Community-Based Learning

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A strength of Notre Dame is our focus on holistic education and dedication to producing well-rounded, life-deepened graduates, imbued with a desire to use their gifts in the service of others. Study abroad offers growth in advancing our students’ perception of life outside of themselves. The Dublin Global Gateway is committed to expanding the frame of intellectual, spiritual, social, and emotional reference of our participants. That is why Community-Based Learning (CBL) is located so firmly at the heart of our educational mission here.

CBL celebrates the transformational power of service: the idea that each individual can and should make an impact on the lives of others — and more importantly themselves — through volunteering and community service. The importance of fusing faith and action, intellect and compassion, education and service cannot be understated, and through CBL our Dublin students exercise their social responsibility as they deepen their understanding of Catholicism, Ireland, and of themselves.

Working in close partnership with the Center for Social Concerns on the Notre Dame campus, twenty volunteer students are placed in service organizations across the city. Whether working with early school leavers, elderly people living alone, or the homeless, Notre Dame students encounter Irish people whom young American visitors would not normally meet. This experiential engagement gives CBL participants an unrivalled insight into Irish life, as they learn from people striving to improve conditions for the most marginalized groups. Participants keep a reflective diary of their experiences, which facilitates discussion in bi-weekly review sessions held with the CBL coordinator, a support team, and the program director.

Community-Based Learning Partners

  • Localise: engaging young people in service in their local area: encouraging the volunteering ethos in children
  • Separated Children: educating unaccompanied refugees and migrants trying to access the Irish, the formal education system in Ireland
  • Aisling Project Ballymun: after-school programme with disadvantaged children
  • Foundations: after-school programme for inner city homeless children)
  • Our Lady of Lourdes National School: homework and book club
  • Special Olympics Ireland: basketball and table tennis training
  • Solas: inner city after-school programme 
  • Don Bosco Care: soccer programme with at-risk young adults
  • Fighting Words: a creative writing and literacy programme for school children
  • Aspire: Asperger Syndrome Association of Ireland
  • Lourdes Day Care Centre: social work with the elderly
  • Friends of the Elderly: tech club for the elderly
  • Rosary College Secondary School Crumlin: homework club

Community Based Learning