On Study Abroad Trips to the Developing World

This article by Rajesh Gupta and Dr. Paul Farmer appropriately addresses, I think, the effects of increasing interest in “service trips” to the developing world.  Often, these trips are meant to serve the American students as opposed to the local population.  The question most often asked is, “What can I learn from this experience?” rather than, “How might I best improve their situation?”  I personally believe it is quite irresponsible to enter another country, ready to do some work, without the appropriate knowledge and respect for the local populace and an understanding about why the population came to be sick in the first place.

-Alexander Ko

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One thought on “On Study Abroad Trips to the Developing World

  1. on the one hand, if there is some benefit, the students are better to have gone than not to have, but yes finding the place on the spectrum between going for selfish and unselfish reasons is difficult and controversial

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