Colleen Wilcox | August 16, 2019
2019 marks ten years of collaboration between the Notre Dame Dublin Global Gateway and the Center for Social Concerns on a CBL Dublin Program. Designed as an element of the required introduction to Ireland course taught by Gateway Director Kevin Whelan, the initiative promotes student learning about contemporary social issues in Ireland through community placements across the social service sector in Dublin. Study abroad students participating in the programme complete weekly work in organizations serving refugees and asylum seekers, as well as the elderly and at-risk youth. They also participate in structured reflective sessions and complete integrative written assignments designed to link the community-based experiences with classroom topics.
More than 300 students have participated in the program, which is designed for international community-based learning at the Center for Social Concern. It also give students the opportunity to participate in local organizations that meet the needs of vulnerable Dublin residents, while further enhancing their semester abroad.
The CBL Dublin Program encourages students to plunge into an immersed environment, inviting them to become more flexible, more empathetic, and more globally literate. It creates purposeful connections between classroom learning and local issues, contexts and concepts. An additional facet is a series called “Understanding Ireland” that hosts expert speakers who enlighten the students on relevant issues. These discussions on Irish topics such as education, Catholicism, social inclusion, politics, immigration, sustainability, the Irish language and sport complement students’ community based work and provide wider perspectives to broaden their learning.
Read more here.