Environmental Justice, Indigenous Health and Human Rights
Deeper, More Meaningful Study Abroad
This unique IPSL program has been developed to build an on-going commitment to the Cusco community through a variety of service-learning placements in partnership with local NGOs.
Students have the opportunity to work on a variety of sustainable social responsibility projects. IPSL's commitment is to promote responsible stewardship of our planet and to building a life-long commitment to responding to the needs of others through hands-on service.
Experience Cusco from a Local Perspective
Cusco is one of the most important cultural and tourist destinations in the world and is the capital of the Inca Empire. UNESCO declared Cusco a ‘Cultural Heritage Site of Humanity’ as well as honoring nearby Machu Picchu with the designation of one of the ‘Seven Wonders of the World’.
Situated at the base of the Andes, it is the entryway to Machu Picchu and boasts charming cobblestone streets, stone buildings made by the Incas and exciting nightlife and cafes. In short it is a perfect blend of the old and the new. Students will have the opportunity to explore and tour these amazing surroundings while living right in the middle of it.
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.
Language of Instruction: Spanish and/or English
Transcript issued by the IPSL Institute for Global Learning
Courses and Credits
Semester Students may take up to 18 credits per semester
Summer Students receive 6 credits
Courses are 3 credits each
Spanish Language (Beginning, Intermediate or Advanced)
COSA in Peru (Community Organizing & Social Activism)
Intro to COSA (not required/offered to Summer participants)
Electives may vary depending on term and, as with all institutions, may not be offered due to low enrollment and other factors. Additionally, not all choices may be available as there may be a scheduling conflict between the required courses, your service obligations and your electives. It is best to choose additional electives from the list and get approval from your home school in advance.
Beginning Quechua Language
Indigenous Culture and Traditional Health & Healing
International Human Rights and Indigenous Peoples
Environmental Sustainability and Biodiversity of Peru
Environmental Justice as a Social Movement
Advocacy Research Independent Study
Opportunities for substantive service (approximately 15 hours per week) are generally available in the following areas:
Education in a Rural School
Rural Community Development
Healthcare for children with disabilities
Youth Development for rural, underserved and orphaned children
Environmental Projects with Indigenous peoples
Promoting entrepreneurship: business sustainability for women and youth
Child development and education - teaching English in a rural school
Social work and rehabilitation at residential home for abandoned children with Downs Syndrome
Promoting intercultural work - assisting at a short term residential facility for low income rural people relocating to the city
Working on environmental projects with Indigenous peoples
Students live with a middle-class Peruvian family who provide full board (breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days per week) and introduce you to Peruvian family life. An integral part of the program, the homestay offers you the opportunity to make life-long friends, reinforce language skills, and experience the culture from "the inside." All IPSL host families are carefully selected and experienced with hosting students. Living with local residents is part of the immersion experience. Instead of being a tourist, an IPSL student gets to know what it's like to be a "Cusqueño." Living with a family also means that IPSL students' Spanish proficiency improves dramatically!
The program welcomes students, of any nation, who have a high school diploma or equivalent credential and are, at least, 18 years old. TOEFL equivalent 550. Academic studies are taught in Spanish and/or English. (See individual course descriptions.) There is no minimum Spanish prerequisite. The program can accommodate novice to advance Spanish language abilities.
Tuition and academic fees; academic transcript; homestay housing and 3 meals per day seven days per week; service placement and supervision; health insurance; academic excursions; on-site and on-line orientation, and pre-departure materials.
What’s typically NOT Included?
Passport; visa (not typically required); vaccine fees; international airfare; books; spending money; local personal transportation; local cell phone and internet access and independent travel.
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.