International Service Learning Successfully Engaging Adult Students


  • Denise Gifford University of Louisville


Higher Education, Student Engagement, Adult Students, International Service Learning


A commonly held misconception is that adult working students with multiple demands on their time will resist the idea of community-based learning or service learning because they can't fit it in their schedule. The experience of the University of Louisville International Service-Learning Program proves the opposite. Adult students find outof- the-classroom learning, when well designed, to be compatible with their learning goals and objectives. Eight years of experience in involving adult students in international service-learning reveals that adult students crave the opportunity to apply their knowledge, experience different cultures, and gain academic and personal confidence from doing work that makes a difference for others.