Off-Campus Social Justice Work

ISEP at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaíso, Chile

If you like to volunteer in your community, then this is a program for you! Every semester, the university holds a Volunteer Job Fair in which the international students can speak with representatives from the volunteer organizations to get involved in the community. Some of the Volunteer organizations that participate are National Youth Institute, Un Techo para Chile (A Roof for Chile), and Community Action Workshop. Students take courses such as Political and Social Change in Chile & Latin America, Globalization and Social Justice, and Latin American Gender Studies. This program is specially designed for international students with a beginner level of Spanish who want to experience, under a total immersion context, Latin American and Chilean culture.

SIT Serbia, Bosnia and Kosovo: Peace and Conflict Studies in the Balkans

This program focuses on the post-conflict and post socialist transformation in the Balkans since the 1990’s. Examples of topics of study are The “Making and Breaking” of Yugoslavia and Peace and Conflict: theory and practice in the Balkans. Students can choose to do an Independent Study Project in Journalism or take the Research Methods and Ethnics course to be part of field research on critical issues and topics relating to peace studies and conflict studies. No Language pre-requisites required. Come and study in the largest metropolitan city in southeast Europe, home to numerous human rights and activist groups.

Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID), Ecuador

The internship and research experience is the cornerstone of the MSID program and may be where you learn the most. Students may pick the Education and Literacy track to focus their studies and prepare for the internship or research project. Internships are available in the following fields: Public Health, Women’s Issues, Environmental Protection, Education, Agriculture, Community Organization, and Global Identity. Students focus on a track to study in from the following list: Arts & Cultural Studies, Education & Literacy, Entrepreneurship and Alternative Economies, Public Health, Social Service, and Sustainability & the Environment. Spanish pre-requisites required.

Minnesota Studies in International Development (MSID), Senegal

Internships and research placements are available for students that are interested in social justice, health, education, social service and sustainability, and many more. Courses for students that are studying social justice include MSID Country Analysis, Community Engagement in the Global South, and International Development: Critical Perspectives on Theory & Practice. Come and experience the diverse African culture. French language pre-requisites required. This program will allow you to immerse yourself in the culture to learn from first-hand experience! 

Students interested in pursuing issues in social justice beyond college should seek a background in ethics and philosophy (e.g., PHIL 270, PHIL 275, PHIL 290, and PHIL 310 or PHIL 325), economics (e.g., ECON 210 and ECON 220), politics and international relations (e.g., POLS 240. POLS 348, POLS 360, POLS 365), and sociology/anthropology (e.g., SOAN 210, SOAN 221, SOAN 231, SOAN 290, SOAN 375, SOAN 380). Work in the history of regions of interest and proficiency in relevant foreign languages are also recommended. For some areas, e.g., public health issues, background in the sciences is needed. Students should also seek practical experience with organizations, businesses or government agencies that deal with social justice. Internships are possible here, but longer-term, co-curricular involvement on issues that one finds especially pressing is strongly advised.

Additional Study and Activities

Other off campus/foreign study options include (1) AIFS (American Institute for Foreign Study) Transitional Justice module in Stellenbosch, S. Africa, and (2) SIT (School for International Training, Vermont) program in Switzerland on “International Studies, Organizations, and Social Justice,” as well as (3) appropriate Psychology internships (Psych 380), and (4) other Lake Forest College or ACM programs with relevant internships or course work.