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Serving alongside and living with the people of Ireland provides so many opportunities to converse with, hang out with, and explore with the locals.


Grab hold of this unique opportunity to immerse in another culture like never before. Want to feel like Dublin is your new second home? Come with IPSL to Ireland!

IPSL program in Ireland.webp

IPSL volunteers in Ireland

Come to Ireland and experience a society that has reinvented itself

Ireland offers you opportunities to explore what it means to assume the responsibilities of global citizenship from the lived experience of a specific place.

Living in Dublin, taking courses from local Irish professors and leaders of our partner NGO organizations, working for community-based groups and agencies in the city, and with easy access to the rest of the country and to Northern Ireland, you have the opportunity to immerse yourself in a rich and varied cultural heritage and get to understand first-hand the current issues of both native Irish as well as immigrants to Ireland's shores.

The Republic of Ireland's capital has transformed itself over the last 20 years from a quiet, provincial city into a modern, thriving  European city. Universities abound and create a youthful energy as about 35% of Dublin's population is under 25. Lively urban areas with ancient pubs, live music and restaurants mingle with historic churches and libraries, ancient ruins and beautiful green spaces. The Liffey River (spanned by numerous beautiful bridges) divides the city into two distinct areas where you can explore. You will find it easy to enjoy the best of what Dublin has to offer!

Community Organizing & Social Activism (COSA) in Ireland

Academic immersion focused on real cultural understanding 

COSA in Ireland and a Service-Learning Reflections & Practicum course anchors the academics in this program and provides a bridge of understanding between theory and the real world.

There are required courses and some electives. Students can take up to 15 semester credits. All courses are taught at the 300-level or above . Unless otherwise noted, each course carries 45 contact hours and 3 semester credits.  An official transcript for all courses is issued by IPSL Institute for Global Learning upon successful completion of the program.

Course Offerings

  • COSA in Ireland

  • Introduction to COSA (Course Offered Online)


Elective Course Offerings - Semester

  • Exploring Irish Literature from the Birth of Ireland to Contemporary Times

  • Irish History: The Making of Modern Ireland

Elective Course Offerings - Summer

  • Film Making and Digital Production for Social Justice 


* Some courses may not be offered during a given term. Please inquire. 


Travel and excursions that broaden your perspective

Travel is an essential part of studying abroad. Taking knowledge from the classroom and applying it through direct observation allows for greater classroom comprehension and cultural understanding.


Excursions MAY Include:

  • Dublin City Bus Tour for Orientation

  • Book of Kells

  • Glasnevin Cemetery

  • GAA - Gaelic Athletic Association


Additional excursions MAY include:

  • Weekend excursion to west or southern coast 

  • Day trip to Wicklow county

  • Day trip to Belfast, Northern Ireland to visit Peace and Reconciliation centers


IPSL students in Ireland may also work with program staff on-site to arrange for independent travel to other areas of Ireland or to the continent. 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 & Credits - Semester

The IPSL Dublin program offers students the ability to register and take a wide variety of courses for up to15 credits per semester. Students are required to take the IPSL COSA in Ireland course for 3-6 semester credits and the IPSL Introduction to COSA for 3 credits. Students may choose an additional 2 courses 

Courses & Credits - Summer

IPSL offers a summer program focused on Film Making for Social Justice. Learning from a working film maker and using various technical equipment, participants produce a media project specifically designed to advocate for the community organization they are volunteering with.

Service Opportunities
  • Working with at-risk youth

  • Early childhood education

  • Alzheimer's care centers

  • Agencies/schools working with people with mental and physical disabilities

  • Agencies providing services for the elderly, and other marginalized groups

  • Refugee and immigrant relief and assistance

Dates & Fees

Please inquire as we can customize to most any schedule and budget!

What's Included

  • Tuition and academic fees

  • Academic transcript

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

  • Homestay housing

  • Partial board in homestay only

  • Service placement and supervision

  • "Leap" card for local transportation for entire term

  • OPW Heritage card (admission into various Irish Heritage sites)

  • Airport pick-up upon arrival

  • Health insurance

  • Academic excursions

What's NOT Included

  • Passport

  • Visa (if required)

  • Background check and fingerprints for volunteer clearance

  • Vaccination fees

  • International airfare

  • Additional meals not included in homestay

  • Books

  • Lunches in homestay

  • Personal spending money

  • Local cell phone

  • Independent  travel

Volunteer service

Ethical Service in Ireland

As an IPSL service-learning participant in Dublin, Ireland you will have the opportunity to perform volunteer service in one of several local partner organizations/agencies. IPSL does its best to match your skills and interests to the placement, but please remember that the notion of service is, first and foremost, to respond to the needs of others. You will play a role not only by actively participating with a determined role among the team members, but also by enriching the projects and programs with your knowledge, experience, and hard work.  Therefore, each project or program is improved and enriched with your participation. Your impact on other people's lives will be powerful and sustainable, even if you don't see the results right away.

IPSL's service-learning placements are in agencies that have sprung up from the grassroots, where locals have identified a need, and where the change effort is owned by them. What they need is additional assistance of all kinds from the outside. So, IPSL participants should remember that they are stepping into a moving stream of initiatives and efforts that began long ago, and that will continue after the participant departs. Your work is important, but your individual contributions may not be visible for many years. Change takes time. In the meantime, you are fulfilling a need, and the need is huge.


Address real human needs

The IPSL service-learning program in Dublin, Ireland offers students the opportunity to experience international volunteer service in a large urban metropolis with many pressing environmental social problems that affect the entire population.

During Orientation, you will have an opportunity to work with IPSL staff to learn about the various service opportunities available and select one (or possibly more)  that is of interest to you. Students may support non-profits, NGOs and community development agencies. 


You will serve approximately 12-15 hours per week in a local agency.

Volunteer Service may include:

  • at-risk youth

  • refugees and immigrants

  • the elderly and other marginalized and vulnerable populations

  • the homeless

  • people struggling with addiction

  • people with physical and mental disabilities

  • children and youth  (tutoring, sports and recreation, etc.)

Volunteer service examples

Following are examples of agencies where IPSL students have served in the past or may be able to serve. Other service placements may be available. Your placement will be determined by community and agency needs, as well as your interests, goals, and skills.

  •  An after-school clubhouse providing education support to inner-city children

  • An NGO dedicated to public health

  • An international non-profit dedicated to issues in developing countries

  • A non-profit dedicated to the promotion of racial understanding through sport

  • An international human rights organization

  • A community-based youth resource center

  • A faith-based non-profit working with the unemployed

  • An animal shelter housing and re-homing pets

“This placement has been very positive for me. There is a great work atmosphere here and I love working with the kids each day. The kids are so talented and creative. It brightens my day to get to create theater and have fun with the kids.”

- Ally E., Psychology Major, Boston University, 2012

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