As a teacher, educator, and strong advocate for service learning, I became very interested in both the opportunities and the limitations of current approaches to service learning. This article begins to sketch an as yet unrealized relational approach to service learning, drawing on ideas about encounters with Others in the work of the philosopher Emmanuel Levinas. The first part of the article offers a brief introduction to the field of service learning and explores problematic aspects related to traditional and critical approaches in service learning initiatives, where ideas of objective knowledge of self and Other, teleological notions of progress, and server–served relationships limit possibilities of engagement and transcendence. The second part of the article draws on post-structuralist ideas in education to propose a distinction between the desire 'to learn from the Other' and the risky and difficult disposition to be open 'to being taught by the Other' (Biesta, 2012). I propose a strategic step beyond the limitations of traditional and critical approaches to service learning, where difference is seen as a productive and indispensable force, and where education is about encountering the world/the Other and being altered by it.