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This article presents the results from a study into international humanitarian service-learning experiences on young adult volunteers. Specifically, the service-learning experiences of emerging adults who had served in orphanages in Latin America were assessed, in a pre- and post-test design, for their development in areas of social competency such as identity, self-efficacy, self-esteem and ethnocentric attitudes. A mixed-methods design using both qualitative and quantitative measures was used. Both qualitative and quantitative results identified significant and important impacts on the development of the social competencies of these emerging adults. In addition, several qualitative themes illustrated that longer term international service-learning experiences have a profound impact on the social competence of emerging adults.
Keywords: International humanitarian service, service-learning, emerging adult competency
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