Volunteered abroad? The International Development Research Centre wants to know!

For those who have taken part in voluntary work abroad, the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) invites you to share those experiences with academia. Check out the invite below from Dr. Rebecca Tiessen, associate professor and research chair in Global Studies and Leadership at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia.

Have you recently (within the past year) returned from abroad or will you be returning from a 3-6 month placement abroad in a “developing country” as a volunteer, intern, or practicum student in 2008 or 2009? Are you interested in talking about your experience abroad? If so, we would like to invite you to participate in our research project called Creating Global Citizens? The Impact of Learning/Volunteer Abroad Programs. The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) has funded a 5-year study by Rebecca Tiessen (International Development Studies, Dalhousie University) and Barbara Heron (School of Social Work, York University). This research addresses a rapidly growing trend whereby young people from the North go to learn and/or volunteer in Southern countries for relatively short periods of time. Through our study we are aiming to find out:

1. To what extent short-term (3-6 month) student placements, internships, and volunteer programs help to make Canadian participants “global citizens”; and,

2. How Southern organizations and communities that host Canadians and other Northerners on short-term placements experience their impact.
The international component will take place in 2007-2008 and will include 150 interviews in six countries. We are currently looking for Canadians to interview for the Canadian part of our study.

If you are aged 18-30 years, a Canadian citizen, have returned from or will be returning from a 3-6 month (approximate length of time) placement abroad soon, and are willing to talk about this experience upon your return, we’d like to hear from you! We are also beginning interviews with our “control group” at this time so if you have not been abroad but are interested in international issues and/or global citizenship, we welcome you to contact us as well.

Please note that this study has been approved by the Research Ethics Boards at Dalhousie University and at York University.

If you are interested in participating in this study, or simply finding out more about it, contact:

Dr. Rebecca Tiessen, Associate Professor

Research Chair in Global Studies and Leadership

Ph: (011) 613-541-6000 x 6304

Email: rtiessen@dal.ca