Women’s Emancipation and Development Agency (WOMEDA) Executive Director Juma Massisi (seated, center) facilitates conversation among women and Amizade students in Kayanga, Tanzania, as part of research that supported a successful United States Agency for International Development grant award for WOMEDA.


DukeEngage students Jeline Rabideau and Jenny Denton worked with middle school girls, such as ​Katie, in Western North Carolina to enhance literacy skills through digital storytelling projects focused on their families.


DukeEngage independent project student Alex Saffrit collaborated with a community member, Moses, in Nkokonjeru, Uganda, on a solar cooker project.


Ernesto Alaniz, community maintenance leader, Villanova civil engineering student Allie Braun, and Water for Waslala program manager Iain Hunt cooperate to inspect a new water tank near Santa Maria Kubali, Nicaragua.

Health and Safety

Significant research and practice insights have been central to the development of best practices in GSL health and safety. We list these pieces immediately below and offer article abstracts farther down the page. Every effort is made to list the abstracts in the same order as the pieces are listed above (generally by most recent publication). The list developed here is listed chronologically in reverse-order, to show the conceptual development and research foundation in this growing field. We kindly request that any individuals interested in adding to this wiki do so by following the guidelines we have established.

Peer Reviewed Articles: 


Article Abstracts:

Gleye, P. (2017). Study Abroad in a Time of Terror; U.S. Student Experiences in Brussels. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, XXIX, 15-27.

This paper focuses on how to prepare students for the unexpected, how to support students during a mass trauma event, and how to support the students’ thoughts and feelings on the event.

Bheekie, A., Huyssteen, M., Rae, N., & Swartbooi, C. (2016). “I Just Kept Quiet”: Exploring Equity in a Service-Learning Programme. The International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, 4(1).

Social justice underpins the sustainable development goal of health for all. In developing countries, social injustices are particularly severe and widespread, demanding critical and immediate attention. This article describes a qualitative, descriptive study that investigated pharmacy students’ responses to incidents of social injustice following their service-learning experiences in public-sector primary healthcare facilities in Cape Town, South Africa. Data were gathered from written reflection reports and then thematically analyzed using the pedagogy of discomfort as an interpretive framework. Themes were categorised according to students’ habitual responses to incidents of social injustice, how they interpreted their responses, and how they could promote social justice in the workplace as future healthcare professionals. Findings demonstrated students’ inability to take action and revealed that silence was the most common response to incidents of discrimination. These results highlight the ways in which the structural constraints of the societal status quo can perpetuate inequity. Study limitations include bias from students self-reports and their narrow understanding of structural barriers in the work-place. Intergenerational dialogue and advocacy is crucial across South African higher education to understand widespread social injustices. Embedding a critical approach to service-learning in the African context needs exploration.

Bathke, A., & Kim, R. (2015). Keep Calm and Go Abroad: The Effect of Learning Abroad on Student Mental Health. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, XXVII, 1-16.

This research was designed to paint an overall picture of student mental health while abroad and provide statistics on the percentage of students who report experiencing a diagnosed mental health condition before or during study abroad, the nature of these diagnosed mental health conditions, the percentage of students who disclosed pre-existing mental health concerns to program providers, the frequency of relapse/recurrence of pre-existing conditions while abroad, and frequency and type of treatment received. We also hoped to gain insight into local attitudes toward mental health conditions, but due to a faulty question, we were unable to achieve this goal.

Nicotera, N., Brewer, S., & Veeh, C. (2015). Civic Activity and Well-Being Among First-Year College Students. The International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, 3(1).

Institutions of higher education face the challenge of fostering academic success and well-being among students at a time when depression and substance abuse are on the rise within undergraduate populations. Evidence suggests that service-learning and community service promote undergraduate well-being in relation to substance use and psychological health. The study discussed in this article examined the association between civic activity and several aspects of well-being as it relates specifically to young adults during the first year of college. Results suggest that engaging in civic activities during the high school years or during the first year of college may serve to promote different aspects of well-being among first-year undergraduate students.

Lucas, John. (2009). Over-stressed, Overwhelmed, and Over Here: Resident Directors and the Challenges of Student Mental Health AbroadFrontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad. 18, 187-216.

An experience studying abroad is an excellent way for students to grow intellectually, emotionally, and socially. It is beneficial to our students and our country that we continue to innovate in the education abroad programs of international education programs around the globe. The U.S. Government is right to promote study abroad and to allocate funds to make the experience available to the widest possible range of capable students. However, as we prepare to receive a greater variety of students overseas, we need to retool our programs so that we are ready and able to provide quality service to them. Training our resident staff in recognizing the signs of mental illness when it arises and providing the overseas staff with the resources (access to psychologists and psychiatrists) they need to work with these students is a vital component of ensuring that the study abroad program can operate efficiently.

Ritchie, Mark. (2003). Risk Management in Study Abroad: Lessons from the WildernessFrontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 9, 53-69.

Both study abroad and wilderness education share a common concern for participant safety and program integrity. Similar to wilderness education, the field of study abroad has to manage risk, both in program design and administration. This essay seeks to lay out some principles from the field of wilderness education and apply those to study abroad. It will discuss judgment and risk management, with a special emphasis on practical suggestions for programs and the study abroad field more generally. While this comes out of experience in risk management in developing countries, much of it can be applied to study abroad in industrialized countries. This essay is not intended to be a comprehensive literature review on risk management in study abroad or in wilderness education. Rather, its purpose is to share some of the experiences and lessons learned from wilderness education so that they may be put to use in risk management in study abroad.

Simonelli, J. (2000). Service learning abroad: Liability and logisticsMetropolitan Universities, 11(1), 35-59.

Learning, logistics, and liability are the three “l’s” which define off-campus experiential programs. For those planning these experiences, the liability component, including safety issues, legal concerns, and ethical responsibility to the communities we work in, can threaten program viability and overshadow educational objectives. A service focus increases these difficulties, and demands specialized preparation by all involved.