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Abstract

International service learning trips can provide meaningful and deep experiences where students are impacted and challenged by these experiences. In order to maximize the experience, one must understand the reciprocal relationship between reflection and group connection. In this critical reflection I will explore the ways in which reflection and group connection reciprocate each other in an international service-learning context. I discuss three concepts that I believe play crucial roles in this reciprocal relationship and their roles in three different contexts of the service immersion experience. These three concepts are reflection, stability, and vulnerability. They are explained within the contexts of pre-trip reflection, self reflection, and group reflection. By bringing this relationship and its components to the attention of civically engaged faculty, students, and leaders we can work to create more challenging and meaningful service immersion experiences.