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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. 

History at your fingertips in Vietnam

As the capital of Vietnam for almost a thousand years, Hanoi is considered one of the main cultural centers of Vietnam, and the city, like most of the country, is in the throes of fast and furious development driven by a young population of energetic and creative Vietnamese. It is a place where the history is colliding with the future and exciting things a happening!


The charming Vietnamese capital has aged well, preserving the Old Quarters, monuments and colonial architecture, while making room for modern developments alongside. Hanoi's lakes, parks, shady boulevards and more than 600 temples and pagodas add to the appeal of this city. Local cuisine specialties, exotic street food as well as dance and music clubs liven up the scene.

Experience life in charming Hanoi

Socialism in Vietnam has its own unique style, forged through years of resistance to threats from larger and more powerful nations. This determination to remain independent has created a culture of self-reliance, discipline and solidarity that is still visible today in public life. Conversations with ordinary Vietnamese people about the past and future of their nation permit IPSL students to understand this culture and people in a deeper, more meaningful way. ALL WE CAN SAY IS "GO NOW!"


Program Highlights

Language of Instruction: English

Affiliated Institution: Center for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS)

Transcript issued from IPSL School of Record

Courses & Credits - Semester

Students may take up to 18 credits per semester.


  •  Vietnamese Language | Credits: 3

  •  COSA in Vietnam (Community Organizing and Social Activism) | Credits: 3

  •  Introduction to COSA | Credits: 3

Possible Electives
  •   Environmental Science  | Credits: 3

  •   Sustainable Tourism | Credits: 3

  •   Global Health and the Environment | Credits: 3

  •   Politics and Policy of Development | Credits: 3

  •   Sustainable Blusiness in a Globalized World | Credits: 3

  •   Globalization and Social Justice | Credits: 3


Courses & Credits - Summer

Students are required to take 2 courses for a total of 6 credits.

  •  Vietnamese Language | Credits: 3

  •  COSA in Vietnam | Credits: 3


Courses and Credits - Summer Research in Action Program

  • Ethics in Advocacy Research and International Sustainable Development | 6 credits (Partial online course)


Service Opportunities

Opportunities for substantive service (15 hours per week) are generally available in the following areas:

  • services to disadvantaged children, orphans and street children

  • English language consulting and/or tutoring

  • volunteer and youth development

  • environmental/conservation programs

  • eco-tourism program development

  • poverty alleviation

  • women's empowerment programs

  • micro-finance programs


Students live in modern dorm/student housing at the Center for Sustainable Development Studies (CSDS). The dorms accommodate both international and Vietnamese students and volunteers, All meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner, 7 days per week) are included and served at the CSDS center. Self-serve western style breakfast and Vietnamese lunch and dinner are offered.            


  • 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 dive deep into another culture!

  • To support our service organizations in a SUSTAINABLE way

  • GROW - expand your horizons and challenge your assumptions!

Program Director: Don Tuan Phuong



The program welcomes students of any nation who have a high school diploma or equivalent credential. TOEFL equivalent 550.

What's Included

Tuition and academic fees; academic transcript; administrative fees; books and materials; on-site and on-line orientation and pre-departure materials; service placement and supervision; some local transportation; academic excursions; health insurance; room and full board.


What's typically NOT Included

Passport; visa (secured in country upon arrival with assistance from onsite program staff) fees and vaccine fees; international airfare; books; spending money; additional local personal transportation; local cell phone and independent travel.

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