The practice of exchanging things with others for mutual benefit, especially privileges granted by one country or organization to another.
 (Oxford Dictionaries)

Reciprocity is at the core of placements with partner organisations.  This section will introduce you to some academic discussion on what reciprocity might look like.  While abroad you must be aware of your obligation to the workplace and people around you.

We encourage students to think about all the activities, experiences, conversations, meals and fieldtrips as integral to the engagement process and project outcome – these may:

  1. Exist as part of every-day life interactions
  2. Occur within and beyond project scope (dancing, informal conversations)
  3. Take place during the placement and beyond

The following resources will be useful to familiarise yourself with before you leave for your placement.  

  • Bartlett, N. (2013). What makes Service-learning Unique? Reflection and Reciprocity. Curriculum Development. November 1.

This article  is an extract from a larger research paper ‘Service Learning Course Design: What faculty needs to know’ explains the role of reflection in appreciating reciprocal practice.

A short film about the recently agreed United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)- and why our generation must get involved.

Abstract for this article:
Geographers are increasingly grappling with the theoretical and practical implications of integrating an ethics of reciprocity into undergraduate learning and teaching. This paper draws on the unexpected experiences of a third-year human geography research methods fieldtrip to examine the process of balancing undergraduate student learning and assessment outcomes, with tangible outputs often-desired by Indigenous tour operator partners. Reflections from students and academic staff highlight the challenges of realizing ideals of reciprocity within the complex and ever shifting cross-cultural research context.

  • McBride, K. (2010). ‘Reciprocity in Service Learning: Intercultural competence through SLA Studies’. Proceedings of Intercultural Competence Conference. August. Vol 1:231-265.

Abstract for this article: 

Undergraduate students enrolled in a second language acquisition (SLA) course were required to undertake a service-learning project involving teaching or tutoring second language learners. Connected to the community service project, students kept journals in which they reflected on their experiences and connected them with SLA theories discussed in class. Analysis reveals that those undergraduates whose attention remained most fixed on their tutorees’ SLA processes were also the participants who showed the greatest insights into intercultural communication. This paper argues that the subjects whose service learning project was more successful in the ways described above exemplified the role of a participant in what Palmer (1998) calls a community of truth. While other students who experienced less satisfying service learning experiences generally had similar interests and goals as their more successful peers, intercultural connections and deeper understanding of SLA was hindered by the way those students framed their inquiry and reflection.