University of Calgary

Calgary Serves programs

October 20, 2010

Community as a classroom

By Erin Kaipainen

U of C students have until Friday to sign-up for Calgary Serves Canada and Calgary Serves International, two service-learning programs offered by the Centre for Community-Engaged Learning.

Service-learning is a form of experiential education designed to achieve specific learning outcomes and involves participating in projects with community partners. Across Canada, service-learning is growing with more and more campuses offering curricular and co-curricular programs.

"Our Calgary Serves programs are highly impactful immersion programs," says Jennifer Quin, AVP Student Success & Learning Support Services. "They provide our students with opportunities to learn about issues in local and international communities while giving them a chance to develop their leadership skills."

Students can sign-up to participate in one of the following programs taking place in 2011.

Calgary Serves International
May 1–15, 2011
This cross-cultural service-learning program takes U of C students to a rural community in Costa Rica. Team members will learn about community development and ecotourism and contribute to service projects at a local school. Students stay with host families throughout the program. Applications for Calgary Serves International are available online.

Calgary Serves Canada
Calgary Serves Canada (CSC) is an alternative reading week program that consists of service projects and experiential learning activities. This year, CSC has expanded to include three different projects, with each focusing on a particular topic. CSC programs are open to all students. Students can choose to participate in one of the following CSC projects. Applications for all of the Calgary Serves Canada programs are available online.

Homelessness at Home
February 21-25, 2011
Calgary is an affluent city but each night, an average of 2,800 people use homeless shelters in our city. Many more make up the ‘hidden homeless.’ This project targets new U of C students. This local project works with the Mustard Seed.

Youth By Youth: Digital Storytelling with Vulnerable Youth in Calgary
February 21-25, 2011
This unique CSC project uses digital storytelling to promote youth empowerment through digital storytelling. U of C students will work one-on-one with community youth to produce digital stories documenting the experiences of young people making the transition from youth to adulthood in our city.

Rebuilding NOLA and the Politics of Disaster (New Orleans, Louisiana)
February 20-26, 2011
This year marks the fifth year of Hurricane Katrina. Calgary Serves Canada volunteers will assist with the ongoing rebuilding efforts in New Orleans and explore the impact of both the hurricane and the oil spill on this region.

For more information on the Centre for Community-Engaged Learning please contact Erin Kaipainen at

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