What is Service Learning?

Service-learning is a strategy for teaching and learning that promotes student engagement with their local community. The Department of Anthropology offers several courses with service-learning components. For instance, students in the Exiled to America (ANT 416) course learned that when refugees arrive in the US they often have few possessions and do not have the proper attire for our weather. To bring this issue to life, the class volunteered to organized donated items in the clothing closet of a city refugee outreach center. Additionally, in the past, the Cultural Research Methods course (ANT 383) partnered with the Rochester City Historian’s Office to help document oral testimonies. Other courses which have offered service-learning opportunities include Introduction to Cultural Anthropology (ANT 201), and Forced from Home (ANT 368).

Service learning is best tailored for people who wish to try and make a positive influence in the world, all while they are gaining experience to further their career.

Supporting Adult Refugees Project

A perfect example of service learning is Dr. Carroll’s Supporting Adult Refugees project. The project started back in August of 2017 and students were given the opportunity to be a language interpreter for adult refugees. Students were allowed to work with refugees from multiple locations around the world, mainly focusing on interpreting the following languages,

  • Arabic
  • Burmese
  • Karen
  • Karenni
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Swahili