This spring break (March 24-April 1), some West Virginia University students will be traveling to Jamaicanot to shop and hit the beach, but to explore international educational issues.

Its one of two spring break service-learning trips offered through WVU s Center for Civic Engagement, which is partnering with Amizade, a nonprofit organization that coordinates global service-learning and volunteer programs.

Another trip will take WVU students to the South to study civil rights history.

These areawesome educational opportunitiesthat are an alternative to the typical spring break, said Kim Colebank, director of the Center.

There is work involvedclass meetings, papers and presentations and service activities, but these are experiences with rewards that last a lifetime, she said. Students will discover new places, make new friends and learn more about other cultures and themselves as they earn academic service-learning (SRVL) credit.

Here is a brief look at each trip:

  • Participants in C ommunity Organizing and the Civil Rights Movement will travel to Alabama and Georgia, where they will attend talks, interview community organizers and visit important sites along the Alabama Civil Rights Museum Trail and the Martin Luther King Center for Nonviolent Social Change. Lectures and readings will cover topics such asrace beatjournalism of the late50s and early60s; black history; integration of schools; racial discrimination and the law; and hate crimes. WVU senior Daniel Funk, a political science major from Hedgesville, will help facilitate activities.
  • International Educational Issues led by Ahmed Abdulai, a doctoral student in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction from Africawill take an in-depth look at education in less-developed countries. Students will spend a week in rural Jamaica gaining an understanding of the complexity of education and creative solutions in places with few resources. They will also participate in a service project at one of the local schools and complete about 15 hours of service.

While there is no deadline to apply, Colebank encouraged students to sign up as soon as possible. Courses fill at 12.

For more information or to download an application, go to