Bringing it Home: Integrating International Experiences
Comparative History of Ideas 498A/Nursing 445C
Community Partners
Go Post

Instructors: Britt Yamamoto, Ph.D. and Josephine Ensign, DrPH
Email: (Britt) or (Josephine)
Telephone: (Britt) 206.268.4715 or (Josephine) 206.685.0816

Class Location: Thomson 211
Course Day and Time: Wednesday, 130pm-420pm
Course SLN: 18160
Course Credits: 3 (students can register for up to 3 more credits through General Studies 348 (SLN 13263) in conjunction with their service learning)

Please send an email to for an add code.

Bringing it Home: Integrating International Experiences is a special offering designed for students who have returned from immersion experiences in international settings (preferably of at least three months duration and within the last 12 months). The focus of this course is to provide students a forum for reflection on their international experiences, processing reverse culture shock experiences upon returning to Seattle, and values clarification on the meanings of ‘diversity' within the global and local communities. In the class we will address issues of power and privilege, social justice, what it means to be civically engaged at the local and global levels, and the tensions and differences between tourism vs. travel, and community service vs. engagement.

Class meetings will be divided between lecture, seminar discussions, student presentations and guest lectures. In conjunction with this class, students will volunteer a significant amount of time—around 30 hours over the quarter--in a community-based organization in Seattle that will be linked with student's individual interests and future avocations. These will include health and social services sites for marginalized, homeless, and refugee and immigrant populations, organizations doing international education, and those linked to ongoing projects in the Global South.

Course Objectives
Through this course, it is hoped that students will:

  1. Articulate in a more complicated and thoughtful manner the ways in which the international and the local community service experiences have impacted their values, skills, abilities, and future avocations. This may be realized verbally, in writing, and/or through the arts;
  2. Sharpen critical thinking skills that will help them to more deeply reflect upon their own international experience within the context of global, national, and local social justice;
  3. Acquire language that will help them to make explicit connections between their life experiences and the principles of community, social capital development, democracy, and diversity;
  4. Become aware of some of the professional and career opportunities in civil society from interactions with professionals in the field;
  5. Be introduced to, and become proficient with, a variety of online educational technology tools.
  6. Understand the core principles of reflective practice and how it can be integrated into their lives.

Who Will Be Interested in this Course?

This course is for graduating seniors, advanced undergraduates and graduate students who are:

  • Seeking a more structured, formal and supportive environment where they can process their overseas experience;
  • Wanting to explore ways that they can re-connect and maintain their relationship(s) with people and organizations abroad;
  • Interested in better understanding the theoretical foundations and empirical dimensions of civic engagement at the local and global levels;
  • Considering work or a career in the nonprofit/NGO sector;
  • Interested in issues of service, volunteerism, citizenship and activism;
  • Curious to wrestle with how intellectual theory can be applied in practical work;
  • Thinking about doing volunteer or development work overseas.

Reflective Practice
March 29 2007, 5:42 PM
Week One

Click here for Week One's assignment.

February 9 2007, 12:09 PM
(Insert journal entry here.)