Matthew Farmer of Emerging World shares the results of new research on the long-term impact of Corporate International Service Learning (CISL) experiences. The study, completed in collaboration with leading global organizations found that “99.7% of participants recommended a CISL experience to a colleague”. The results strongly endorse CISL’s positive and lasting impact on leadership behavior, career mobility, and retention.

The CISL Impact Benchmark Study
Emerging World takes great pleasure in announcing the publication of a new study which clearly shows that companies looking to develop leaders, engage and retain employees and provide career mobility should establish Corporate International Service Learning (CISL) programs.

The CISL Impact Benchmark Study is the most robust piece of research of its kind, completed in collaboration with leading global organizations Microsoft, BD, Credit Suisse, EY, and GSK. It includes responses from over 300 employees from across these organizations, who report on the long term impact of experiences in which they have travelled internationally to apply their business skills to create social value, developing leadership skills and acquiring new learning as a result.

Highlights of the study include:

  • Outstanding approval ratings: 99.7% of participants had recommended a CISL experience to a colleague
  • Deep levels of learning: 79% of employees reported positive changes to the way they work as a result of their experience
  • Broad development: 12 global leadership competencies and behaviors cited as vital for future success
  • Accelerated promotion: 66% of returning participants have moved to roles of increased scope and seniority
  • Enhanced loyalty and engagement: 75% of respondents came back with increased motivated to contribute more than was required of their role


“The findings show that CISL experiences leave a transformative and lasting impact – not only on employees, but also on the organizations and people they serve,” says Will Wolf, Global Head of Talent Acquisition and Development for Credit Suisse.

Download the final report with detailed results. For a brief overview download the infographic.

– Matthew Farmer

Matthew Farmer is founder and managing director of Emerging World, a provider of international development experiences, inclusive business strategies and corporate volunteering programs. Sage Ways is the North American partner for Emerging World.