Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Nissen, Christopher

Degree Name

B.A. (Bachelor of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures


The world is flatter now than ever before and this creates great opportunities but also great problems. One of the biggest problems to arise is a lack of understanding between cultures. This paper looks at one process of learning culture through study abroad and how to enhance that experience with volunteer work. Secondary research was used to learn the history, benefits, and drawbacks of both study abroad and volunteer work. Two surveys were designed to gather primary sources to confirm the secondary research. Through this research, I found that study abroad is trending towards a more meaningful cultural experience. There are additional benefits of volunteer work, such as the mental health benefits and the community health benefits, that could be added to the study abroad experience. This paper concludes with a suggested method of adding volunteer work to study abroad in order to create a deeper connection across cultures, and to build a better global community.


26 pages




Northern Illinois University

Rights Statement

In Copyright

Rights Statement 2

NIU theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from Huskie Commons for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without the written permission of the authors.

Media Type