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Service Learning Through Operations Crossroads Africa

Location Abroad: Various countries, West Africa and East Africa

Program Title:
Service Learning in Africa

Program Description: SUNY Potsdam, in conjunction with Operation Crossroads Africa (OCA), will offer a service learning program that provides a unique opportunity to live and work in an African community and earn college credit. Students will participate in group-oriented cultural exchange and community development projects in Africa developed and supervised by OCA. Projects typically involve physical labor using indigenous resources. Whether in a village, town, or city, students will live in the community, participating in its daily life. Living standards are consistent with local standards.

Host Institution: Operation Crossroads Africa (OCA) in conjunction with local, regional or national community development organizations. OCA has over thirty-five years experience working in Africa and has sent over 10,000 participants to 35 African countries.From its founding as a non-profit organization in 1958, OCA has stressed service, understanding and community. Operation Crossroads web site address is:

Fields of Study: Orientation course in African culture and history (3 credits), and independent studies, to be arranged by individual student (3-4 credits).

Summer, seven weeks. (Mid June to mid August; see OCA website for specific dates.)

Admission Criteria:Juniors, seniors, exceptional sophomores with a minimum GPA of 3.0. A personal interview is highly recommended and may be arranged at the home institution.

Languages of Instruction: English or French. Assignments in Portuguese speaking countries are available occasionally. Those seeking assignment in a French or Portuguese speaking country should have at least one year of language study.

Costs: SUNY students pay regular SUNY tuition and fees per credit hour at their home campuses. All other students pay tuition and fees per credit hour directly to SUNY Potsdam. Operation Crossroads participation fee is $3500.00 (includes airfare, orientation, in-country transportation, food, accommodations, visas and international health insurance.)

Application Deadlines: December 01 (SUNY Potsdam) and February 01 (Operation Crossroads Africa). There is a two-step application process to participate. Students should first apply and gain acceptance from SUNY Potsdam. SUNY Potsdam's deadline is December 01 and students should use the SUNY Overseas Academic Programs Application (PDF). Once approved by SUNY Potsdam, students must then apply directly with Operation Crossroads Africa; deadline is February 01.

Academic Transcript: Credits will be issued on an official SUNY Transcript Supplement. At SUNY Potsdam, courses and grades will not be counted in the cumulative average. Program fulfills cross-cultural mode for general education at SUNY Potsdam without bearing specific cross-cultural credit.

Completed application materials should be sent to:

Bethany Parker-Goek

Student Study Abroad & Exchanges Coordinator

107 Crumb Library, SUNY Potsdam

Potsdam, NY 13676-2294

Telephone: (315)267-3150

Fax: (315)267-2811

Passports: Students are responsible for obtaining their own passports. Since passports take some time to receive, you should begin this process early. If you have any questions about this program or for more information, please contact the respective International Education Office.