Service Learning and Volunteering Abroad

Service-Learning integrates responsible community service with critical reflection and meaningful civic engagement. 

  • Contribute to work and projects that meet the needs of overseas communities and learn about other cultures in the process.
  • Program providers highlighted below offer a diverse range of community-based projects paired with reflective learning. 

The following are a few examples of providers who offer service learning and volunteering opportunities.  Some of the providers have existing partnerships with UC Davis for faculty-led programs, but the links below are for students who wish to enroll directly with the provider, not as part of a UC Davis program.

These links are provided as referrals only and do not imply any oversight or administration on the part of UC Davis, or UC Davis Study Abroad. When students enroll directly with these providers all enrollment, fees/billing/payments, logistical and safety responsibilities fall under the purview of the provider, not UC Davis Study Abroad. Any academic credit associated with the program would need to be transferred to UC Davis after participation, by submitting transcripts to UC Davis Undergraduate Admissions for review.  Undergraduate Admissions does not preapprove transfer credit. 

Students are responsible for reviewing providers’ services thoroughly and are urged to contact the providers directly to discuss onsite support, student services, health and safety, academic credit (if applicable), fees, and other issues before enrolling. Students must make their own informed decision on whether the providers’ program structure is a good fit for them, and whether the providers’ onsite support for health and safety aligns with their independence and risk tolerance (programs range from full onsite support to minimal or no support). UC Davis cannot provide student support for direct enrollment in these programs. Therefore, it is the student’s responsibility to carefully review all provider information before committing to participation.

African Impact

Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Zambia and more

UC Davis Service-Learning Abroad, Banner Photo, Africa Impact

African Impact offers responsible travel and volunteer projects in 11 countries in Africa. Students can identify projects in a variety of fields, including Child and Orphan Care, Gender Equality, Sports and Coaching, Wildlife Research and Conservation, Tourism and Event Management, and Building and DevelopmentLearn more and apply directly to African Impact.

Child Family Health International (CFHI)

Argentina, Ecuador, Ghana, India, Uganda, and more

UC Davis Service-Learning Abroad, Banner Photo, CFHI

CFHI is an NGO recognized by the United Nations that provides community-based Global Health Education Programs for students and institutions. Students can earn UCD units by participating on a Quarter Abroad faculty led program that has been running for over a decade: Latin(x) Health Internship Program in Mexico or through the 5-week summer Internships: Global Health track. CFHI also offers direct enroll programs that are not affiliated with UC Davis. Learn more and apply directly to CFHI.

ISA-Service Learning

Chile, Dominican Republic, Ireland, Morocco, Spain and more

UC Davis Service-Learning Abroad, Banner Photo, ISA

ISA Service Learning offers service learning in 10 countries around world. Students can identify placement opportunities in a variety of fields, including Animal Care and Rescue, Child and Family Development, Community Agriculture, Education and Literacy, Human Rights, and Youth Development. Academic transfer credit available. Learn more and apply directly to ISA-Service Learning.

Kaya Responsible Travel

Belize, Borneo, Cambodia, China, Sri Lanka, and more

UC Davis Service-Learning Abroad, Banner Photo, Kaya

With Kaya, students can contribute to community development and conservation initiatives around the world. There are a variety of projects available, including Music and Dance, Marketing and Social Media, Women’s Empowerment, Marine Conservation, Special Needs Education, and NGO Development. Learn more and apply directly to Kaya.

Partners of the Americas

Brazil, Chile, Haiti, Nicaragua, Venezuela and more

UC Davis Service-Learning Abroad, Banner Photo, Partners of the Americas

Partners of the Americas connects volunteers to programs in Latin America and the Caribbean. There are a variety of opportunities available, including in Youth Leadership, Combating Child Labor, Agriculture and Food Security, Climate and Energy, Democracy and Governance, and Education and CultureLearn more and apply directly to Partners of the Americas.

Wildland Studies

Canada, Iceland, Nepal, Panama, South Africa and more

UC Davis Service-Learning Abroad, Banner Photo, Wildlands

Wildland Studies offer environmental field projects related to wildlife, wildland and wildwater around the world.  Students have the opportunity to work side by side with educators and field researchers, learning through direct experience and immersion in the field, helping to search for answers to important environmental problems. Learn more and apply directly to Wildland Studies.

International Service-Related UC Davis Student Clubs

Student-run clubs are another way to get involved with an international service projects or help fundraise for communities in need abroad. Some examples are: 


Children of Tomorrow

Circle K International

Lions International

Engineers Without Borders

Global Medical Brigades

Global Medical Training

International Veterinary Outreach

Operation Smile

Center for Student Involvement’s OrgSync database


Service Learning PowerPoint Presentation

Additional Resources

Things to Consider when Exploring Fee-Based Volunteer Abroad Programs

Funding Resources for Service Learning

UC Davis Blum Center for Developing Economies Grant 

Find Local Volunteer Opportunities through UC Davis Internship and Career Center