This program will focus on improving basic human rights through educational development, infrastructure improvement, and reciprocal cultural exchange, and will take place in Luang Prabang, Laos, a relaxed town located along the Mekong River. Luang Prabang has a fusion of French and Asian culture, and surrounding hills that contain traditional villages, waterfalls, and dense jungle.
These projects range in content suitable for students studying academic disciplines such as:
- Women’s Empowerment
- Global Health.
Example project activities include:
- English tutorials/teaching English at The School For The Deaf;
- Life-skills and healthcare workshops;
- Improving facilities through construction projects;
- Children's summer camps;
- Teacher training.
This inter-disciplinary program introduces students to international service-learning and sustainable development in content and practice, in Luang Prabang. Through lectures, discussion, research, service, and reflection (beginning two weeks prior to their departure and continuing two weeks after their return home), students in this program engage in meaningful, context-driven service-learning at home and abroad. Emphasis will be placed on relating long-term project goals with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and engaging in daily reflection surrounding the experience, which will be led by qualified group facilitators who are trained to enhance individual student development. The program curriculum will be tailored to your students’ academic needs as well as any faculty requirements.
A GVI service-learning program provides students with the opportunity to live and work within the “classroom” of their chosen field of study, and to develop professional capacities associated with intercultural competency, global citizenship, teamwork, problem-solving, and leadership. By participating in this program, students will be prepared to contribute to solutions for critical global issues related to sustainable development within a local community, and alongside an international team.
The objectives for each GVI project are based on specific United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. In Luang Prabang, students will largely contribute to need-based community development projects in surrounding areas that primarily improve the general infrastructure and learning environments for local disadvantaged children.
Laos short, mid, and long-term objectives
All of our programs have short, mid and long-term objectives that fit with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This enables us to report on our collaborative impact across the world in a streamlined manner, measuring which UN SDGs we are making a substantial contribution to. Furthermore, this will help our local partners and communities measure and visualize their contribution to the UN SDGs.
Upon arrival to base, you will be educated about the history of the UN SDGs. You will learn about the specific goals of your location, the long-, mid- and short-term objectives, and also clarification of how your personal, shorter-term involvement contributes to these goals on a global level.
Our aim is to educate you on local and global issues, so that you continue to act as active global citizens after your program, helping to fulfil our mission of building a global network of people united by their passion to make a difference.
Learn about the long-term objectives you will be contributing to in Laos:
1. To develop relationships with educational institutions and temples with the aim of increasing their ability to provide educational opportunities
2. To improve quality of education in Laos for students taught by GVI
3. To provide educational opportunities to all students in the local community, regardless of socio-economic status, ethnicity and gender
4. Improving the health and wellbeing of the Lao community
5. Improving employment opportunities and socioeconomic status of community members.
6. Reduce Carbon Footprint
This program varies in duration, depending on project requirements as well as cultural expeditions or activities. The below outlines a one week in-country program; however, your in-country service can run for as many weeks as set by your academic curriculum, objectives, and requirements.
Two weeks prior to departure, students will be assigned readings and assignments. These assignments make sure they have a basic cultural understanding of Luang Prabang and it’s local community-based issues; a foundational understanding of international service learning and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals; and begin a dialogue surrounding global engagement. Materials will be chosen based on collaboration with the group’s educational leader to ensure the work fits within the group’s in-class curriculum.
Day 1- Arrival at Airport, Transfer, and Orientation
You will be met at the airport by a GVI staff member or an appointed representative. The group will travel immediately to the project location In Luang Prabang. Students will be accommodated in dorm style rooms, guesthouses or homestays, and will have a chance in the afternoon to relax and settle into their rooms and new surroundings.
There will be an initial welcome presentation and introduction to the GVI staff, history and background of the projects, as well as a health and safety breakdown. Following this, the group will head out for an orientation tour to learn a bit more about the local area and language.
In the evening a reflection period will take place in which participants will debrief and review their initial reactions and observations surrounding the experience and location.
Day 2-6- Daily Structure: Service, Education, and Reflection
Students will report daily to the project sites or classrooms, where they will work side by side with local community members and our partner organizations. Specific projects will depend on the needs of the centers at the time, and could involve teaching, healthcare and childcare workshops as well as other community focused initiatives. Participating in the multiple projects is a great way for students to practice effective team building skills in order to achieve overall goals that positively affect the greater global world.
All service elements will be connected to a greater understanding of the cultural context in which the students are working. Assignments, in the form of lectures, readings, written response papers, journal entries, group presentations, and miscellaneous creative projects will be conducted daily to enhance student learning from their service involvement. Daily reflection sessions will act as the bridge that connects and helps to synthesize the many aspects of the experience.
Particular emphasis will be placed on the ways in which participants are working towards achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Students will critically examine their part in this process, by analyzing their contributions, challenges, and observations.
Day 7- A Fond Farewell
GVI field staff transfer the team back to the airport and bid them a fond farewell! GVI will endeavour to keep the group informed of any updates there might be in the field and with particular reference to the projects participants contributed to during their time in Laos.
Students will continue to engage with active reflection and educational expansion two weeks after leaving Laos, with emphasis placed on incorporating the international experience, and insights gained which are then applied to the students’ home context. Assignments will involve generating ideas to continue global engagement, connecting the experience to personal and career goals, and reflecting on the insights gained while in the field.
What's Not Included