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Privett Global Service-Learning: Bolivia and India

Check out videos from the 2013 Privett Global Scholars

The Privett Global Service-Learning Program is an intensive interdisciplinary year-long program that combines community-based sustainable development projects abroad with intensive educational programming on campus.

Kristian Balgobin

Privett Global Scholars cultivate appreciation for their responsibilities as global citizens and develop personal skills, professional competencies, and values consistent with the mission of the University of San Francisco.
The program begins with a spring course on global sustainable development, taught by a USF faculty fellow. The summer abroad experience takes place in India or Bolivia, and is facilitated by the Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD). Students live in homestays and engage in full-time internships in grassroots organizations where they develop a proposal for a sustainable development project, solicit grant funding, and collaborate with colleagues and community members to implement the project. The experience culminates with a 2-unit course in the fall that allows students to reflect upon their internships abroad through an academic and values-based lens.

  • By Summer of 2015, 74 scholars have participated in the program
  • Since 2011, the McCarthy Center has worked with Faculty Fellows who provide mentorship and teach courses in an intimate seminar format
  • Four alums of the program have returned to work for FSD site teams in country, supporting other students through their internship experiences

From an American standard, it would be impossible to thrive in the village, but I feel like I am privileged, as the amount of food they eat is enough for 20 people per person, and the love and affection for each other is overwhelming, something unseen in the cities of U.S and even elsewhere in India. Most of all their genuine ability to just “be” – be who they are and comfortable in their skin. I am finding it difficult to understand why these amazing, resilient people are the “untouchables,” when they work 12 hours a day and manage to take care of their families and be hospitable hosts without much help from the Global market. They should be the framework for development, not the other way around.
- Kristian Balgobin, 2015, Udaipur, India

Program Goals and Objectives

Program Details

  • The program extends an entire calendar year beginning with a 4-credit course on global sustainable development and 2-credit course on your specific host country during spring semester; a 2-credit internship that runs for 10 weeks over the summer; and a 2-credit reflection and research seminar upon return in the fall semester
  • Choose one of two host communities for your internship: Udaipur, India, or Cochabamba, Bolivia (conversational level of Spanish required)
  • Select the focus area of your internship from the following options: Youth Development and Education, Gender Equity, Microfinance/Microenterprise, Health, Human Rights, Environmental Sustainability Live with a local family in their home where they will provide daily meals, clean water, and a private room
  • Fulfill core service-learning requirement upon completion of the program
  • FSD internship program fees (homestay and internship) and USF summer course credits are fully subsidized for all participants. The program has been funded in part by a grant from the Sarlo Foundation of the Jewish Community Endowment Fund since 2007.
  • Pay a $350 non-refundable deposit to demonstrate your commitment to the program
  • You are responsible for booking flights to and from host community, but may receive funding to (fully or partially) cover the cost
  • You are responsible for all other travel-related fees, including passport, visa, vaccinations, travel within country, and food and incidentals while in country

Application deadline for participation in 2016 program: TBA

    To be eligible to apply, students must:
  • be sophomore standing or higher (undergraduates only)
  • maintain a 3.0 GPA or provide a compelling explanation for why GPA is below requirement
  • Conversational level of Spanish required (for Bolivia placement)
  • Commit to participating in all courses, including:
    • INTD 360: Global Service-Learning Sustainable Development Seminar, MWF 11:45 AM-12:50 PM
    • INTD 363: Economies of the Developing World, MWF 1:00-2:05 PM
    • INTD 361: Global Service-Learning Sustainable Development Summer Internship (summer internship abroad)
    • INTD 362: Global Service-Learning Research and Reflection Seminar (Fall 2015 dates and times TBD)
  • For more information, please contact:

    Andrea Wise
    Assistant Director of Community-Engaged Learning
    (415) 422-5205

Program Timeline

Timeline for 2015 Cohort

  • November 19: 2014 Cohort report-back event, 6:00-800 PM (Location TBD)
  • January 26: Spring GSLF courses begin
  • March: Deadline for predeparture paperwork to be completed, vaccinations received, and passports secured
  • May 13: Spring GSLF courses end
  • May: Students depart for host countries (exact departure/arrival dates determined by FSD in March)
  • May-August: Students receive an in-country orientation during the first week provided by the FSD site team. Students spend remaining nine weeks working full-time at their host organizations.
  • August: Students return from host countries (exact departure/arrival dates determined by FSD in March)
  • August 25: Fall GSLF course begins
  • December 9: Fall GSLF course ends

Current Participants

2015 Scholars and Internship Placements:

Cochabamba, Bolivia 

Carlos Martinez, Theology and Religious Studies major 
Site: Tiquipaya Wasi

Isabella Gonzalez-Potter, Environmental Science major
Site: Gaia Pacha

Sonia Hurtado Ureno, Sociology major
Site: Aldeas Infantiles SOS

Udaipur, India 

Anthony Bettencourt, Nursing major
Site: People's Education and Development Organization

Eileen Macias-Mendoza, Psychology major
Site: Mahan Seva Sansthan (MSS)

Jazmin Maya, International Studies major

Kristian Balgobin, Psychology major
Site: Alfa Educational Society

Lauren Byrnes, Nursing major
Site: Udaipur Network for People Living with HIV/AIDS (UNP+)

Stefani Robnett, Politics major

Nichole Vasquez, Kinesiology major

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I participate in the Privett Global Service-Learning Program if I cannot take all of the courses associated with it?
No, you are not eligible for the program if you’re unable to complete the spring, summer, and fall courses. These courses are integral to the learning and reflection components of the program and of service-learning. If you’re unable to take the courses, we encourage you to look at Foundation for Sustainable Development’s website to determine whether you could join one of their programs outside of USF.

I’m worried about having enough room in my schedule. Can I take the classes for no credit?
No, you are not eligible for the program unless you can sign up for the courses. This is to ensure that your work receives proper credit during the semester.

Do I get to choose my host organization?
Foundation for Sustainable Development (FSD) will connect you with an appropriate host organization based on the interest areas you select in your application.

Can I apply for more than one country?
No, you are not able to apply for more than one country. It is important to the selection committee that students are able to articulate why they desire to work and live in one particular country, what aspects of that country and culture resonate with them, and why they feel they are a fit for that country.

Do I need to know the languages spoken?
If you are traveling to Bolivia, conversational Spanish skills are required. Remember, if you’re accepted to the program, you will have another semester to continue developing those skills. If you’re traveling to India, you do not need to be able to speak the language.

What paperwork do I need to complete if I’m accepted into the program?
If you’re accepted in the Privett Global Service-Learning Program, the majority of your paperwork will have already been filled out through your application. You will, however, also need to fill out the forms required of the Center for Global Education.