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How Service Learning and Cultural Immersion Can Give Students a Long Lasting Education Beyond the Classroom


VICTORIA, Australia September 2014 – When the current wave of Generation Z students join the workforce, they will be entering a world of globalised attitudes due to shifting social, economic and international circumstances. Technology will play a major role in the communication of concepts, opinions and production. Instead of the traditional methods that have engaged workers before them – limited assignments, rote learning and simple procedures – inquiry-based and service learning will cultivate analytical minds and effective writers and speakers.*

Parents and teachers striving to give students an education beyond the classroom, by encouraging challenging and profound endeavours, are ultimately training students for engagement, open learning and teamwork that will support them in their future work environment and life experiences. Just as English poet John Gray once said – “Tell me and I forget. Show me and I remember. Involve me and I understand” – service learning offers students the insights to fully comprehend any given situation, and to work as a team and encompass transferrable learning.**

Research conducted by Australian educational company, Destination Dreaming over 2012 and 2013, showed that students who participated in service learning activities had a heightened intercultural understanding and improved ability to participate maturely in community activity. The students also exhibited a better understanding of development issues and the world beyond the classroom, a greater awareness of their rights and duties as global citizens, and enhanced interpersonal capacity, self-awareness and critical thinking skills.

Destination Dreaming is an Australian not-for-profit organisation that works with schools to create sustainable community partnerships that teach young people about global citizenship, self-awareness and social justice. It offers international service learning programs to teachers and students, encouraging students to enjoy an education beyond the classroom through complete cultural immersion. Program director Kate Miller says, “We specialise in inquiry-based learning programs for schools and communities, to develop young people so that they can thrive in a global world. 

“Our programs are founded on life education – the development of knowledge, skills and values to charter life’s course and implement social change. They’re based on experiential, inquiry-based learning that integrates key concepts from a range of curriculum disciplines through interaction, observation, and collaboration.”

Destination Dreaming offers 10 to 14 day Global Community Partnership Programs that combine intercultural engagement and involvement in an ongoing education project. The organisation creates a unique partnership between the client school and a community based on two-way learning and mutual respect. A group of students from an Australian school make regular visits to their partnering school/town where they stay with the community. During that period, the students enjoy cultural immersion while learning about the history of the community, and contribute to a community-driven service project that their school has raised funds for in preparation for their visit.

Scotch Oakburn College teacher Tania Deguara, who engaged with Destination Dreaming’s Timor Leste Program says, “Cultural awareness, global understanding, problem solving and collaboration are essential skills to have in the 21st Century. Destination Dreaming programs provide an excellent opportunity for young people to learn outside the classroom and experience the challenges, hopes and possibilities of another culture, and about the ways they can shape the world they want to live in.”

Discover how Destination Dreaming expands education beyond the classroom through service learning at


 Generation Z students
 Open learning
 Global citizens
 Life education
 Social change

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