Teaching English
- Understanding of local education/healthcare/welfare systems
- Working with children/teenagers
In order to place students into specific S-L sites, students are asked to complete the online Service-Learning Skills Assessment by May 16. They are then assigned to service sites according to academic schedule, availability, and volunteer background.