Background: Seventeen pre-service teachers from The Hong Kong Institute of Education involved in a service education project during the summer vacation in 2008. They spent seven weeks in an orphanage and a commune in Vietnam to provide various services for disabled children and to help constructing a house for the poor villagers respectively. They learned how to cope with challenging environment through developing service leadership, problem solving and communication abilities in a different cultural context.
Aims: To reveal what respondents have experienced, reflected and gained through involving in the cross-cultural service exposure project and how such fruitful learning experiences can be enhanced.
Sample: All seventeen pre-service teachers involved in the project.
Method: Content analysis was conducted on service-learning journals, day logs and writings prepared by the students after the service-learning experience.
Results: The analysis based on respondents' reflective writings revealed that the development of genuine relationship among participants through mutual care, their generic skills, leadership abilities and cultural competencies are enhanced while they work collaboratively and support each other to overcome difficulties.
Conclusion: As a multicultural service-learning co-curricular activity, participants can acquire new knowledge, change attitudes and develop constructive behaviors through a genuine and caring environment and reflection. They are perceived to attain gains in leadership abilities, cultural competence skills and professional commitment.