London is one of the most culturally and economically vibrant cities in the world with a rich historical narrative, and holds endless potential for contextualizing modern development issues in an international setting. The service-learning experience in London is a unique opportunity to live and work with a vibrant and diverse community in East London. The program is in partnership with the University of East London. It has been developed by various stakeholders in the Borough of Newham in East London, where the 2012 Olympics were held, as an approach to bring awareness and activism around health issues and community development.

The Borough of Newham faces many health challenges. Residents are more likely to suffer from Diabetes, Heart Disease or Stroke, and from smoking related diseases.  It is one of the worst areas in terms of child obesity – with 27.4% of children aged 11 assessed as obese – and life expectancy is much worse in Newham than the England average for both men and women, as are levels of physical activity. Life expectancy is low at 50 years.  Clearly the promise of a healthy and fit population in Newham and neighboring Boroughs as part of the Olympic legacy will not be delivered unless this issue is addressed.


The key objective of this project is to provide students with an opportunity to immerse themselves in service opportunities in the London Borough of Newham, working with communities to do meaningful and impactful voluntary service in a range of areas. Students will address health concerns, and will have the opportunity to analyze local governance challenges and barriers to inclusive and effective community development. Service and engagement will include participation in community development projects around community health and youth activism.  In addition, students will also learn about British culture and society, how local government functions, and experience development challenges in a unique service context. London, like countless cities around the world, faces critical community issues that must be addressed in new and dynamic ways, including high poverty rates, implications of immigration, and educational challenges – and Newham is no exception.



Learning Outcomes

  1. Conceptualize service experience in the context of the London socio-political and cultural environment.
  2. Learn to serve the needs of others through intentional observation and active listening to a community’s self-identified needs.
  3. Understand and value the diverse backgrounds and perspectives of those offering and receiving service.
  4. Encourage critical thinking through examining deeper issues related to equity and justice in society.
  5. Empower students to realize their own potential to affect community change while maintaining humble appreciation of the challenges of impact.
  6. Ability to apply learning to future projects and broader issues such as social responsibility, public policy, and citizenship.
  7. Inspire reflection, which extends to a depth that could not be predicted or required and challenges preconceptions and assumptions in order to explore responsibilities as citizens.
  8. Develop interpersonal skills in conflict resolution and group decision-making.
  9. Understand the role of oversight and accountability in democratic policy-making processes.


Dates & Costs

2014 London Program Dates:

June 11th – July 11th, 2014

2014 Program Fee:

$3,900 + Flight


* Please note dates and costs are subject to change


Application Requirements:

  • Online Application
  • One Letter of Recommendation
  • Financial Aid Forms
  • Current Resume

The application form can be found HERE.

OACS London Financial Aid Form 2014



For questions regarding the OACS Global Service Project to London contact Lauren Moon: