Our experience in training undergraduate and graduate anthropology students during ten consecutive summers of ethnographic field schools in diverse settings (Hungary, Lowland Costa Rica, Highland Guatemala) leads us to believe that students, both graduate and undergraduate need a strong, basic experience in designing and conducting their own field research projects. At the same time, we believe that the ethnographic field school experience is also a type of service learning experience. The ethnographic field school helps students develop analytic and conceptual skills that can be linked with applied experiences. Eventually, both the participants and the members of the local community enter into a mutually reinforcing relationship in which the guests come to appreciate their role as students of the local culture, and as anthropologists (framed within a professional sense of ethical responsibility) and in which the hosts come to understand what research is and how that research can be put to use. Some programs emphasize a more active model of community service with frequent, direct, community involvement and collaboration, while others use a more passive model whose benefits for the local community come through the information generated from research projects and from the homestay experience. This chapter gives several examples of each kind of model.
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