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IPSL International Service Opportunities for AmeriCorps Alums

February 24, 2016

New IPSL logoToday’s guest post is sponsored and written by IPSL Study Abroad + Service-Learning™. IPSL offers undergraduate and graduate studies that include research opportunities. IPSL educates leaders for professional careers with NGOs and educational and community development organizations with an international and/or social justice focus. Students participate in service-learning and spend time abroad in a variety of countries applying theory to real world civic engagement experiences. To learn more about IPSL, visit their website.

Interested in taking your AmeriCorps experience into an international context? Explore study abroad and international education opportunities with IPSL, an organization whose founders coined the term Service-Learning™. For over 30 years, IPSL has worked to engage volunteers like you in international service through a graduate program in International Development and Service™, undergraduate study abroad and service programs, and through its latest curriculum offering, Advocacy Research™.

As an experiential education organization, IPSL and its opportunities are a great fit for AmeriCorps alumni. Over 50% of students in IPSL’s Graduate Program in International Development and Service™  are AmeriCorps alumni. Why is this? It’s because IPSL’s graduate program supports an ethos of service and works toward sustainability (over 80% of program revenues are fed back into the programs and communities with which IPSL partners). IPSL also builds on the skills you learned in AmeriCorps and could give you a chance to expand your global perspective, international network, professional skill set, intercultural competency, understanding of international development and more. Learning about cultures abroad can inform one’s understanding of the many different local cultures in our own country and helps us all realize that service (while not always obvious) is often needed in our own backyards.

What can IPSL offer you? Check out three pathways to start your international career with IPSL outlined below.

Graduate School Program
The IPSL Graduate Program in International Development and Service is a two-year program that includes one year abroad to two different countries. If you choose this pathway, you’ll participate in service-learning throughout each semester, both domestically and internationally, and learn from a variety of different organizations and communities. This experiential education would provide you an opportunity to explore cultures and fields, research relevant topics, and develop tangible, professional skills.

Upon completing two years in the graduate program, you will have lived, studied and served in three different locations, with three different universities and three different teams of faculty, who all work together within one program. This graduate program structure provides the opportunity to learn about various educational infrastructures, social issues faced by each community, and the local solutions that have been proposed to address these challenges.

IPSL 2016 PIC 1

Undergraduate & Summer Semesters and January Terms Abroad
Not ready for graduate school just yet? IPSL offers undergraduate semesters, summers or a January-terms abroad that focus on international service-learning whether or not you’re currently enrolled in college. AmeriCorps alumni in any type of IPSL program can continue serving communities across the globe through IPSL’s many reciprocal partnerships with NGOs, nonprofits and community development organizations. Service opportunities are wide ranging and available in the fields of education, environmental sustainability, social services, health care and more.

IPSL programs are community-led and assist organizations as directed by them. Community leaders are the identifiers and directors of their needs. By participating in one of these programs, you could begin establishing a network of contacts and resources abroad and an academic transcript of coursework that can be transferred to an undergraduate college. IPSL coursework is wide-ranging and can be applied to many majors or interdisciplinary studies.

In the last thirty years, approximately 4,500 IPSL students
have completed nearly one million hours of service
with over 166 nonprofit organizations and NGOs
across five continents.

IPSL 2016 pic 2

Advocacy Research
No matter whether you’re ready to start college or just interested in global service, IPSL has an opportunity for you to apply your social justice interest toward research! IPSL offers Advocacy Research program options that you could apply toward undergraduate or graduate work. With this opportunity, you would be able to engage in service and research that seeks to measure social problems with a view to increasing awareness and influencing political, economic and social decision-making. This program provides the chance to amplify the effects of direct service, collect critical data for organizations both in the U.S. and abroad, and to create sustainable benefits for often resource-scarce organizations. IPSL’s Advocacy Research program upholds the importance of ethical behavior and engagement, as well as cultural awareness.

If you chose to take advantage of this program, you’ll learn ways to serve on an international academic level and can take advantage of opportunities to apply this research to an undergraduate and/or graduate program thesis. AmeriCorps alumni can also publish and present their Advocacy Research—an excellent way to boost the strength of your school and employment applications!


IPSL students interviewing two village healers at their home in Lang Son province

No matter which pathway you chose at IPSL, you’ll experience personal growth, strengthen your intercultural competency, enhance your global perspective and expand your professional network. IPSL supports your service journey by working with its university partner, College of Mount Saint Vincent, where your Eli Segal Education Award can be applied, and also offers an automatic scholarship for $5,500 for the graduate program, in recognition of your service. Contact IPSL at with any questions.

Want to learn more? Join IPSL’s next online Open House:

Thursday, Mar 17, 2016
4:30pm-5:15pm ET / 1:30pm – 2:15pm PT

Join the meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone:

You can also dial in using your phone: (408) 650-3123
Access Code: 827-440-173

IPSL hopes to connect with you soon!

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