International service by students is gaining greater attention at colleges and universities around the world. Some research has examined the effects of international service for students, but relatively few studies have examined outcomes for host communities and sponsoring organizations, including colleges and universities. Beginning with an examination of theoretical and empirical research from the fields of international volunteerism, international service-learning, and international study abroad, this article proposes a framework for inquiry on international service programs. It suggests that differences in outcomes for students, host communities, and home colleges and universities are the result of variations in individual and institutional characteristics and service activities. Finally, the article considers implications for future research, including hypotheses and research designs to test differences across programs and educational institutions. (Contains 2 figures.)
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-41
Number of pages35
JournalJournal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • Higher Education
  • Service Learning
  • Global Approach
  • Citizen Participation
  • Classification
  • Study Abroad
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Outcomes of Education
  • Individual Characteristics
  • Institutional Characteristics
  • Educational Research
  • Research Needs
  • Activities
  • Context Effect


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