When considering whether to develop a DukeEngage independent project, you should first look at the differences between group programs and independent projects.
The independent option allows you to create a project tailored to the needs of a community partner of your choosing, learning objectives especially meaningful to you, in a location of particular interest. Developing an independent project will require time and initiative. You will need to have thorough communication with your community partner in order to develop a project together. You will also have to plan the logistics of your project, including housing, transportation, and cultural immersion activities on your own. If you are planning a project in a non-English speaking location, you may need considerable foreign language skills.
As a student engaged in an independent project, you may be the only volunteer working with your partner organization. If you are considering a project abroad, you may be the only international volunteer at your place of work or in your community. Working and living independently in an unfamiliar environment could make you feel isolated. If you typically process feelings best with others, think about how you would manage on your own.
In comparison, group programs provide a support network made up of Duke faculty or staff and other Duke students. In addition to the opportunity to participate with others from the Duke community, immersion activities are a central part of all DukeEngage group programs. Students are immersed through project work, planned group reflection and enrichment activities, and living arrangements.
Find out more by following the links to the left.