Service learning and and undergraduate faqs

What courses can I take?

The exact course options will vary based on location and the semester that you choose to study abroad. At each of our locations, you will take an online Introduction to COSA (Community Organizing and Social Activism) course along with a COSA course specific to the local context. Depending on the location, you may also be required to take a language course. In addition to these required courses, you will be able to select from a list of elective courses to fulfill your remaining credit requirements. You can find the complete course listings for each program under the “Academics” section on each country page.

How much do programs cost?

The table below represents the projected costs for each of our program terms. Please note, these numbers are subject to change over time and include IPSL tuition and room and board costs. You can also find downloadable budgets on each of the program overview pages with a complete breakdown of the program costs for the upcoming term. Please check the page for the program you are interested in for the most up to date pricing information.Yes! To add a picture follow these simple steps:

What is the term calendar?

The table below represents the projected dates for each of our program terms. Please note, these dates are subject to change over time and the most accurate information can be found on each program’s overview page.

How many credits would I earn?

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Will I get an official transcript?

Yes. All students who successfully complete an IPSL program will receive an official transcript from IPSL Institute for Global Learning. Typically, the original transcript will be sent to your home university and an unofficial copy will be mailed to your home address. If you are not enrolled in a university, both the original and copy of your transcript will be mailed to you directly.

Will my home university accept my transcript?

IPSL credits are transferable and generally most universities will accept our transcripts. It is up to you to confirm with your university’s study abroad office if they are able to accept credits from IPSL. We are happy to work with your study abroad office to answer any questions they may have.

How do I get access to the syllabi?

All syllabi are available upon request. Please email

Can I use my campus financial aid for the program fee?

If you are receiving financial aid through your home institution (for instance any school based scholarships or grants), you may be eligible to apply this aid package to an IPSL program. Consult with your university’s financial aid office or study abroad office as procedures can vary from campus to campus. If IPSL is already listed as an approved program at your home institution, you should be able to apply your campus aid toward the program. If IPSL is not a pre-approved program at your university, you should consult with the financial aid office and/or study abroad office to find out what information is required. We are happy to provide additional information to your institution as needed.

How can I use my federal financial aid (FAFSA student loans) to pay my IPSL program fee?

You should be able to pay the IPSL program fee and if your school uses a “consortium” agreement other associated costs (such as airfare) through your school. The FAFSA loan process would be similar to paying for a semester on campus. Depending on how your school processes the financial aid, you could be paying IPSL directly with your student loan funds or you would pay your school (either the IPSL program fee or your school’s semester tuition) and then your home school would pay IPSL for your program fee.

Does IPSL offer scholarships?

IPSL offers a Community Partner Service Grant for semester-length programs. The grant is generally around $500. To receive the Community Partner Service Grant, you must be nominated by institutional faculty or staff, an IPSL alum, a volunteer supervisor, or an employer through theonline nomination form.

Additionally, IPSL alumni will receive a $500 scholarship if they participate on another IPSL program.

We strongly encourage students to apply for external scholarships to help in funding their programs. We have had many students who have received Gilman or Ford scholarships to partially fund their programs. To see a list of potential external scholarships, please visit ourFinancial Aidpage.

When will I receive an admissions decision?

Once we have received your completed application and all other required materials (official transcript, two letters of recommendation, $75 application fee), you would typically receive an admissions decision within 1-2 business days. Depending on your school, the application fee may be bundled with your financial aid. IPSL will advise you regarding this.

How do I know that you received my documents for admission?

After we receive your application materials and documents, we will send you an email listing what has been received and what is still needed. Once all application materials have been received, they will be reviewed and we will email you about acceptance. The process is usually pretty fast, so you should receive an admission email within 24-48 hours.

Do I have to pay an application fee?

You will need to pay a $75 application fee unless you are an AmeriCorps alum or an IPSL alum.

How will the course structure differ from courses on my home campus?

