top of page


Study and volunteer in Chinchiná, a vibrant city in the gorgeous coffee growing highlands. And, depending on your interests and goals,  spend several days in either Medellín, the "City of Eternal Spring," in the Andes, Cartagena the sunny, historic, colonial city on the edge of the turquoise Caribbean or both! Colombia is a country of diverse history, cultures peoples and environments. Explore them all with IPSL!

Now you can choose a program abroad or virtual classes taught by local professors. 


IPSL hosts graduate students, undergraduate students, and non-degree participants in Colombia.


Exploring La Boquilla with new friends

Experience Colombia like a local...not a tourist

As a participant on an IPSL Colombia program, you can learn and serve in the beautiful and bio-diverse coffee growing region of Chinchiná. 

IPSL Colombia participants can study Spanish in each city. Other core courses are taught mainly in one or the other city. 

In Chinchiná, be prepared for a lush experience! This UNESCO Heritage city is nestled in an high Andean valley and is surrounded by by coffee plantations ("fincas").


Dive into Spanish language leaning while serving in hospitals, group homes for girls and young women for houseless seniors and more.


In Cartagena, IPSL offers a rich, excursion-based Afro-Caribbean Culture study course there. The course is intensive and you learn from experts about the history of the African Diaspora and the Black History of Colombia. The history, people and culture of this region of the country is diverse and fascinating and forms an integral part of the Colombia of today. This is a multi-day excursion as part of the course.

In Medellín, participants can complete coursework about the turbulent era of the drug trade in the 1980's and 90's; that course is called "From Escobar to Santos: Socio-Historical Perspectives on Colombia." Another course is Medellín examines comparative peace processes in four historical locations: Rwanda, South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Colombia. That course is called "Peace, Conflict, and Reconciliation: Comparative Peace Studies Processes in Rwanda, South Africa, Northern Ireland, and Colombia." This is a multiu-day excursion as part of the course.

​Your time spent in the city studying, volunteering and living in Colombia is combined with opportunities to explore the surrounding regions of Colombia. Students take their Spanish course with students from a variety of countries and receive their transcript from IPSL's home university in the U.S.

IPSL students in Colombia may also work with program staff on-site to arrange for independent travel to other areas of Colombia. As with all travel, weather and other travel hindrances can affect the exact destinations of excursions. In such cases, IPSL program staff make every effort to find suitable replacement itineraries.


Courses are cross-listed at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

  • Spanish Language (all levels)

  • Community Organizing and Social Activism (COSA)

  • From Escobar to Santos: Socio - Historical Perspectives on Modern Colombia 

  • Conflict, Peace and Reconciliation: Colombia, South Africa, North Ireland and Rwanda

  • Afro-Caribbean Culture and History

  • Language Across the Curriculum (Spanish language course plus an Independent Study Project)


Students live in Chinchina at the IPSL partner NGO communal home with other with a private or shared bedroom and shared bath and kitchen. Meals are provided and prepared for you.

Homestays may also be arranged if requested and available. Homestay offers you the opportunity to make life-long friends, gain higher proficiency in the language, and experience the culture from "the inside."


All IPSL host families are carefully selected and experienced with hosting students.  Living with local residents is part of the immersion experience. Instead of being a tourist, an IPSL student gets to know what it's like to be part of a different culture.

Degree Programs


Here are some of the ways IPSL participants have contributed to

empowering communities through volunteering:

  • Teaching/Assisting in the new bilingual school

  • Volunteering w/ First Responders

  • Health education programs in clinics and hospitals

  • Day-care facility supporting sex workers' children

  • Residential facility for young women/girls

  • Shelter/Free Clinic for homeless elderly

  • Dog & Cat Refuge and Vet Services

  • Migratory Bird/Lake Habitat

  • Club & Sports School 

  • Construction/Beautification at a Coffee Workers' Neighborhood

        ...and more


Contribute to the education and empowerment of vulnerable and marginalized communities in Argentina. Use your power for good to serve others. This isn't charity; this is community-based-learning where you will reflect on your role as a guest, a listener, and a thoughtful partner in community-based learning settings. In the process, you can contribute to on-going work that locals have designed and implemented. You'll be stepping into a running stream where others have come before you. Trust will learn a lot about yourself and gain perspectives that will help you throughout your life. ​


Our partners are open year-round and start dates vary. Inquire with IPSL about your options. We are flexible with the start date and the duration of every program. 

Please inquire as we can customize to most any schedule, budget and interests.

What's Included

  • Tuition and academic fees

  • Official U.S. based academic transcript

  • On-site and online orientation and pre-departure materials

  • Course related excursions to Cartagena and/or Medellín 

  • homestay with partial meals

  • Volunteer home with meals

  • Service placement and supervision

  • Medical and evacuation  insurance

  • Pick-up and drop off at the airport upon arrival and departure

  • Academic excursions

  • 24/7 on-site support team

What's NOT Included

  • Passport

  • In-country visa

  • Vaccine fees (if required)

  • International airfare

  • Books and course materials

  • Personal spending money

  • Meals away from volunteer home or homestay

  • Local personal transportation

  • Local cell phone and additional wi-fi services

  • Independent travel

Graduate Studies and Advocacy Research in Colombia

IPSL Global Institute offers Colombia as a destination for our graduate students. Choose a Master's of Arts in International Development & Service (IDS) or Community Organizing and Social Activism (COSA), or do independent research or service that qualifies for academic credit.

Academic Courses

  • Community Organizing and Social Activism (COSA)

  • From Escobar to Santos: Socio - Historical Perspectives on Modern Colombia 

  • Conflict, Peace and Reconciliation: Colombia, South Africa, North Ireland and Rwanda

  • Afro-Caribbean Culture and History

  • Language Across the Curriculum (Spanish language course plus an Independent Study Project)


Graduate students have a choice of living in a homestay or living in or double dorm rooms or apartments.

Please contact us to discuss graduate study and research opportunities in Colombia.

Courses and Service with Academic Credit
bottom of page