Community Service

Many of The Experiment in International Living’s high school summer abroad programs offer community service opportunities for participants. The number of community service hours varies by program. Projects are designed by local organizations and the individuals they serve and explore concepts such as community development, social service, and volunteerism in an international context.

Below are samples of community service projects in programs with a service component, organized by number of community service hours.

Participants who successfully complete more than ten (10) hours of community service will receive a community service certificate from The Experiment after their return to the US.

Please note: These community service descriptions are only samples and are subject to change. Because of factors such as group size and in-country needs and opportunities, your community service experience may differ somewhat from what is presented here.

High Intensity (More than 30 Hours)

Argentina: Community Service and the Great Outdoors
Argentina: Community Service and the Great Outdoors

(30 to 40 hours)
Experimenters may clean and paint a 17th-century church, paint pictures to brighten the walls of a school for children and adults with disabilities, paint playground equipment, or lay new gravel in a park.

Argentina: Photojournalism and Social Change
Argentina: Photojournalism and Social Change

(55 to 70 hours)
The group will teach pinhole photography to sixth graders.

Brazil: Culture and Environmental Sustainability
Brazil: Culture and Environmental Sustainability

(30 to 40 hours)
Experimenters may clean and paint a 17th-century church, paint pictures to brighten the walls of a school for children and adults with disabilities, paint playground equipment, or lay new gravel in a park.

Costa Rica: Biodiversity, Ecology, and Sustainability
Costa Rica: Biodiversity, Ecology, and Sustainability

(25 to 30 hours)
The group may build a sidewalk path, paint a building, construct benches at a local high school, or remove logs from a beach that is a turtle habitat.

Tanzania: Coastal and Maasai Cultures
Tanzania: Coastal and Maasai Cultures

(35 to 50 hours)
Experimenters may teach English, work on the construction of a school, prune acacia trees, or plaster a community center.

Medium Intensity (10 to 30 hours)

Ecuador: The Galápagos Islands and the Andes
Ecuador: The Galápagos Islands and the Andes

(8 to 12 hours)
Experimenters may work at a preschool, cleaning, sanding off old paint, and repainting the walls of the preschool. They may also collaborate with a local artist and students from a university to paint a mural at the school.

Korea: Peacebuilding & Korean Culture
Korea: Peacebuilding & Korean Culture

(10 to 15 hours)
The group may visit a home for surviving World War II "comfort women". The group may also fish for or remove invasive species or assist in the harvest at a farm

Mongolia: Nomadic and Urban Cultures
Mongolia: Nomadic and Urban Cultures

(18 to 24 hours)
The group may help refurbish a local elementary school by repainting and cataloging an English-language library.

Nicaragua and Cuba: Arts and Social Change
Nicaragua and Cuba: Arts and Social Change

(1 hour)
The group may help make bulletin boards for a local elementary school or clean trash in a local park.

South Africa: Leadership Development and Social Change
South Africa: Leadership Development and Social Change

(20 to 30 hours)
Experimenters will do projects alongside their South African homestay siblings. Projects may include painting two preschools and an orphanage, building a community garden structure, cleaning a local high school, and picking up trash in the township community

Thailand: Buddhist Traditions and Contemporary Culture
Thailand: Buddhist Traditions and Contemporary Culture

(20 to 30 hours)
The group may teach English at a school or may help build a house.

Low Intensity (Fewer than 10 Hours)

China: Ethnic Minorities and Contemporary Culture
China: Ethnic Minorities and Contemporary Culture
Japan: Language and Cultural Traditions
Japan: Language and Cultural Traditions

(5 to 7 hours)
Participants may volunteer for one day of community service, clearing a walking path in their homestay community.

Jordan: History, Politics, and Arabic Language
Jordan: History, Politics, and Arabic Language
Morocco: Multiculturalism in the Arab World
Morocco: Multiculturalism in the Arab World

(3 to 5 hours)
Experimenters may help build a facility for a local school. They may lay bricks, spread cement, and move equipment.

The Netherlands: Dutch Culture and LGBTQ Rights
Netherlands: Dutch Culture and LGBTQ Rights
Peru: Ancient and Contemporary Cultures
Peru: Ancient and Contemporary Cultures

(3 to 5 hours)
Experimenters may volunteer in a soup kitchen during the homestay in Trujillo and may participate in English-Spanish language exchange activities with local students.

South Africa: Youth Leadership in Peace, Politics, and Human Rights
South Africa: Youth Leadership in Peace, Politics, and Human Rights
Vietnam: Ecology and Conservation
Vietnam: Ecology and Conservation