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Now More Than Ever...


There is a clear and pressing need to engage with our world in an ACTIVE way. The world needs young leaders to fight for social justice and equal rights. Are you up for the challenge? Then be part of COSA™ - the only study abroad program working to create sustainable change though advocacy!

COSA - Community Organizing and Social Activism

Learn the practical skills to be an active agent of change and social justice. Study the many international efforts in history, learn from these efforts and use them to develop a personal ethic of service, advocacy and civic engagement. COSA will teach you the skills of community organizing and will empower you to create sustainable change in your own communities. 

Study and volunteer with IPSL's  Program in Italy - Siena (Tuscany) and in Brussels, Belgium or Yaounde, Cameroon!

DESIGN Your Own Experience by choosing one of three unique programs:

  • Siena/Siena

  • Siena/Brussels

  • Siena/Yaounde

IPSL's unique program allows students to design their own study abroad and service experience. Elect to stay in Siena for your whole semester to truly immerse in Italian language and culture or engage with comparative studies by selecting the Siena/Brussels (Belgium) OR Siena/Yaounde (Cameroon) program.

Whichever of the three options you choose, you will focus on academics and some service the first half of the semester and then extensive service and some academics the second half.


Siena, a walkable, medieval city in the center of Tuscany, is "the cradle of the Italian language" and the heartland of the Italian of Dante. Service-learning in Siena offers an ideal opportunity for you to learn Italian (or strengthen your existing skills) through a full immersion in Italian life.

Located about one hour from Florence and three hours from Rome, this small but vivacious city provides a perfect home base for exploring the rest of Italy. Its two large universities keep things lively during the academic year with many cultural events, theaters, and concerts. During the summer, things heat up with the world renowned Palio, a horse race dating back to 1656, that takes place in the central square. The town itself is your classroom, as you navigate and gain familiarity with the local fruit and vegetable market, bakery, and gelateria, and absorb the Italian voices drifting in your window from the street. The countryside surrounding the city is home to producers of the famous Chianti and Brunello wines as well as some of the most sought after olive oil in the world. The province, with its rolling hills and cypress trees, is rich with hill towns, hot springs and Etruscan ruins waiting to be explored.

Program Highlights

Language of Instruction: Italian, French and English

Affiliated Institution: Siena Italian Studies 

Courses & Credits - Semester 
  • Intensive Italian Language | Credits: 3

  • Semester Italian Language | Credits: 6

  • Intensive French Language and Culture | 3

  • Survival Italian Language and Culture | 1

  • COSA in Italy | Credits: 3

  • Introduction to COSA | Credits: 3

  • Intercultural Communication | 3

  • European Development Policy | 3

  • NEPAD - New Partnership for Africa's Development | 3

  • Service - Learning  On-Site Reflections | 2

  • Optional Electives | Credits: 3


Courses & Credits - Summer
  • Intensive Italian Language | Credits: 3

  • COSA in Italy | Credits: 3

Service Opportunities 
  • teaching English to elementary school children

  • teaching English to ambulance drivers

  • working alongside medical personnel in an ambulance

  • assisting with the elderly

  • community development

  • providing immigrant and refugee assistance

  • helping with an organic farm and restaurant

  • …and other options…


You will live in a homestay with a local host family. The homestay is an integral part of both the program, giving you the opportunity to make life-long friends, reinforce the language skills acquired during daily lessons, and experience modern Italian culture from "the inside." Host families are carefully selected, experienced with hosting students, and view the experience as a form of cultural exchange. Full Board is included.


  • We're really nice and support you in your journey!

  • We're the most experienced group in the field of International Service-Learning

  • You can make a real difference to people in need

  • You can FINALLY learn that language

  • You can dive deep into another culture!

  • To support our service organizations in a SUSTAINABLE way

  • GROW - expand your horizons and challenge your assumptions!

Program Director: Ms. Lavinia Bracci

The program welcomes students of any nation, with any level of Italian language skill. Academic studies are taught in Italian at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels.

What's Included 

Tuition and academic fees; academic transcript; on-site and on-line orientation and pre-departure materials;  homestay housing; three meals per day, seven days per week; service placement and supervision; airport pick-up in Pisa if arriving before noon; some local transportation; health insurance; academic excursions.

What's typically NOT Included 

Passport; visa; vaccine fees; international airfare; books; personal spending money; local personal transportation; transportation back to the airport upon departure; local cell phone and independent travel.


If you are participating in the Comparative Program in European Development in Belgium or African Development in Cameroon, airfare from Siena to Cameroon OR Siena to Belgium AND return to Siena is NOT incliuded. Students leave directly from Belgium or Cameroon.

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