Students who studied historical, political, and economic trends in Asia this past fall will immerse themselves in the cultures of Cambodia and India during a winter break service learning experience.

Ten students will travel to Asia, five to each of the two destination countries, after having prepared intellectually for their journeys through Government Professor Roberto Dominguez’s Conflict and Development in Asia course.

“Once students have discussed the main historical experiences about reconciliation and development in the global south in the course, they travel to different sites in the world during the winter break,” said Dominguez. “The goal is for students to interact with people and engage in helping local communities to build houses or other construction projects.”

The trips’ service components are coordinated through Habitat for Humanity, which has partnered with Suffolk’s Alternative Winter Break programs since 2007. Past service-learning experiences have taken students to El Salvador and Vietnam.

“I have this opportunity to travel with fellow classmates and professors to learn firsthand about a different culture, and I want to take advantage of it,” said Emily Collins, a junior public relations major who will visit India. “I know this opportunity will put me out of my comfort zone, but I’m excited to meet new people and learn about their lives.”

Dominguez will be the faculty leader for the Cambodia trip, and Psychology Professor Sukanya Ray will guide the students in India. 

The University also offers an Alternative Spring Break program that engages with communities across the United States.

The University’s Center for Community Engagement, the Rosenberg Institute for East Asian Studies and the Dean of Students Office are “key pillars of this experience for our students,” said Dominguez.