Wicked Problems in Community Development

Program Overview

This international service learning Co-Curricular placement builds upon the course teachings from ASTU 401G Wicked Problems in Community Development in an international community organization setting, working on research projects focused on wicked problems associated with social change and global sustainable development. This program is a co-curricular (not for credit) placement with SELCO Foundation in Bangalore, India. There are also funding opportunities through ORICE Experiential Education Award.


Wicked Problems in Community Development – International Service Co-Curricular Placement

Wicked Problems in Community Development includes an international service learning placement at one of ORICE’s community-based organization partners in India.  Students must complete the prerequisite course, ASTU 401G, in Winter Term 2, or have previously completed the course prior to applying for the co-curricular placement. Participation in this placement requires submitting an application to ORICE using the link on the left side of the page.

Students will be placed in Bangalore, India and will work on a community-development project alongside a community-based organization partner. Within this context, students will work collaboratively with members of their host organization, develop their understanding of local challenges, and enhance their understanding of small-scale ethical research in practice for the organization.  Students will complete in-placement assignments, participate in a mid-placement workshop, contribute to post-placement discussions and present at a public engagement conference upon return to UBC-Vancouver.


More Information

This placement is open to all students currently enrolled in ASTU 401G (Winter Term 2, 2020) or have taken the mandatory prerequisite course ASTU 401G in the past.

ASTU 401G focuses upon a case-study situated in India and utilizes the transdisciplinary tools of systems theory, forum theatre, critical systems heuristics, strategic design and, of course, current best practices in international community engagement, to engage students in a probing, practice-based dialogue exploring contemporary approaches to the “taming” of “wicked problems” in an international community development context. For more course info, click here.

As a part of this experience, you will be enrolled in an International Service Learning placement. ASTU 401G placements will be located in Bangalore, India at SELCO Foundation. With growing populations and increased energy demands, SELCO Foundation , the community partner aims to dispel myths about the relationship between poverty, people, and technology.

Living Environment

In India you will live with host families in modest conditions. In most cases, you will take public transport to and from your placement.

Date Activity
March 2020 Program application are reviewed
March-April 2020 Orientation and pre-departure learning sessions (all successful applicants will be expected to be in attendance at all sessions)
May-August 2020 12 week International placement including a facilitated workshop approximately mid-way through (exact dates TBA)
September 2020 Post Placement seminar and assignments due (exact times TBA)
September-October 2020 ISL Post-placement reflection sessions and Public Engagement Presentation

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

The cost of this program may be funded by the Regional and International Service Learning Award award. The finalized cost per student is yet to be confirmed, but will be within the ranges in the table below.

Location Full Program Fee
India $3,900 – $4,400

NOTE: The ISL Program fee is separate from UBC course tuition. Tuition dues will be appear on your Student Services Centre account at the beginning of the term(s) in which you receive course credit.

Program cost includes:

  • Pre-departure learning sessions at UBC
  • Room and board
  • Transportation from the airport to your placement site
  • Orientation in host country
  • In-session debrief and workshop part way through your placement
  • Reflection materials
  • Community partner management fee
  • Program management fee

*Fees may be adjusted before offer. Program costs vary primarily due to cost of living expenses per country and region. 

Program cost does not include:

The following expenses are not covered in program costs and are the responsibility of the student.

    • Tuition
    • Airfare
    • Visas
    • Vaccinations
    • Local transportation while in country
    • Transportation from the project site back to the airport at the end of the placement
    • Personal items, and daily incidentals. You will be required to bring your own laptop.

This course is eligible for the ORICE Regional and International Service Learning Award. More information about funding options can be found here.

Selection Process

Applications for Wicked Problems in Community Development ISL Co-Curricular placement are now open. To apply please fill out and submit an online application via Gateway (link in right sidebar). Applications are processed in the order they are received. Successful applicants will be invited to an interview. After interviews, you will be notified of a decision; successful candidates will be sent an offer letter with further details on the program and detailed instructions on how to accept. You will have approximately one week after receiving the offer letter to accept and pay a program deposit. Selection into the ISL program is based on whether you meet the eligibility requirements, your written application and your performance in the interview.

Pre-Departure Learning Program Overview

The pre-departure learning program is designed to prepare you for an international service learning placement. This will include:

  • Pre-departure learning sessions led by staff and community development professionals over the course of the term
  • Creation of a learning and development plan
  • Participant-led events/presentations
  • Facilitated meetings with your placement team to explore learning topics

Post-Placement Overview

You will participate in post-placement activities in September – October 2020, including:

  1. A full day to debrief in September 2020
  2. Return seminar and final coursework in September 2020
  3. Presentation at a public engagement conference in October 2020