Learning and Volunteering Abroad for Development : Unpacking Host Organization and Volunteer Rationales book cover
1st Edition

Learning and Volunteering Abroad for Development
Unpacking Host Organization and Volunteer Rationales

ISBN 9781138746978
Published July 26, 2017 by Routledge
172 Pages

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Book Description

Learning/volunteer abroad programmes provide opportunities for cross-cultural understanding, partnership-building, and cooperative development, but there are also significant structural challenges and inequality of opportunity issues that result from these partnerships between host organizations in the Global South and learning/volunteer abroad for development (LVA4D) participants from the Global North. Learning and Volunteering Abroad for Development aims to unpack the complex benefits and disadvantages of learning/volunteer abroad programmes, using insights from the volunteers who travel abroad and the communities who host them.

Based on empirical research within both volunteer and host communities, this book provides students and scholars with an alternative framework for a more careful and nuanced analysis of international volunteering programmes, highlighting ways to improve critical reflection, development outcomes, and intercultural competence.

Supported by a website with additional learning resources, this book is an integral resource for senior undergraduate and graduate students interested in going abroad, as well as for scholars or development professionals who are leading or researching such programmes.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Learning\Volunteer Abroad for Development (LVA4D) Starts with Unpacking

Chapter 2: An Overview of the Diverse Volunteer Abroad Options, Trends and Motivations

Chapter 3: LVA4D and Cross-cultural Engagement

Chapter 4: Skills Development and Testing a Career Choice: Capital Accumulation and Perceived Benefits

Chapter 5: It’s All About the Timing: A ‘Place’ for Adventure and Travel

Chapter 6: Having an ‘Impact’ and Other Helping Narratives

Chapter 7: Conclusion: Understanding Rationales and the Possibilities for Effective Practices in Volunteer Abroad Programs

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Rebecca Tiessen is Associate Professor, School of International Development and Global Studies, University of Ottawa, Canada.


"Guided by a critical and postcolonial lens, Rebecca Tiessen examines...important questions in her book, focusing on the nonprofit sector providing Noth-South LVA4D opportunites. Her book fills a need for documenting motivations and rationales for participating in international development initiatives via 'careful empirical research'". — Yea-Wen Chen in ISTR (2019) 30: 282-283