Ethics of International Engagement and Service-Learning Engagementship Opportunity: Updating the Guidebook 10 years later


The Ethics of International Engagement and Service-Learning (EIESL) project, and its related community of practice, adopt an understanding of Ethics as a Reflexive Praxis. Ethics as a Reflective Praxis intends to honor the complexities of international engagement and service, and support pursuits for human rights, social and ecological justice, and a just and equitable global society.

Ethics as a Reflective Praxis underscores that individuals, international projects, and organizations are constantly evolving. An enduring cycle of reflection and action deepens and strengthens international collaborations. Because of this constant evolution, the time has come to update the EIESL guidebook to reflect the ways that ethics have been conceptualized in recent years, as well as the new ways that international engagement has changed in our ever-evolving global community.

Over ten years ago, the original iteration of the EIESL project established a platform and a community of practice for sustainable, supportive, and ethical approaches to international engagement and service-learning at the University of British Columbia (UBC). The EIESL project fosters collaborations across faculty, staff, students, and international partners to bring reflective attention to the ways that we think, act, speak, and engage as global citizens committed to social and ecological justice. This project arose amidst a rapidly growing popularity of International Service Learning (ISL) projects, primarily detailing the ethics of overseas engagement, and resisting voluntourism and white saviorism.

We are looking for collaborators with skills in project design, and a strong interest in ethical participatory community engagement. Applicants should demonstrate a commitment to continual learning and engagement with the topics of ethics, social justice, anti-racism, and related conversations.


Throughout the year, a team of 4-5 students will spend 3-5 hours each week engaging with various EIESL resources and other literature to identify gaps in existing frameworks. The first cohort in this multi-stage project will explore the EIESL resources created over 10 years ago, and bring attention to areas where changes need to be made. To explore the many ways that international engagement has changed over the years since launching the original EIESL guidebook, and to consider how our ethical framework must also adapt to reflect this, UBC ORICE has launched a research “engagementship” in which multiple cohorts, building on each others’ work, will address a number of questions related to the ethics of engagement, and how community organizations might engage with these concepts. Participants in this engagementship will have the opportunity to edit and update the guide in order for it to reflect an expanding scope and definition of international engagement.

Deliverables & Milestones:

  • Students will conduct a review of existing resources, and begin to identify potential gaps and areas that need more attention.
  • Students will create a plan for engaging the wider UBC community to receive feedback on the guidebook.
  • Students will be asked to provide a final report with a summary of potential areas of the EIESL resources to be updated, and put together a proposed project plan for future cohorts alongside ORICE staff.
  • The students will additionally give a short presentation to the team at ORICE about their key learnings.

While the program’s facilitators have drafted the program structure and suggested milestones for the project, students will be given the flexibility to co-design and modify their outcomes as they deem relevant and in coordination with ORICE project leads. The students participating in this engagementship will be supported by ORICE team leads throughout this project

Academic integration:

Please note this is a not-for-credit unpaid opportunity. If you are interested in making this a student-directed study course, please contact to discuss the process to explore this option.

Anti-Racism and Ethics of Engagement:

The Office for Regional and International Community Engagement (UBC ORICE) is committed to embedding anti-racism in our daily work and ongoing projects. Students are encouraged and expected to consider how they can take an anti-racist lens to the work they produce around citizen science, data collection and use, and connections between community-based organizations, academics, and government. This might include, but is not limited to, ensuring the incorporation of the ongoing and often unrecognized work of organizations advocating for justice for minorities, particularly during the pandemic; or engaging with the politics of citation in including and citing the work of non-white scholars and other researchers. 


  • Be an undergraduate or graduate student (domestic or international) at the University of British Columbia with 60 or more completed credits as of  May 1st, 2021. (Note: recent grads are welcome to apply but priority will be given to current undergraduate students);
  • Have access to a reliable internet connection and computer to collaborate with peers and attend all meetings remotely;
  • Demonstrate ability to think critically and creatively;
  • Demonstrate ability to take initiative and work in a collaborative environment;
  • Prior experience engaging with community organizations is an asset;
  • Experience with workshop facilitation and public speaking is an asset;
  • Prior knowledge about or interest in ethical participatory community engagement is an asset


  • Deadline: September 19, 2021 @ Noon 12.00pm PST (updated) 
    Successful shortlisted candidates contacted by: September 20, 2021
    Short interviews on: September 19th week
    Project dates: September 20, 2021, to December 7, 2021

How to apply:

Please fill out the application form here, noting the following deadlines and dates for the engagementship.

Deadline: September 19, 2021 @ Noon 12.00pm PST (updated) 

Please reach out to us at if you have any questions.