ISSLP Student Stories

Local Community, Global Solidarity

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.

 

Signs of the Times Podcast feat. Quinn McKenna

Quinn McKenna is a Notre Dame junior who participated in the center's Global Learning and Living Community (GLLC) during the summer of 2021. Following the cancellation of summer travel in 2021, the International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP) offered GLLC 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.

In this episode Quinn shares her GLLC experience, which she found to be one of the most surprising and rewarding experiences she's had at Notre Dame. 

Listen Here

 

 

 

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Solidarity during a pandemic: Why it matters

“With abundant clarity, we now know that we cannot possibly live apart from the world because it intrudes into our private lives with such startling abruptness..…It is this more personal and pervasive awareness of the world’s intrusion into our private lives, that lends urgency and relevance to international service learning.” [1]

These words echo true to the events that took place in March 2020, as the coronavirus was developing into what would become a global pandemic. As Notre Dame students were on spring break, the University made the difficult but necessary decision to suspend all summer 2020 outbound international education programs. This decision included the 2020 International Summer Service Learning Program (ISSLP) of the Center for Social Concerns. ISSLP 2020 would have seen its largest participant cohort thus far with 73 students and expanded partnerships in new country locations including Eswatini, Kenya, and The Gambia.

Despite the disruptions brought about by the coronavirus pandemic, ISSLP students successfully completed the required Global Issues spring course remotely. In addition to this, 30 students from the ISSLP 2020 cohort, engaged in remote global service-learning this summer with ISSLP site partners in Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Senegal. 

The following is a reflection from one of the 30 students who participated in remote global service learning during summer 2020.

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During the summer of 2020, junior Cristian Araujo worked virtually with the Ecuador-based Fundación Natividad de los Andes as part of the International Summer Service Learning Program.

Together with four other ISSLP students, Cristian taught English classes remotely to 168 teachers from Catholic Schools in the towns of Chimbo, Guaranda, and Loja in Ecuador.

“Teaching the Virtual English Course with the ISSLP allowed me to build meaningful relationships across physical boundaries. I had never taught English and was unsure of what I was embarking on."

Along with the experience of teaching a language, Cristian found the relationships she built through daily conversations with the teachers one of the most meaningful aspects of the work.

"Their excitement and readiness to learn mixed with their worries and uncertainties allowed for me to see myself in them. I too learned a new language and could relate to all their emotions. It was humbling for me to see how much effort they put into being on time and leaving aside their responsibilities simply to learn."

Despite the challenges of the global pandemic that pushed her ISSLP online, Cristian found motivation in the solidarity and principle of service for the command good at the center of her ISSLP experience.

"With so many things happening it had been easy for me to cocoon into my self-centered world of worries and responsibilities, but the course propelled me to stay rooted in positivity and look for new ways on how I can continue to work for and with others.”

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Over the summer, senior Sara Meyer interned remotely with the Senegal based Global Research and Advocacy Group through the International Summer Service Learning Program. 

“I'm so grateful for the opportunity to work for GRAG remotely," said Meyer. "I think that they're an amazing organization doing really important work."

Collaborating with GRAG, Meyer wrote media summaries on core thematic areas such as gender based violence, female genital mutilation, maternal, newborn and child health. She also created social media posts to highlight the organization's work and helped write new grant proposals and concept notes for resource mobilization.

While Meyer noted that the nature of remote work was at times challenging, particularly due to the intense subject matter of the human rights violations on which the organization was working, she considered the summer a meaningful learning experience.

"It has taught me about problems that I wasn't deeply aware of before and opened my eyes to potential solutions and the wonderful people working to implement these solutions," said Meyer.

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Upcoming Events

October 2021

25
Application Close | ISSLP 2022
Monday, October 25, 2021 - 12:00am to 11:45pm
26
Information Session | SSLP 2022
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 7:00pm
29
Postgraduate Service Lunch | Alliance for Catholic Education
Friday, October 29, 2021 - 11:30am to 1:30pm

November 2021

02
Information Session | SSLP 2022
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 7:00pm
02
Getting Something to Eat in Jackson
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 7:00pm
05
05
Mini Postgraduate Service Fair
Friday, November 5, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
05
Labor Café First Friday
Friday, November 5, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
09
Taste of PATH
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 7:30pm
11
Information Session | Poverty Studies Interdisciplinary Minor (PSIM)
Thursday, November 11, 2021 - 8:00pm to 8:30pm
12
Dignity and Justice Workshop
Friday, November 12, 2021 - 10:00am to 1:00pm
14
Catholic Social Tradition (CST) Minor Brunch
Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 11:30am
14
Higgins Film CLASSics | Blue Collar (1978)
Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 3:00pm
29
Virtues & Vocations Presents Howard Gardner: What is Good Work?
Monday, November 29, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

December 2021

03
Signs of the Times Brown Bag Lunch Series | Housing
Friday, December 3, 2021 - 12:00pm
03
Labor Café First Friday
Friday, December 3, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm