Service Learning

Summer: Rutgers- Public Scholarship, Civic Dialogue, Democracy and the Arts

Warsaw, Poland

Program Overview

Term Start Date End Date Application Deadline
Summer 2022
Jun 23, 2022
Jul 12, 2022
Mar 01, 2022
Language(s) of Instruction
Class Standing
Good standing
Program Type
Service Learning


Program Advisor

The Program

Using creative arts to heal the community.

"Public Scholarship, Civic Dialogue, Democracy and the Arts" is a 2-week international immersion experience that explores ways in which the various creative disciplines can be harnessed as tools of community engagement and generators of positive social change at a local, municipal, and even national level. The program is led by local Polish experts with many years of experience as cultural facilitators, academics, and workshop leaders.

Borderlands foundation

Program Locations

warsaw main square



"Public Scholarship, Civic Dialogue, Democracy, and the Arts” is based in two locations, at Warsaw University and at the Krasnagruda headquarters of the international NGO, the Borderland Foundation. One week will be spent in each, while the program will be spread across three locations: the Polish capital, Warsaw; the beautiful borderland lake region of northeastern Poland; and Lithuania. 





Krasnogruda is a renovated manor house and property situated in the village of the same name close to the Polish-Lithuanian border. Abandoned for many years, the Borderland Foundation renovated the house as well as the outlying buildings and renamed the property the International Centre for Dialogue. This will be the program’s headquarters for the week in northeast Poland and Lithuania where students will be housed as they attend workshop, see performances, and travel in the region.  


Both in Warsaw and at the Borderland Foundation students will be working with experienced teachers, workshop leaders, and organizations among underprivileged communities in two very different settings, one urban, the other rural. In doing so they will be exposed to real world situations linked to economic and social stress due to poverty, as well as limited educational and social opportunities. They will be expected to observe, discuss, and learn through hands on experience how to address issues facing the people they work amongst.

One part of the learning process will involve debriefing sessions led by the experienced staff they are working with that will focus on the issues they are exposed to and potential ways of helping address them at an emotional as well as a practical level.

In keeping with the old adage that empathy begins with the familiar, they will also have comparative workshop sessions led by the Rutgers staff that will address what they are being exposed to through the lens of what they are familiar with in the United States.

Both the onsite and post workshop sessions will also address questions of how one converts empathy into positive action for change.

Academic Calendar

Mid June- Early July

Housing and Meals

Students will stay in a hotel in Warsaw and at the Borderlands Foundation in Krasnagruda.  Further details TBD.


Available to all Rutgers students participating in a Rutgers Global–Study Abroad program. Applications can be found inside of your study abroad program application. For more information, please visit the Scholarship section of our website.

Faculty Leaders

Dr Ian watson

Dr. Ian Watson is Professor of Theatre and Performance Studies, head of the Theatre Program, and former longtime Chair of the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at Rutgers University-Newark. He has worked in theatre, television, and the film industry. He studied acting with a former teacher at the Adler Studio in New York. He trained as a theatre director at the National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) in Sydney, Australia. He has a PhD from the Department of Performance Studies at NYU. He is the author and/or editor of several books on Eugenio Barba and performer training. He has also authored numerous book chapters and journal articles on performance. He is particularly interested in interdisciplinary teaching that combines arts practice with educational strategies as tools of community engagement.

Paul Sternberger

Paul Sternberger is a Professor of Art History and Coordinator of the Art History program in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media at Rutgers University-Newark.  He received his Ph.D. in Art History from Columbia University and joined the faculty of Rutgers University-Newark in 1997. His authored and co-authored books have focused on the History of Photography and the History of Design. His articles and reviews have appeared in journals such as History of Photography, American Art, Photographies, The Journal of the History of Collections, The Woman's Art Journal, and Arts of Asia. Professor Sternberger teaches courses in American Art and the History of Photography, as well as courses such as The Development of Modern Art; Art Since 1945; American Popular Film in the 1970s; Newark: A History of Art, Architecture, and Cultural Institutions; Introduction to Arts, Culture and Media; and introductory Art History surveys.