SOCI 435: Partnerships for Participatory Development

Program Overview

Eligibility Criteria

Students who have completed their second year of study at UBC. This program is open to both Arts and non-Arts students.

SOCI 435 has multiple components

  • Pre-departure learning program from January – April 2017
  • Seminars run on campus during Spring term, May 2017
  • 12 weeks of fieldwork in an International Service Learning placement from June- August 2017
  • Return seminar and final course-work on campus in September 2017
  • Post-placement re-entry debrief and International Development Symposium on campus in September – October 2017

Course Description

Partnerships for Participatory Development: An International Service Learning Course is a 6 credit course that provides an opportunity for students to better understand how applied research can promote social change, in this case by supporting the design, implementation, and assessment of development projects. Although ‘research’ is the focus, this course is not about the student as a researcher, or about the student’s research project. Rather, this course explores how social research can be employed in international projects for community-based development where collaboration and reciprocal learning are central to the research process. Learning is facilitated through a series of pre- and post-departure seminars and assignments. The seminars are designed to develop not only academic knowledge, but also skills that prepare participants for responsible service work: collaboration, critical reflection, and demonstration of an understanding of the difference between ‘charity’ and work oriented to global justice.

Placement Description

As a part of the SOCI 435 course, you will be enrolled in an International Service Learning placement. Specific placements will be located in Mexico, Bolivia, Costa Rica, India, Kenya, Uganda or other countries where ISL community partners are located. Specific options will be announced in the Winter term of 2016. Below are examples of previous placements for SOCI 435.


Literacy & Community Development (Program Assessment)

Students worked with a rural community library to undertake an assessment of youth-based programming and to understand the effectiveness in meeting intended outcomes of leadership development, nutritional knowledge and readiness to take up vocational training. In addition, students participated in the implementation of particular library programming, such as the women’s literacy group, computer literacy workshops and primary school reading programs to fully understand the role of youth at the library and the strengths and challenges facing this group in their interactions with the library. Students also developed a report assessing youth programming and opportunities for the future.


Literacy & Community Development (Program Development)

Students worked in a small community in the far west of Uganda at a young community library. They contributed to small-scale program development at the library by supporting library outreach to the surrounding community in the form of primary school reading programs, documenting library activities and supporting the creation and maintenance of a library database. The work involved collaborating closely with library staff to further integrate the community library into the fabric of the surrounding community and may include developing reports which can be utilized in securing resources to further realize the vision of the community library.

Placements for 2017 are currently being determined by host partners and program staff.

Living Environment

In Uganda, Kenya, India and Bolivia you will live with host families in modest conditions. In most cases, you will take public transport to and from your placement. In Mexico and Costa Rica you will live in hostel-style accommodations with modest living conditions on the placement site.

In most cases, you will take public transport to and from your placement.

Program Dates

Date Activity
Mar – Apr 2017 Orientation and pre-departure learning sessions (all successful applicants will be expected to be in attendance at all sessions)
May 2017 Sociology 435 seminar
Jun – Aug 2017 12 week International placement including a facilitated workshop approximately mid-way through (exact dates TBD)
Sep 2017 SOCI 435 Course – Post Placement seminar and assignments due (exact times TBD)
Sep – Oct 2017 ISL Post-placement reflection sessions and International Development Symposium.

**Please note these dates may be adjusted but will be confirmed prior to offer.

Program Costs

The cost* of this program may be funded by the ARA award. Please see the Awards & Eligibility section for more information. The costs below are per student and are yet to be fully determined, but will be within the following ranges.

Location Full program fee Fee with 70% ARA funding
Uganda $3700 – $4,000 $1,110 – $1,200
Kenya $3,900 – $4,400 $1,170 – $1,320
Mexico $4,600 – $4,800 $1,380 – $1,440
Costa Rica $4,600 – $4,800 $1,380 – $1,440
Bolivia $3,475-$3,975 $1,043 – $1,193
India TBD 70% ARA funding available

Students applying for the ARA award through SOCI 435 must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those listed under the Arts Research Abroad section.

  • Be within a qualifying major for the course (Sociology, International Relations, Political Science Major, or students from the Institute of Gender, Sexuality, Race, and Social Justice)