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Why Service Learning is Good For You

By 3 years ago

So your teacher has just told you that you need to complete a service learning project this year. You are either really excited or feel like you have been handed a death sentence. I mean, you’re never going to get all those precious hours back, right? Think of all the progress you could have made in Skyrim or how many episodes of Vampire Diaries you could have binge watched. But you know what? Ian Somerhalder wouldn’t want you sitting on that couch, he would want you out there in the world reaping the benefits of your service learning! You probably don’t believe me. How can service learning be *gasp* ‘fun’? Well, prepare yourself for the revelations of all revelations, because SL can be all that  and MORE.

Find Your Dream Career

Yes. We kid you not. You can find your way out of that “I don’t know what to do with my life after high school” haze and find your purpose. Service Learning is the perfect opportunity to take one of your interests and use it to benefit others. Use your passions, values and beliefs to lead you towards an organisation that will allow you to do good while doing something you love. And if worse comes to worst, you’ll have a better understanding of things that interest you and what you value in a potential career path.

There is even a bonus round. Your hands-on experience will not only look fantastic on your university application and CV, but it can also lead to internships or a job later down the line. By giving up a few hours of Skyrim, you have conquered the catch-22 of needing experience to get a job. Hello, career kick-starter.

Contribute to Social Change

Okay, so we have spoken about how service learning has a positive impact on YOU, but what about the community?

SL gives you the chance to get to grips with real social issues like the ones outlined in the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

During your service learning project, you will be able to meet people (or animals) from diverse cultures and communities, giving you insight into what their daily lives are like and the problems they face. And if just your presence had the power to help the environment or even a child get access to a basic education, would you still turn away?

Be The Difference

Once you have identified an organisation and a social issue, the hard part is coming up with a plan to make an actual difference.

Now, while this part can seem like the boring it, it still has loads of benefits. Coming up with an action plan and identifying how you can solve a piece of a larger problem helps you develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. And trust us, employers love those skills. Plus your time at that project is going to increase public awareness of that issue, which can lead to more volunteers supporting the cause and much-needed additional funding. You can do all that and more for yourself and others. Incredible huh?

Now that you are all terribly excited about your SL project, get out there and start finding a way to have a real impact on your local or international community.

If you need a starting point, take a look through GVI’s multi-award winning international service learning programs.