This study explores the experiences and perceptions of 13 Australian early childhood, primary and secondary pre-service teachers who undertook a two-week international service-learning immersion in an educational setting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Qualitative data were collected pre-immersion through an anonymous questionnaire, and post-immersion through reflective journals/reports and focus group interviews. Results suggest that benefits included academic development and cross-cultural learning. Challenges involved language difficulties and coming to terms with the poverty and history of Cambodia. The participants indicated that the immersion was extremely relevant to them, both professionally and personally. Finally, cultural experiences encouraged the participants to generate cultural knowledge and understanding which may enhance their future teaching. Overall, the study suggests that the inclusion of an international service-learning immersion aids in the preparation and training of pre-service teachers for a culturally diverse global society.


International service-learning, Pre-service teachers, Qualitative research, Benefits, Challenges

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Available for download on Sunday, September 17, 2023

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