Practice Experience

A student-arranged “Practice Experience” is the signature element of the GPP Minor, providing an opportunity for students to connect the theory and practice of poverty action. The intention is for students to gain valuable learning experiences through working with non-governmental organizations, government agencies, social movements, and community projects that focus on various dimensions of poverty action – from community health and food security to economic justice and grass-roots political power.

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The Practice can be arranged domestically or internationally. The minimum time expected for the Practice Experience is 240 hours over the course of at least six weeks in the field. Many students engage in Practice Experiences much longer than this minimum.

In planning your Practice, there are three important restrictions to keep in mind. Practice Experiences cannot involve:

  • Religious instruction or proselytization
  • Carrying out work which you are not officially qualified to do (e.g. engaging in certain medical procedures, providing counseling, etc.)
  • Teaching English abroad

Additional information on these restrictions is provided below:

  1. Students should note that campus policy requires students in the Global Poverty and Practice Minor abide by applicable Federal and State laws, including those establishing the separation of church and state. As a result, eligible field experiences must not involve engaging in religious instruction, conducting worship services, providing instruction as part of a program that includes mandatory religious instruction or worship, constructing or operating facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship, or maintaining facilities devoted to religious instruction or worship. Furthermore, students may not complete their practice experience with organizations that include religious proselytization as part of their mission.
  2. If you are planning a Practice Experience that involves doing medical/clinical work, you must provide documentation from your organization certifying that you will only be permitted to perform those tasks for which you are officially trained.

Finding a Practice Experience

The process of selecting and arranging a Practice is considered a significant learning experience in itself. Therefore, Blum Center staff do not place students into pre-selected Practice Experience sites. Instead, the GPP staff and peer advisers provide substantial support to students in finding a meaningful Practice Experience. GPP Peer Advisors, all of whom hold regular drop in office hours, provide students with resources and guidance on how to go about identifying and developing a Practice Experience that suits the individual student’s interests and needs.

The GPP minor declaration orientation, mandatory for all students who declare the minor, also provides essential information and resources for this process.

To get started with identifying a Practice Experience, students are encouraged to view the following resources:

  • GPP Orgs Database 
    Available to declared GPP Minor students, this database contains information on where past GPP students completed Practice Experiences, organized by sector and location. Prospective GPP students are welcome to visit peer advising office hours to use this tool for brainstorming PE interests.
  • Declared students will also be added to the GPP Weekly Announcements email list, which includes several PE opportunities.

Practice Experiences Around the World

Read about some current student’s practice experiences here and see where students have completed their practice experiences below:

View GPP Minor Practice in a larger map

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