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Abstract

The authors lead U.S. students on a study abroad trip to St. Petersburg, Russia. We designed a sociology service-learning course titled Urban Social Problems in the U.S. and Russia. Our primary substantive topic was homelessness, and social issues related to homelessness. We utilized ethnographic studies of homelessness, statistical data, sociological theories and concepts, class discussions, videos clips, guest speakers, personal journal reflections, and community service to create a dynamic learning experience. Based on a pre-test/post-test assessment, post-test follow-up questions, journal reflections, class discussions, and a final exam we argue that international service-learning is optimized when grounded in sociology.

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