Evaluation of international service learning model of health promotion in a developing country
Hall, B, Lorenzo, A, Matte, D & Mozolic-Staunton, B 2018, 'Evaluation of international service learning model of health promotion in a developing country', International Journal of Work-Integrated Learning, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 399-412.
A partnership between a regional Australian university and the Friendship Village in Vietnam was established in 2016 as part of a health promotion unit of study. The aim of this project was to evaluate the sustainability of the international service learning model of health promotion, and its impacts upon the students and the Friendship Village. International service learning imparts personal growth, self-confidence, cultural competence, and work readiness for participating students. While these outcomes are beneficial to students, the needs of the host community and sustainability of ongoing healthcare are often be ignored, which can raise ethical concerns if not addressed. Qualitative methodology and thematic analysis were applied to survey data. Five themes emerged reciprocal learning, sustainability, building capacity of the students and the Friendship Village, and meeting the needs of the host community. One recommendation includes adequate pre-departure preparation for both partners to understand the principles of the international service learning model, means of sustainability and evaluation.