Relationship with the Community and the World

Students are provided with meaningful opportunities outside of the classroom that build upon the core academic principles discussed in Learning Community courses. These experiences aid students in developing an increased level of participation in a global society, thanks to an enhanced cultural competency, environmental awareness, an enhanced understanding of human rights and equality, and exposure to undergraduate research.  Having the skills and connections formed from within the Learning Community Program students are prepared for success in their personal, academic, and professional lives at UConn and beyond.

Cultural Competency, Environmental Awareness, and Participation in a Global Society: Students will be competent in understanding other cultures, and interacting effectively with people from cultures other than their own. Students will be able to describe their connection with local and global ecosystems, and the impact of their lifestyles on those ecosystems. Students will be able to articulate what it means to them to be a responsible participant in a global society.

Human Rights and Equality: Students will be able to express their own values as they relate to human rights, equality, privilege, and oppression. Students will be able to describe a variety of ways that their choices and lifestyle are related to the rights and lives of others who live nearby and around the world.

Undergraduate Research: Students will be exposed to research opportunities normally reserved for upperclassmen within their first and second year, giving them the chance to make the most from their time at UConn.  The Learning Community Program hosts a Learning Community Research Connections event every Fall that connects first and second year students to faculty, staff and student researchers.  This event prepares students to network, build connections, develop potential areas of interest for research, and hear about current research positions.


Learning Community Experiential Opportunities include but are not limited to:

  1. Alternative Breaks: week long service breaks 
  2. Service Learning: meaningful reflective community service
  3. Spring Valley Farm: provides the opportunity to live and work on an organic farm
  4. Study Abroad: first year students are provided the opportunity to study abroad 

Alternative Breaks

Alternative Breaks are weeklong trips that provide groups of students with the opportunity to explore critical social issues, enhance individual growth, and prepare them for lifelong social action. Each trip integrates service, reflection, and education and focuses on topics such as public health, environmental sustainability, and housing.

Service Learning

Learning Community Students engaging in service learning Service Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.” (The Carnegie Foundation)

Spring Valley Farm

The Spring Valley Student Farm is an extension of the EcoHouse. It provides an opportunity to learn about organic farming through applied learning while also providing a residential living option with additional independence and responsibility appropriate to returning upper-class students.

Study Abroad

The First Year Programs & Learning Communities office First Year International (FYI) program provides UConn students with an opportunity to explore the world through faculty led global field study courses. FYI trips provide an opportunity for first year students to investigate the study abroad experience by way of 4-6 week programs which occur during inter-sessions (Winter or Summer). FYI is a unique inter-departmental endeavor focusing on connecting first and second year students 1-on-1 with research faculty on the global scene. Available FYI programs.