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IPSL Institute for Global Learning

About

IPSL programs combine academic studies and community service and full cultural immersion to give students a deeper, more meaningful study abroad experience.

The mission of IPSL is to engage students, educators, and community members in the union of service and learning, so that all may become more civically engaged, interculturally literate, internationally aware, and responsive to the needs of others.

Website
www.ipsl.org
Founded
1981
Headquarters

4110 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
#200
Portland, OR 97214
United States

IPSL is a registered Social Benefit Corporation that is committed to its mission and dedicated to promoting an ethic of service. We invest over 83% of our revenues directly back into the communities where we serve.

Reviews

Default avatar
Sydney
10/10

The study abroad program and service learning provided by IPSL was an amazing experience that will last a lifetime. The classes I took were Swahili and a class about the community, which met three days a week. These taught me a lot about the community and its culture as well as the basics of the local language. Not many people in the U.S. can say that they have taken a Swahili class in their life before. I also loved the service incorporation part, I volunteered in a small, private clinic four days a week and absolutely loved it. In my future, I would like to be a doctor, so this exposed me to what this is like, not only the field but in another country, which is a priceless experience.
My program director made my experience even better. He would take me on excursions on Fridays, he provided me with different places to go for food, excursions, and shopping, and he gave me advice for when I was feeling homesick. I was the only student in the program at the time, so there was a lot of one-on-one time, which was very helpful when he was teaching me Swahili and about the community if I had any questions.

How can this program be improved?
Providing more information to students about their host family and living situation as well as the neighborhood would be nice to know.
Yes, I recommend this program
Emma
10/10

Traveling to Peru with IPSL changed my life. Everyone says that happens when they study abroad but for me it is true. When I decided to go abroad with IPSL I was looking for a program that could help me increase my Spanish language skills, was academically rigorous and had service-learning so that I could learn to become a better activist and engage in the community. I did not want to be another tourist abroad. IPSL checked all these boxes for me. What it also did was help me change my life path through their eye-opening and engaging volunteer placements. Not only did I build skills that has allowed me to become the activist I am today but my volunteer placement working at an animal sanctuary helped me realize that I wanted to work with animals, something I never thought I would be engaged with. My experience with IPSL was so profound that I changed colleges and went on another IPSL program to Greece! There are many choices that you can make in your life but one choice you will never regret is studying abroad with IPSL.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Sarah
10/10

Cartagena was a life-changing trip! I was a Spanish minor with hopes for a chance at study abroad that would fit my busy nursing schedule. IPSL gave me just that and more! For a whole week, I had morning Spanish classes with Centro Catalina, a school dedicated to sharing and teaching the culture and history of Cartagena, that worked with me on my own level and pace. But I also had afternoon tour throughout the city of Cartagena guided by teachers and assistants from Centro Catalina. The whole week was dedicated to the learning of the rich culture and history of Cartagena and Colombia. But not only was I receiving so much back from this school but they also gave me a chance to give back by volunteering at a local school to help teach and play with an elementary school. It felt so rewarding when the kids had rushed over to give me the biggest hug of thanks! This trip showed me not only to step away from my comfort zones but to dive right in to experience a culture entirely different from own here in the US. This study abroad was definitely a once in a lifetime trip!

Response from IPSL Institute for Global Learning

Dear Sarah...we are so glad that you enjoyed your IPSL Faculty-Led experience! We try to put as much into a short-program as we can and we're happy that you found your time in Cartagena so rewarding (& not absolutely exhausting!). We thank you for your kind words and being a part of the IPSL experience!

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Jayne
9/10

During my time in Thessaloniki, Greece, I had the opportunity to learn about and experience Greek culture through a variety of hands-on opportunities. I had the privilege to volunteer with refugees in Thessaloniki, go on many guided tours of the city, experience a wine and olive oil tasting, and go on a few excursions to nearby towns - including a day hike on Mount Olympus. I really feel as though I had a well rounded experience during my time in Greece, and would love to do it all again. IPSL did a great job facilitating my experience not only in Greece, but also my experiences in Spain and Italy, which were also included in my program.

How can this program be improved?
This program could be improved by having more immersion activities. The immersion activities that I experienced during my program were great, however I wish there were more opportunities for this kind of experience. Although I felt like I learned a lot about Greek culture, I would have loved to go out in the community more and had the opportunity to really interact with the locals.
Response from IPSL Institute for Global Learning

Hi Jayne...thank you so much for your kind review. I'm sorry that you did not have as much interaction with the local people as you desired. On short term Faculty-Led programs (like yours) our structure needs to be altered to allow the faculty to incorporate their required material. This often cuts into activities that would normally be a part of all IPSL programs such as living with a homestay family to experience family life and participating in 15+ hours of volunteer service with our grass roots, community organizations. These elements as well as the opportunity to do advocacy research with our partners provide in-depth interaction with locals and immersion in their culture that is not possible on other type of programs. IPSL tries to incorporate as much of these experiences as we can in every type of program and I am pleased that you were able to take part in some of these things.

Yes, I recommend this program
Default avatar
Kathleen
10/10

I can talk about my abroad experience for days, but I'll keep it short.

The good: My school was across from the beach. I learned how to scuba dive, play Ecuadorian card games with my family, speak Spanish, and took a life-changing class about medical anthropology as well as interned with the health clinic. I was able to experience and learn about the world around me as opposed to memorizing facts from a texbook. I would do it all over again if I could!

The bad: It's hot. I liked it, but some people had a hard time with it.

The ugly: None! You have to go!!!

Yes, I recommend this program

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