Community-Based Learning in Study Abroad

Community-Based Learning (CBL) courses integrate regular community engagement into classroom course work. These opportunities allow for students studying abroad to encounter and work with individuals in their host communities. These relationships deepen students’ understanding of the community, enrich cultural learning—and where applicable—improve language skills.

CBL courses are available in many Notre Dame study abroad locations. Typically, these have the “ZCSC” attribute on NOVO. Not all courses are available each semester, but recent offerings include the courses listed below. Please check availability with Notre Dame International study abroad program staff when registering for courses after you have been accepted to that study abroad program.

Where CBL is not available, there are often opportunities for service and deep engagement in the local community. Contact Rosie McDowell for more information.


Students have opportunity to join service and other community engagement programming through CIDEF at the Université Catholique de l'Ouest.


IIPS 33405: Solidarity Social Movements in Greece 

Students join social service organizations as interns to complement course learning on civil society in Greece and its recent development along with the changing relationships between the citizen and the state.

CST 34411: Citizen State and Society 

Students explore major social issues in contemporary Greece and work in specific agencies through this course which deal with those issues.

POLS 34570: Immigrants, Citizenship and Nationalism in Europe

Students will be exposed to the most recent and influential theories of nationalism, ethnicity, citizenship, and social integration, and will have a chance to learn "hands-on", by interacting with local immigrant communities as well as with representatives of mainstream Greek society holding quite differing views on this increasingly controversial social phenomenon.


Students may select the sustainable development track as an option on the Beijing-CIEE program. Consult NDI Study Abroad staff for details.


HIST 34430: Introduction to Ireland (cross listed with Soc, Anthro)

Students undertake weekly work in local community agencies. These experiences are integrated with course topics of contemporary issues in Dublin through written assignments ands small group discussion. Community-based learning in this course is offered in collaboration with the Center for Social Concerns, with required pre-departure orientation session and reentry sessions. Learn more.


SOC 34518: Social Justice, Service-Learning and Community Engagement

Through this course students investigate international human rights, Catholic Social Tradition, Community Development, and Globalization and become actively engaged in these topics in the local community.

STV 3400: Understanding Sustainable Development Practices

Students explore principle sustainable development practices through the development of a structured local case study aligned with government agencies, industry, and community.


THEO 24846 Three Faiths, Two Peoples: Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the Holy Land

This course incorporates extensive experiential learning through field trips, site visits, guest speakers, and engagement with places of worship and community organizations. 


ESS 34355: Catholic Education and the Common Good (cross listed in SOC)

This course will integrate the experience of teaching in London Catholic schools with a reflection on practice informed by contemporary scholarship.

THEO 34712: Catholic Social Teaching  and the Charitable Sector

This course will integrate the experience of students completing internships in a number of religiously affiliated charitable organizations, utilizing the lens of Catholic social teaching to reflect upon and deepen their practice.​

ARHI #TBD: London as Art Capital 

As a part of the course students will visit and engage actively in London communities as volunteers in pioneering museum and gallery outreach programs to gain insight into the ways art contributes to a capital city and all its residents promoting inclusion health education and wellbeing. (*New spring 2019)

ANTH #TBD: The Past in the Present: Socially Engaged Archeology 

Working directly with contemporary community groups, this course explores the roles community-based archeology can play in the construction and reconstruction of cultural identities. Students will work closely with community groups, exploring issues of heritage, identity, material culture, history, and belonging. (*New spring 2019)

PSIM 34002: Experiential Learning Abroad Internship

This course is intended for students electing to fulfill the Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor (PSIM) experiential learning requirement through internships while studying abroad. Prior approval required of PSIM director and regular application process for London internships is necessary.​

THEO 34605: London Program Internship in Catholic Social Teaching (cross listed with CSC)

This semester long internship in Catholic social teaching includes practical work experience in campaigning for social justice through a network of inner-city Catholic parishes in London and six one-on-one tutorials providing an introduction to the social teaching of the Catholic Church. Prior approval required of Catholic Social Tradition Minor director and regular application process for London internships is necessary.


AL 34721: Medical Internship
Lectures by Mexican doctors on health care in Mexico, traditional medicine, physician perspectives, expectations of patients. Students spend six hours a week in Mexican hospitals, shadowing doctors and doing some clinical work under medical supervision. They take a trip to the indigenous town of Cuetzalan where they meet a traditional healer and witness first hand practices of traditional medicine.

ESS 34690: Internship in Education: Theory and Practice
This is an experiential course designed to give students practical experience in the area of teaching English as a second language.


LLRO 34600: All Roads Lead to Rome (cross listed in Classics, History and AL)

Students study and begin to learn about the immense phenomenon of Rome through site visits, historical studies, literary readings, film viewings, lectures, and community-based learning in local agencies. 


THEO 34202: Approaches to Poverty and Development in Chile (cross listed in Anthro, Soc)

Students study the meaning and significance of poverty in Latin America, from theological and social science perspective and engage with local community organizations weekly meeting the needs of the poor. The course integrates service-learning through three-hour (minimum) weekly commitments at community organizations. Spring students take a one-credit fall semester pre-departure course and fall students participate in orientation sessions in the spring semester prior.

This course is offered in coordination with the Center for Social Concerns. Learn more


AL 24006: Memory and History
This service-learning course allows students to gain Spanish language competency and gain knowledge of the past through the study of history and memory of our elders. The ultimate goal is to create an Archive of Memory by recording interviews with elderly residents in Toledo.

SOC 24400: Spain and Immigrants

In this course, students participate in several Toledo institutions related to the immigration phenomenon in Spain, collaborating directly either with the immigrant population or with the Spaniards who are working with them.

Toledo Internships

Semester-long internships may be credited in ESS or AL. Check with NDI study abroad staff for details.



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