Service-Learning and Volunteer Programs

Service-Learning and Volunteer


What is Service-Learning?

Service-learning combines experiential learning and community service by engaging students in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities for reflection. These programs offer students the opportunity to collaborate, support, observe, and learn how local communities address different issues with their available resources.

Service-learning and volunteering are very similar, however, service-learning involves classroom sessions along with volunteer work in order to connect theory and practice. By completing service work in tandem with a course, you are able to share your learnings, troubleshoot difficulties, participate in meaningful classroom discussions, and engage in critical reflection in order to better apply your education to the real world.


To determine if coursework taken on a service-learning program is eligible for transfer credit, request pre-approval by submitting a Proposed Program Evaluation to the Office of Admissions. You are limited to no more than five courses for review from a single program. Approval is at the discretion of the Office of Admissions. If your coursework is approved and if you would like to see if theses courses may satisfy major or minor requirements, we encourage you to speak with your major or minor advisor. Approval is at the discretion of your major/minor departments.

Service Learning Programs

UCEAP Community Public Health in Dominican Republic

The UCEAP Community Public Health program allows you to acquire practical skills as a bilingual health professional through 6 weeks of courses in semi-urban Santiago, a week-long clinical rotation in a rural area and another rotation in urban Santo Domingo. For this program you earn UC credit, learn more here!

UCEAP Community Public Health in Botswana
Gain hands-on experience and further your understanding of biology, development, medicine, and public health with courses at the University of Botswana and at CIEE Gaborone. You will visit clinics, public health, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and hospitals and use your skills volunteering at local organizations. For this program, you earn UC credit, learn more here.

UCEAP New Delhi Summer
This summer program brings Indian and international students together to explore the politics, economics, history and sociology of India. Summer in New Delhi is a photographer’s dream as the boulevards around India Gate come to life. Spend 4 weeks on campus and 2 weeks in community service in rural Rajasthan. For this program, you earn UC credit, learn more here.

International Studies Abroad- ISA- Service Learning
ISA Service-Learning focuses on international volunteer opportunities to create a positive impact on global communities and development. Locations include Australia, Chile, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ireland, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, and Spain. For this program, you may earn transfer credit, learn more here.

IES Abroad- Service Learning Programs
IES Abroad Service-Learning programs combine coursework with volunteer work in order to immerse students into the local community while developing professional and personal skills. Locations include Argentina, Chile, Ecuador, England, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, South Africa, and Spain. For this program, you may earn transfer credit, learn more here.

API Study Abroad Plus Service-Learning
API offers students the option to engage in service-learning options while on a semester, academic year, or summer study abroad program. Locations include Australia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, and Spain. For this program you may earn transfer credit, learn more here.

Wildland Studies Field Programs
Wildland Studies offers immersive field studies that provide both rich learning experiences and deep connections to the environment. While not all programs have a service-learning component, they take place entirely in the field. Locations include Alaska, Australia, Belize, Big Sur, Channel Islands, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Indian Himalaya, Nepal, New Zealand, Peru, South Africa, and Thailand. For this program, you may earn transfer credit, learn more here!

USAC India
USAC’s Bengaluru, India program allows students to study at one of the finest educational institutions in India, Christ University, while taking advantage of numerous opportunities for service learning and volunteering with the Center for Social Action, a student-run service organization. For this program, you may earn transfer credit, learn more here.

Student Advisory

Below is a list of volunteer programs that offer hands-on civic engagement opportunities. Please keep in mind that this list serves as a reference point only. There is no oversight of these programs by UCSC Global Learning. Moreover, UCSC Global Learning cannot provide information on enrollment, fees/billing/payments, logistics, health, and safety, or onsite support. It is your responsibility to make sure a provider’s services align with your independence and risk tolerance as programs can range from full on-site support to minimal or no support. Services you should consider may include but are not limited to onsite support, mental health services, medical services, health and safety, insurance plans, academic credit (if applicable), fees, housing, and meals. 

Volunteering Resources