The International Service-Learning Elective (ISLE) serves as a platform to expose students to service learning outside Singapore’s context. We strive to equip students with relevant skills to be competent global citizens, where they become confident in interacting with different cultures. Students develop to become more sensitive to cultural differences and are able to embrace diversity. In addition, serving the under-privileged allows students to be more socially responsible.
What We Do
In this enrichment elective, students engage in research and presentations on the pertinent aspects – historical, political, social, geographical and economic – of the country they will be serving in. Besides conducting a pre- and post-trip local service-learning project, students learn about the key elements of service-learning and take part in the conceptualising, planning and implementation of the year-end overseas project. This allows students to gain experience and confidence needed to better serve the local community.
ISLE also provides the opportunity for students to explore their capabilities and understand more about themselves. The 2-week overseas experience is a process where students take part in communal living in an unfamiliar setting, which inevitably leads to the greater self-awareness, sensitivity for others and acceptance of diversity.
The programme focuses on authenticity, ie. engagement with real people and issues, and sincerity, ie. serving from the heart. Students are impelled to activate their heads, hearts and hands when working on the numerous aspects of the project.
The key elements of a successful ISLE include:
- Reciprocity (Respect)
- Meaningful Service (Manageability & Appropriate Challenge)
- Student Voice
- Community Voice
The desired outcomes (through facilitation of reflection) include:
- Personal growth (Self-confidence, self–management, social emotional learning)
- Interpersonal skills (Collaborative skills, communications, project management)
- Critical thinking (Social-political-cultural); System thinking [New perspectives on social issues & Understanding complexities of social issues]
- Personal connection and commitment to a community, resulting in a heart for the community
- Having a direct relationship with people that is based on friendship and respect
- Appreciating the similarities and differences between students and the people whom they are serving, with the dismantling of stereotypes and “othering”
- Identifying with the people and their issues; a sense of place and of one’s purpose within the community
Please visit https://rafflesisle.wordpress.com/ to read our ISLE students’ journals to find out more about their experiences.