Academic service learning Nicaragua program celebrates 10th year

Program’s alumni reunion planned during homecoming weekend | November 11, 2003

Xavier’s academic service learning program in Nicaragua is approaching a milestone: Spring of 2004 marks the 10th year Xavier students have been traveling to Nicaragua not only to study, but also to learn to be men and women for others.

To celebrate, Nicaragua service learning alumni are gathering for a reunion during the University's homecoming this weekend. The celebration is taking place on Saturday, Nov. 15, from 4:00 p.m.-6:00 p.m. at the Worldviews Lounge on the 10th floor of Schott Hall. The alumni also are celebrating Mass together on Sunday and gathering to reflect on their experiences.

In the program, students spend a semester in Nicaragua living with host families and participating in a variety of service projects in addition to their studies. To date, about 90 students have participated in the program.

“This experience can really rock a student’s world … from having them change their major to building self-confidence,” says Susan Namei, director of the academic service learning semesters program. Namei and associate director Patrick Welage are conducting a survey of service learning alumni to try to gauge that impact.

The academic service learning program also offers students the opportunity to study and learn in Nepal and in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. The Nicaragua program is the longest-running of the three.

For more information, contact Susan Namei at 513 745-3042.