2015 ISV Volunteering Opportunity

The following announcement has been shared by the ISV Volunteer Project.  As an international educator, I believe that service learning and volunteer activities are important for students’ personal and professional development.  Let me know if you decide to go… I’d love interviewing you about the experience.

Travel overseas for free during summer 2015 and co-lead a group of university students

on an ISV Volunteer Project

To all interested Graduate Students,

International Student Volunteers (ISV) is looking for graduate students to serve as University Leaders for a minimum of two weeks on ISV’s 2015 May to September Volunteer Programs in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic and South Africa (expenses covered, see below for details). Spaces are limited, so please contact us as soon as possible.

The ISV Program

ISV’s 4-Week Program consists of two weeks of volunteering overseas on a hands-on conservation or community development project followed by an incredible two-week educational exploration of the best cultural and natural highlights of the host country, and as many outdoor adventure activities as we can pack in.

ISV is seeking graduate students to co-lead a group of 8-12 students alongside a trained ISV Project Leader for the volunteer projects.  Our projects focus on experiential education and making a positive impact to underserved communities, degraded habitats and endangered species by working closely with local organizations and community leaders within the host countries. Project activities include:

  • Building homes, playgrounds, clinics, community centers, schools
  • Teaching basic English, math, health and hygiene, sports and recreation to children
  • Educational programs incorporating music, dance theatre, arts and crafts
  • Assisting with terrestrial and marine ecology research programs
  • Providing care for threatened wildlife (wild and rescued animals)
  • Habitat restoration, trail building, erosion control, organic farming
  • Design and delivery of environmental education, recycling and sustainable tourism programs
  • Special focus projects such as pre-med/health care and pre-veterinary

Please see the ISV webpage (www.isvolunteers.org) for detailed information about the ISV organization, programs, destination countries, and more. To read about a University Leader’s recent experience in Costa Rica click here, and to get a 90 second taste of the ISV programs, go here.

ISV: Who we are

International Student Volunteers, Inc is an award-winning non-profit organization based in the USA that sends thousands of students annually from more than 800 universities and colleges worldwide to travel with a purpose and make a significant difference to sustainable development on a global scale. ISV’s Global Accomplishments and Recognitions include:

  • More than 30,000 student participants on the ISV program across six continents since 2002.
  • ISV student teams have contributed nearly 2.5 million hours of volunteer service for community-driven initiatives in Education, Sustainable Development and Conservation around the world.
  • ISV has partnered with over 100 volunteer organizations (government, academic institutions, private and grassroots organizations/NGOs) globally.
  • University course and internship credit awarded to thousands of ISV students by more than 300 universities worldwide.
  • Awarded one of the “Top Ten Volunteer Organizations” by the US Center for Citizen Diplomacy in conjunction with the US State Department.
  • Inaugural award for “Outstanding Volunteer Project” by the World Youth and Student Travel Confederation.
  • Featured on In View with Larry King on the Discovery Channel.
  • 30+ members of the U.S. Senate/Congress serve on ISV’s Board of Reference.
  • Certified by the US President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation to distribute the President’s Volunteer Service Award.
  • Overall ISV experience rated 4.8/5 from 30,000+ participants.

University Leader Expenses Covered by ISV

  • Round-trip international flights and domestic travel within the host country provided.
  • Accommodations and three meals per day provided on the Volunteer Project.

For more information or to register contact, Chad Allen, to programs@isvolunteers.org

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Why Am I Teaching in Seoul, Shanghai, & Beijing? Read My Newest Publication “Preparing East Asian Undergraduates for the Cultural Challenges of Study in the U.S.”

Helping educate prospective students before they travel across the world to relocate in an unfamiliar culture with  little language skills is the most rewarding opportunity I have had thus far.  As demonstrated by research, the more cultural knowledge and experience a student has prior to study abroad, the more successful they will be with their academics, social life, communication, health, safety, and professional development in a new culture.

 

My newest publication, “Preparing East Asian Undergraduates for the Cultural Challenges of Study in the U.S.” is a condensed paper sharing how international students perceive U.S. cultural knowledge in regards to their preparation, transition, and adjustment during their first semester of U.S. study.  Ironically, although all participants wished they had been offered more formal lessons about U.S. culture prior to leaving their home country, not one had received or even heard about organized cultural training for study abroad!  YIKES!

 

THUS, for 5 1/2 weeks, my three objectives on the 2014 International Education Tour (Seoul, Shanghai, Beijing) is to:

1. Teach pre-departure U.S. college student success skills (U.S. culture, study skills, networking skills, language skills, and professional development skills) to students interested in U.S. study abroad.

2. Teach college student success strategies to students interested in improving their academic, social, language, and professional skills for NEVADA colleges and universities.

3. Apply my pre-departure and post-arrival relocation and adjustment curriculum to my own (first-time) stay in Asia to feel and experience a glimpse of what my international students endure before, during, and immediately after relocating to a culturally rough (different) environment with little (to no) language skills, resources, or local contacts for support.

INTERNATIONAL EDUCATION IS AWESOME!!!!

With the right preparation and guidance, cultural transition and relocation can be MUCH EASIER.  Saving time, money, stress, and energy can produce GREATER OUTCOMES while reducing negative culture shock symptoms. Contact me to learn more about this subject or post a comment/question below.  Thanks for stopping by my blog.

Na-jung-e bwae-yo!   나중에 봬요!

Tara Madden-Dent, Ph.D. is an international education consultation, teacher, and speaker.  She is available at:

          Twitter (@DrTaraMDent)     Facebook       HLSL Institute        LinkedIn       Academia.edu

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University of Nevada Students Learned U.S. Culture & Student Success Skills

UNR New  Int'l Student Workshop (Fall, 2014)

UNR New Int’l Student Workshop (Fall, 2014)

After two days teaching at the University of Nevada, new international student survey data indicates that workshop attendees gained cultural knowledge about the northern Nevada culture and skills to navigate the UNR campus.  Furthermore, these students (new to the U.S.) reported an increase in ability to use local campus and community resources for study, socialization and networking, communication skills, professional development, transportation and living needs.  The skills-based workshops were designed to develop specific competencies to bridge cultural gaps and encourage student success through state-depended learning activities. 

Pic V picpic III

Prior to this workshop, almost all new international students reported having no prior U.S. cultural training for living or studying in U.S. systems.  This is why I’m even MORE EXCITED to teach pre-departure U.S. cultural lessons on my 2014 International Education Tour in Seoul, South Korea, Shanghai, China, and Beijing, China this fall!  In addition to the upcoming tour’s instructional workshops and presentations, I will be visiting schools, volunteering as a language and culture teacher, networking with administrators and local businesses, representing Nevada institutions at study abroad fairs, and participating in interviews and making guest speaker appearances.  The tour’s research data will provide insight into how almost six weeks of pre-departure educational events will help prepare international students for U.S. study, how new international partnerships can be developed, and how Nevada college and university outreach, recruitment, and retention efforts may be strengthened. pic IV

 

If all cultural workshops and seminars on the tour are half as fun and effective as the University of Nevada’s were, I’m in for an excitingly wonderful adventure teaching abroad.  One and half weeks to go. Seoul, here I come!  pic II

 

Dr. Tara Madden-Dent teaches U.S. cultural workshops and consults for a variety of international educational programs. Contact HLSL Institute to request more information regarding cultural workshops, program evaluations, international representation, or guest speaker invitations.   

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