International SL Testimonials

Year 2018 2019

Lady Doak College, India

Students from Asia support together at home for handicapped children, elementary schools and orphanages

Discussion about gender with students was most memorable among all the activities there. In India, women’s rights, sexual violence against women, low social status are among the issues and it was a precious experience to actually hear about it from the actual Indian people. The topic of marriage was in particular of interest among gender issues. In India, parents decides on the partner of the child by arranged marriage. Marriage by romance is scarce(no opportunity to meet), inter-caste marriage is not allowed. It is difficult to get a divorce and women are expected to move into husband’s house and look after the in-laws. Indian marriages with so many rules surprised me so much.

Service-Learning is a unique learning that is available to a university student, to an ICU student. You can make this experience even richer by actively communicating with other students. There may be a time that you are confused and feel overwhelmed by difference in the culture and life environment there. But it is part of Service-Learning, both fun and not so fun all included as a learning process. Do not be afraid but challenge yourself, to maximize your opportunity! When you return, you will find yourself matured and grown!


Union Christian College, India

Taking lectures at UCC and communications with students at blind schools and elementary schools

Attending the Sunday worship service at Christian church was very memorable for me. I chose India, Kerala, because I was interested in seeing the place where religions and the cultural diversity are found, and it proved to be unique experience. Even though I did not understand the language spoken, I felt that worship and praises are similar, and the prayer by the people are common. Christian churches also have many different denominations, and also Mosques and Hindu temples are close to each other as I remember very vividly. At the university, students were discussing about religions without hesitation and diverse people did co-exist there. It was an experience that I felt close to the local people in communication, and blend in to their life there even for a brief moment.

In SL, I think people discover and experience unexpected things more than you imagine for both good and not so good ways. Toughness of life could be only learned after you experience. But it is one month that you will learn and communicate wherever you go. I highly recommend it if you are even remotely interested, as it gives a wonderful and precious experience to interact closely with the locals.


Assumption University, Thailand

Teaching at Japanese class of high school in Bangkok and supporting at welfare facilities in Pattaya etc.

For the first 10 days, we taught Japanese language to students at high school and stayed at a host family’s house. We set a theme for each class, did a lecture showing examples, and tried to make it fun to learn by playing games and practical activities. In addition, I set a review time in every class to make everyone remember what they learned. Because these 10 days were so pleasant, we cried a lot when we said goodbye on the last day.

For the next activity, at the Father Ray Foundation, we spent time together with people with disabilities, while teaching them Japanese culture. At first I thought it was easy to teach origami, but it was quite difficult and took time, as how much they understood and how fast they could move hands were varied depending on the person. The staff once said, “for those with disabilities, it is very amazing just to fold a simple box or flower with origami, so you are giving them a great confidence in what they do.” It was a very impressive message because I was feeling they might not be having fun or meaningful at that time.

People in Thailand are very kind and you may feel like you are receiving services even though you come to do services for them, but I think accepting their services could also be a learning. Even if there is a language barrier, they worked so hard to understand me after I worked so hard to explain. I do not think there are so many opportunities to meet such good people.


Petra Christian University, Indonesia

Students from all over the world engage in the community support activities in the village such as maintenance and repair works for facilities
This program has two components. One relates to people, and the other, project. On people, I had so many wonderful encounters, not just to mention the members from seven countries to participate in the program in the village, but also the host family and the people in the village. They are all so precious. While I strongly felt the barrier of language between me and the host family and also people in the village, I learned that it is also possible to make a one on one relationship even with language barrier. On project side, I was not able to feel any satisfaction that I could actually contribute to something for the village. But I do not want to dismiss it by saying “I could not do anything”, rather, I would like to think of the importance of reflecting about what could I have done, or what prevented me from doing things.
Depending on what you want from Service-Learning, things you get from the three week period differ greatly. For my case, I gained so many friends from various countries, and found a place where I want to go back to. What’s more, it was a three weeks of valuable experiences of facing issues I cannot change and to struggle, and to think about even surrounding issues, too.


Silliman University, Philippines

Service activities at multiple organizations with the different focus every week( e.g., Children's homes, DV victim assistance centers, villages, elementary schools etc.)

This program was in line with what I wanted to know and what I wanted to learn before came. It was a month that led to the discovery of interest in new fields. I was interested in poverty and educational issues in the Philippines, so I was able to gain a lot of learning through elementary school visits and homestays. I also confronted the issue of poverty and child sexual abuse. Since I didn’t see the issues in Japan frequently, I gained a great interest in this issue. I think the experience at the shelter for children was very meaningful.

In addition, I was touched by the hospitality and support from the teachers and students at Silliman University so that we could have a safe and enjoyable month. I learned a lot from them about the Philippines. The time I spent with them became invaluable to me. I am truly glad that I participated in service-learning.