About The Guidebook
With increasing numbers of college students participating in international service programs and a growing demand for international voluntourism, this guidebook offers an accessible orientation for intercultural service that blends sociocultural psychology with evidence-based practices of service-learning. Useful for a wide-range of
intercultural service participants, the text highlights how understanding oneself and others as cultural beings is the foundation for empathetic and respectful service.
There are three chapters. Each chapter can be employed in a class or workshop setting and contains text with integrated reflection and discussion questions, and group activities that illustrate and build on the text. Additional resources are also available for leaders.
A few words about the expected audience: Designed for teachers, leaders, and participants of intercultural service, the guidebook assumes that the readers are motivated and committed to engage in ethical intercultural service; it is assumed that readers are eager to learn, build relationships, and engage in reflective practices.
The text and activities are accessible for a wide range of people, but perhaps importantly, it is especially written for individuals who are described as western U.S. mainstream and/or middle class, or people who are developing their cultural awareness. Many of my students begin with the notion that they do not have culture, so the text starts there and provides guidance on how to think about oneself and others as cultural beings. This is not to say that the readings don’t apply to others or that it can’t be used by more diverse groups, but that I imagine people from “marginalized” or international backgrounds may already be more aware of what this guidebook covers.
The guidebook was initiated because I have experience and passion for guiding students through intercultural service-learning courses. In partnership with Conscious Alliance, my cultural psychology course has been invited to learn and serve on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in SD since 2009.
Hearing about these courses, I was asked by three non-profits to write and share how I prepare my students for their time on Pine Ridge. The three non-profits are a critical primary audience: Conscious Alliance, Camp Grier-Global Village, and NASHI. Learn more about my partnerships here. In creating this website, I hope to expand the audience that may find this guidebook useful. Please let me know what you think.