Working for and with Communities: Community Engaged and Project Based Learning for the Common Good

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Course Description

The Schiller Institute for Integrated Science and Society is offering a new course this coming Spring and Summer 2023. The summer component involves a three week immersive in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Selected students will develop skills in:

  • Community-engaged collaboration
  • Project management
  • Teamwork and leadership
  • Intercultural competency

A small interdisciplinary group of 5-7 students will be selected for the spring/summer course through an application process. All non-graduating undergraduates are eligible to apply.

The Schiller Institute is partnering with Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) for the summer component. In Siem Reap, students will learn from JRS and the community and will work on a community-identified project related to
sustainability and integrated ecology.

Spring: Fridays 10-11:30am
Summer: May 24 - June 14 (tentative)

Students must be available for both the spring course meetings and summer immersive.


This is a two-semester course (two credits awarded in the spring and one  over the summer). The course is pass/fail. In the spring, students will be graded on attendance and active participation. The summer immersive
experience will be graded based on students' active involvement in both
project work within their team and in community experiences the group
participates in. The final grade will also be based on the following:

  • Active class participation and preparation
  • Regular journaling (used for self-reflection)
  • Class reflection sessions (participation)
  • Periodic writing assignments
  • Individual paper
  • Team presentation


Siem Reap, Cambodia

Jesuit Refugee Service

The work of Jesuit Refugee Service "expresses the commitment of the Society of Jesus (the Jesuits) to stand with refugees around the world.Our JRS teams are made up of people from diverse faith traditions, or of no religious faith, but all united by belief in the dignity of every person and our world as the common home of all. Whether in detention centers, border settings, urban centers, or refugee camps, we live and work alongside refugees of all religions and faith traditions."

Siem Reap, Cambodia

The summer immersive learning experience will occur at the Jesuit Refugee Service Cambodia Reflection Center in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This center serves the communities in and around Siem Reap,  including landmine survivors and refugees. The reflection center is, according to JRS Cambodia, “an interfaith centre where Cambodians and foreigners are welcomed to spend time seeing the challenges of Cambodia through the eyes of the poor. Very quickly it is apparent that the challenges facing Cambodia, as its people struggle to achieve a quality of life that benefits all, are also the challenges facing the world. We see through Christians and Buddhist lenses as we view the world from the underside of history.”


The project the class will undertake will relate to small scale eco-farming, recycling, and/or reforesting in consideration of the resources available in Siem Reap. The project will also be designed to consider people in varying
contexts (rural vs urban, disabilities, stage of life, educational level, technical ability, etc.).

Intercultural Development Inventory

To facilitate the intercultural learning aspects of this course, each student (and faculty coach) will be given the Intercultural Development Inventory,
be debriefed by a Qualified Administrator of the IDI, and be equipped
with the language of the Intercultural Development Continuum to better
understand where each individual falls on the continuum and what they
need to do to move along the continuum to an intercultural mindset


Please reach out to Jim West:


The application is available here. We are still accepting applications. Please apply ASAP and certainly by Sunday, January 15, 2023.