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Service Learning, a subset of service engagement, is a course-based, credit-bearing educational experience in which students participate in an organized service activity that meets identified community needs; use knowledge and skills directly related to a course or discipline; and reflect on the service activity in such a way as to gain further understanding of course content, a broader appreciation of the discipline, and an enhanced sense of personal values and civic responsibility.

This handbook in the Purdue University Learning and Service Engagement Series (PULSE) provides a guide for reflections and critical thought for students studying abroad. It provides a framework for students to understand their own personal cultural paths, examine what they are learning about the country being visited, and about their own development.

The handbook is structured around the following student activities:

  • Take the pre-entry reflection prior to your international trip.
  • Finish the pre-entry assignment if required by your professor.
  • Fill out the daily journal or weekly journal based on your professor’s instructions.
  • Complete the final reflection assignment if required by your professor.
  • Complete the re-entry assignment if required by your professor.
  • Complete the re-entry reflection and the Public Affairs Scale after your return from your international trip.
  • Complete the re-entry assignment if required by your professor.



Publication Date

Winter 1-31-2013


Center for Instructional Excellence, Purdue University


West Lafayette, Indiana


service learning, community engagement, instructional design, study abroad


Educational Methods


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International Service Learning Reflection Journal