Integrating International Exchange Students into Local Service-Learning Projects in Hong Kong : Key Factors for Effectiveness

Maureen Yin Lee CHAN, Robin Stanley SNELL

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsConference paper (refereed)


Members of four teams comprising local and international exchange (IE) students, who had undertaken service-learning (SL) projects in Hong Kong, were interviewed about factors influencing cohesiveness within their teams. They indicated that a major barrier was language-related and could result in the withdrawal or exclusion of IE students. Students also identified three factors that fostered cohesiveness. These were: (1) local students' willingness to conduct meetings in English; (2) local students' readiness to provide interpretation and translation at external meetings; and (3) the willingness of IE and local students to establish reciprocal and empathetic relationships. Students reported that the benefits were improved English language skills, greater flexibility and broadened horizons. We offer suggestions about to prepare local and IE students to work together on SL projects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe 3rd International Conference on Service-Learning : Proceedings
Place of PublicationHong Kong
PublisherHong Kong Polytechnic University
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2019
EventThe 3rd International Conference on Service-Learning - The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Duration: 10 Jan 201912 Jan 2019


ConferenceThe 3rd International Conference on Service-Learning
Abbreviated titleICSL2019
CountryHong Kong
CityHong Kong
Internet address



  • Service-learning
  • International exchange students
  • Adatation
  • Cooperation
  • Cultural barriers

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