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Travel abroad to serve others, and in the process, increase awareness of global issues, seek justice and action, sow loving kindness, and explore the world outside of the privilege of living in the United States. Participating in Ursuline's Service Learning program will enhance your academic experience and broaden your world view. These experiences are meant to prepare students to be more culturally sensitive and competent professionals.
In recent years, Counseling and Art Therapy students have made service learning trips to Nepal, South Africa, Peru, Hungary, South Africa and Zimbabwe, Ecuador, and El Salvador, as well as regular visits to a Native American Indian reservation in South Dakota.
The Ursuline College Service Learning Program group members have lovingly and passionately worked with hundreds of children and adults on five continents. This program makes great and exemplar contributions in furthering the mission and strengths of the college by service in action and seeking social justice.
Read about our recent trips here.
August 2018 - A group of students, alumni, faculty and friends of Ursuline traveled to Cusco, Peru in October to provide service learning for children with physical and intellectual disabilities and for a group of adults who were recovering from addiction. They provided mental health and art therapy services as well as loving kindness and compassion for those they served. While in Cusco, the group visited Machu Picchu, the Incan sun temple, and the Sacred Valley.
March 2017 - Students, alumni and community members supported impoverished and underserved Roma Gypsy children living on the outskirts of Ozd, a Hungarian border town. We provided creative arts therapy support for children in 4 different schools, as well as training for teachers on mental health issues in childhood.
Every summer since 2015, an Ursuline College group travels to Eagle Butte, South Dakota to work within the Cheyenne River Lakota Sioux Native American Reservation. The group works on the reservation in the Cheyenne River Youth Project, a nonprofit organization that provides care, meals, and services to more than 250 children. While there, the students work with children in an afternoon expressive arts program. In the expressive arts program, children enjoy, recreation, counseling and art therapy, theater, as well as one-to-one time with the student group. The children on the reservation are very poor, come from difficult home situations, and had various learning and emotional problems.
Fall 2014/Spring 2015 - In December 2014-January 2015, students, alumni and community members embarked on a 14 day service learning trip over winter break to Cape Town, South Africa (3 days) and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe (10 days). After a brief and eye-opening trip to Cape Town, where the group visited Robben Island where Nelson Mandela had been imprisoned for over 25 years, the students learned of the apartheid wars, and the terrible distrust and racial divides that cost so many their lives. The service learning group then traveled 6 hours by airplane into Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, to meet up with alumna Rebekah Chilcote who was working at the “Youth with a Mission” base and “Peniel Center Orphanage” to begin service work with AIDS/HIV orphans, as well as other traumatized children who were abandoned or left by parents. The Ursuline College group provided expressive arts therapies and counseling in 2 different church camps, 1 with 95 poor, orphaned or neglected children, and the other with about 150 children most of whom had active AIDS or HIV.
Spring 2014 - In March 2014, the students/alumni embarked on a trip to Quito, Ecuador. United Planet, a nonprofit volunteer group, partnered with Ursuline to provide a school, orphanage and day care opportunity which needed some care. The Ursuline College group provided counseling and expressive arts therapies to over 200 school aged children who were poverty stricken, some from abusive homes and in dire situations. The service learning group also had the privilege of helping approximately 20 street children of Quito, Ecuador at a local street kid’s orphanage. Lastly, the students supported a day care owner, named Rosa, who was taking care of 18 children under the age of 5 who had nowhere else to go during the day while their parents worked long hours.
Spring 2013 - In April 2013, graduate students, alumni and faculty members went to El Salvador to work under the guidance of Sr. Rose (an Ursuline sister who was ministering in El Salvador) to provide care in the town of Chiltiupan with the children and families in the Santa Domingo Parish and community. The Ursuline College group provided attention, as well as art therapy and counseling to 150 school aged children with various needs and painted 5 large murals to decorate the Santa Domingo School.