This paper will discuss a study that describes the complex process involved towards theincorporation of an international service-learning program being developed at a university inone Midwestern state. The participants in this study were part of an exploratory team comprisedof students, faculty, and staff members of a local NGO (non-governmental organization). Theexploratory team was charged with visiting several rural communities in Ecuador to identify asite for the future service-learning project. Members of the exploratory team met with keystakeholders in each community to do a preliminary needs assessment and assess the feasibilityof integrating a service-learning project to address identified community needs. Findings fromthis study show that comments of the students toward their experience were positive, andreflected their belief in the value of that experience; students felt they received more than theyhad given, both personally and professionally; students were able to make a connection with areal world community; and faculty members indicated active participation of decision-makersfrom in the community and a challenging learning environment are the two key factors necessaryfor implementation of an international service-learning project.

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