Interested in pursuing an American degree in France? Learn about options through IAU's degree-granting institution - The American College of the Mediterranean.

Bachelor's and Master's Programs

Service Learning

Earn college credit while making an impact. Students enrolled in the Service Learning Experience earn first-hand experience at a placement in a local nonprofit, NGO, or similar organization dedicated to advocacy or policy change. IAU provides access to unpaid, for-credit service learning placements for fall and spring semester and summer students at its location in Madrid, Spain.

Language Requirement: 
None. While there is no minimum language requirement, those with experience with Spanish will have a greater range of placement opportunities

Preparing for the Service Learning Placement: Before the term begins, students will work with the IAU Service Placement Coordinators to prepare for placement in a local nonprofit, NGO, or similar organization through virtual interviews. The students will also interview with the supervisor at their potential placement site. Placement offers will be sent prior to arrival onsite. Due to the careful placement process, students are expected to complete their placement without interruption.

Service Learning Placement Expectations: 
Students are expected to complete a minimum of 120 total hours at their placement under supervision, in addition to successful completion of the Service Learning Experience seminar under IAU Madrid faculty guidance. In this course, students meet and communicate regularly on their progress, learn about relevant issues concerning the NGOs and nonprofits where students are placed, and work on a final portfolio of their placement, organization, and the scope and impact of their service. Service ethics are also at issue in the course as part and parcel of the student experience to have students develop skills for navigating questions of inequality, access, difference, and discrimination firsthand with self-critical cultural sensitivity to others and their own experiences.

Students can expect to spend at least 10 weekly hours Monday through Friday at their placement, with an additional 2 hours per week of academic study outside of the placement. Students will be expected to work in 4-hour blocks as a minimum, have a regular schedule during the term, and should expect long commutes (up to 45-60 minutes) by public transportation to and from the placement siteStudents are awarded 3 credits upon the successful completion of their placement.

Application Requirements:

  • Submission of resume or CV.

  • Submission of Service Learning Questionnaire.

  • Virtual interview with the Service Learning Coordinator.

  • Virtual interview with placement site supervisor.

View the application deadlines here.

Please keep in mind that participating in a service learning placement is unlike any other course because it involves significant preparation and expectations are set early on in the placement process. Students cannot withdraw from the service learning placement once preparations are finalized. 

Service Learning Requirements:

  1. Regular communication with Service Learning Coordinator throughout the placement.

  2. Signature to a service learning agreement between the student, Service Learning Coordinator, and placement supervisor outlining expectations, work assignments, and policies. 

  3. At least 10 weekly hours at the placement site each week (number of hours vary by placement site). 

  4. Participation in the weekly academic seminar of the Service Learning Experience alongside placement hours. 

  5. Demonstration of reliability, enthusiasm, and professionalism throughout the entire placement process.