The course structure will vary considerably depending on which program you attend and what term. Some courses may run throughout the entirety of your program, while others may be delivered in a block style schedule, but will ultimately have the same number of contact hours. Additionally, you should expect to experience a different teaching style than what you may be accustomed to at your home school. One of the interesting things about studying abroad is that you get to experience how higher education differs in other parts of the world.

When will I receive information about my homestay family?

Your program director will typically send homestay family information about a week before the start of your program.

When will I receive departure packet information?

You will be sent the link to the online departure packet information by email approximately one month before the start of your program.

Will I receive any preparation before I leave?

All IPSL students are required to complete our online orientation before departure. You will be sent the link to the online orientation by email once you have been officially admitted. If you are participating in Advocacy Research, you will also be sent the link to the required Research and Advocacy Toolkit. You can find more information about Advocacy Research in the Advocacy Research FAQ sheet below.

What forms are required after admittance to the program?

Once admitted, you are required to submit the IPSL Contract of Participation and pay the program deposit if applicable. The deposit is not an additional fee. It is part of the program fee and it is used to hold your place in the program and so that IPSL can start making arrangements for your participation. Sometimes your school will pay the deposit and IPSL will advise you in this.

After these two items are submitted, you will receive program specific pre-departure information via email. Part of your pre-departure is to fill out and submit a few forms which include information regarding your homestay preferences, service preferences and interests, emergency contact information, and vaccine dates. We will also require a color copy or photo of the photo page of your passport, a current resume, your entire travel itinerary, and a color photo of you facing forward in front of a plain background (this can be a cell phone picture).

Depending on the location of your program, there may be some additional program specific forms necessary. Once you have been admitted, we will be in touch with you to provide more specific information on the necessary forms for your program.

When can I buy my plane ticket?

Once you have been admitted, have submitted your contract of participation, and paid your deposit (if applicable), you will receive a pre-departure email, which includes arrival logistics, airport codes, and flight information instructions. Please do not purchase your ticket before you receive the pre-departure email.

When do I need to send my airline ticket itinerary?

You will need to send us your airline ticket itinerary no later than 30 days prior to the start of your program, or as soon as you purchase it if you are admitted within 30 days of the start of the program. Please include both your arrival and departure itinerary (including flight times, flight numbers, and any connecting flight information) in the email. Our onsite staff will use this information to keep track of your flights and to make your transportation arrangements from the airport.

When would be the best time for my parents to visit?

It is recommended that parents visit after the official program ends. At this point, you will be very knowledgeable about the area and can act as a guide. It is not advised for parents to try and visit during the program, because you will be very busy with your coursework and at your service site.

How do the language hours/credits work?

At IPSL program locations where English is not the spoken language, you are required to take at least 3 semester credits of the host country’s language. Generally, 1 credit is equal to 15 hours of language instruction. You can be a beginner or have some level of proficiency. In some locations, you may wish to focus on the language and arrange to take more than one class and receive more than 3 credits.

How do I assess my language proficiency level?

You will be given a language proficiency exam either before or upon arrival. This will be used to place you in the appropriate level. Please note that often language proficiency in other countries is gauged using more rigorous standards and you may find yourself placed in a lower level than expected. This is common and should not be a cause of concern.

Can I cancel or defer my program?

Cancellations must be submitted in writing via email or post no later than 30 days prior to the start of the program. This must come from the student directly. The application fee and program deposit are not refundable at anytime, but the remaining balance of the program fee is refundable up to 30 days prior to the start of the program. If cancelation occurs within the 30 days prior to the start of the program, the entire program fee is non-refundable.

In order to defer your program you must pay the program deposit. Deferring your program keeps your application active for up to one year after the start of the original program. Within the year you can email IPSL to let us know if you would like to participate in the original program or choose a different location.

When will my transcripts arrive?

Transcripts should arrive between 4-6 weeks after the end of your program.