International Summer Service Learning Program

Despite dramatic changes throughout the world, we continue to see widening disparities between the rich and the poor and people of color. This is seen most clearly in the current context of the global coronavirus pandemic. The lack of basic resources, access to health, education, and employment remains the challenge for developing and non-industrialized nations. In nations marred by political conflict and violence, efforts of peace, reconciliation, and democratization are slow with its effects seen most clearly in the lives of the poor.

The Center for Social Concerns' International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP) is both a four-credit course and an eight-week summer service-learning program in Catholic social tradition and social analysis which together provide a critical lens through which students are invited to interpret an array of global issues. In the face of pressing global concerns, the need to educate students about their responsibility in our global community becomes ever apparent. The ISSLP provides an opportunity to examine causes of poverty and to create links of solidarity across borders. In collaboration with global partners, the ISSLP seeks to fulfill this educational objective for our students and to meet local needs of communities across the world. 

The ISSLP begins with THEO 33970 Global Issues (1.0 credit) serving as the pre-departure on-campus course in the spring semester. It is followed by THEO 33938 (3.0 credits) which includes an eight to ten week service-learning immersion with partner organizations in a developing country context, summer and fall academic requirements. For students selected to participate, the ISSLP provides airfare, room and board, and $1,000 travel award.

Coronavirus Response

In March 2020, as the coronavirus was developing into what would be a global pandemic, the University made the difficult but necessary decision to suspend all summer 2020 outbound international education programs which included the ISSLP 2020. Read here about how ISSLPs went virtual in 2020 and made an impact during the coronavirus. 

2021 Global Learning and Living Community (GLLC)

In planning for ISSLP 2021, program staff worked closely with University administration and Notre Dame International to make final determinations for spring class sessions and the international summer service-learning placement. 

Following the cancellation of summer travel in 2021, the ISSLP offered a “global learning and living community” option for students who needed to complete their global service-learning virtually. This program allowed ISSLP participants an opportunity to live in an intentional community in South Bend/Notre Dame, conduct virtual global service-learning projects, and engage in learning about global issues localized in South Bend and the region.

Check out this video to hear from students who participated in the GLLC.

ISSLP 2022 Application

The application for summer 2022 is now closed. 

Learn More

Attend an Information Session to learn more from past participants. 

Use this Site Directory to help you find sites of interest by their scope of work, then use the Site Descriptions and Site Binders for more detailed information and research.

Read through the ISSLP Site specific binders located in McNeill Library, Geddes Hall. Site binders may not be removed from Geddes Hall.

Review the ISSLP Learning Agreement and understand the requirements prior to completing the application.

Refer to the 2022 ISSLP Calendar for selection process timeline and key program dates.

St. Mary's College and Holy Cross College students should contact to request access instructions for the ISSLP application.

ISSLP accepts applications from all undergraduate and graduate students with returning student status following their ISSLP summer.

If accepted, ISSLP classes are held Thursday's throughout the spring 2022 semester from 6:30–8:00 p.m. and begin on January 13, 2022.

This course fulfills a requirement for the Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor and Catholic Social Tradition Minor.

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Upcoming Events

May 2022

Graduate Summer Institute for Engaged Research and Teaching
Tuesday, May 31, 2022 - 12:00am to Thursday, June 2, 2022 - 11:45pm

June 2022

ND Explores STEM: Healthcare
Friday, June 3, 2022 - 2:00pm to 3:00pm
Information Session | RISE: Hometown
Thursday, June 9, 2022 - 7:00pm
Preferred Application Deadline | Graduate Fellowship
Wednesday, June 15, 2022 - 12:00am to 11:45pm
Information Session | RISE: South Bend
Thursday, June 16, 2022 - 7:00pm

September 2022

Pathways Out of Poverty: Venture Creation and Contemporary Europe
Wednesday, September 7, 2022 - 11:00am to 1:00pm