Rice University

Rice University Center for Civic Leadership

International Research & Service Break Participant


Civic Leadership Competencies: Diversity of Communities and Cultures

Every summer, the CCL supports up to five international group service experiences. The groups have a maximum of 15 participants and the trips are a minimum of two weeks. The summer service provides for more travel time than during University breaks which allows the group more community interaction and more exploration of the country and culture. The group is selected in late fall semester and spends the spring semester fundraising, learning about the country and the service organization, and getting to know one another. Upon returning from the trip, students share their experience and newfound knowledge with the campus and local community.

The CCL recognizes that international service is challenging and has the potential to do more harm than good.  However, we believe adequate planning, knowledge, communication, and direction from the community will yield mutually beneficial experiences. The IRSB program values: 

  • Projects that are community-driven; the community provides direction in regards to program design and budgeting, student learning, and community engagement. 
  • Education for students and community partners. Students receive intensive pre-trip education to understand the culture, history, current events, and community organizations relevant to the country and issues where service will take place.  Community partners also receive training on expectations related to student volunteers, understanding of goals for the service, and intentional and unintentional impacts of hosting student volunteers. 
  • Projects which are sustainable and build capacity for the host community; the community has a high-need for the service project and a structure is in place for the project to continue without student support. Students receive post-trip programming and continue service and advocacy efforts once they have students to the US. 

Funding: Participants are responsible paying for a third of the trip fee and fundraising an additional third.  The CCL has scholarships for students who can show financial need. Scholarship information will be emailed to all trip applicants.

Application Deadline: Applications for 2017 are now closed.

Contact: ccl@rice.edu