ISV Academic Credit/Independent Study Programs from Across the Globe!

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Costa Rica
Dominican Republic
South Africa


The ISV Academic Credit/Independent Study Program

Since 2002, nearly 2,000 students from hundreds of universities across North America, Europe and Australia have received academic credit through independent study or transfer credit from an ISV partner university for their participation on an ISV program and successful completion of the course requirements. Former students describe earning academic credit for their ISV program as an incredibly effective and worthwhile learning experience.

Students pursuing independent study credit can choose to follow an ISV Course Syllabus in Community Development or Natural Resources Management that is specifically designed by university educators to complement the ISV Volunteer Projects and related issues, objectives and activities and make the most of the learning opportunities presented. The course requirements include:

* Keeping a daily journal during the volunteer project*
* Participating in all group discussions*
* Preparing and leading a group discussion (optional)*
* Participation in all volunteer project activities*
* Writing a final paper regarding your volunteer project upon completion of your ISV Program (graded by your professor/advisor)

Grading for independent study students following the ISV Course Syllabus is as follows:
Journal - 25%
Discussions - 25%
Participation on the project - 10%
Term Paper - 40%

You can take the Course Syllabus to your professor, advisor or faculty member and work with him/her to design an individualized independent study course in the field of conservation, community development or any other relevant topic.


Hundreds of students from more than 150 universities across the USA and Canada have earned independent study or internship credits from their university for participation in an ISV Program. Independent study is an individualized course of study that you set up with your own professor, academic advisor or other faculty member and agree on the requirements. Students from dozens of majors; from language programs to nursing, business to applied sciences, and many more, have earned credit this way towards their degree requirements or as an elective. As the name implies, an independent study course relies heavily on your own initiative, and the reward is a unique learning experience that is specific to your area of interest.


Fall, Spring, Summer, Throughout the year


Australia: May 12, 19, 26; June 2, 9, 23, 30; July 7, 14, 21, 28; August 4, 11, 18 2011, Costa Rica: May 13, 20, 27; June 3, 10, 17, 24; July 1, 8, 15, 22; August 5, 12, 19

Degree Level

Bachelors Degree (Undergraduate)


  • English

Subject Areas

  • Accounting
  • Actuarial Science
  • Admin (health Services)
  • Admin (hospitality, Sports)
  • African Studies
  • Agriculture
  • Animal Science
  • Anthropology
  • Applied Science
  • Archaeology
  • Architecture
  • Art History
  • Art/fine Arts
  • Arts
  • Asian And Asian American Studies
  • Asian Studies
  • Astronomy/astrophysics
  • Atmospheric Chemistry
  • Australian Studies
  • Automatic Control & Systems Engineering
  • Aviation/aerospace
  • Biochemistry
  • Bioengineering
  • Biology
  • Biomedical Sciences
  • Biotechnology
  • Botany
  • Business
  • Business Admin. & Management
  • Chemistry
  • Chicano Studies
  • Chinese Language
  • City And Regional Planning
  • Classical Civilization
  • Comm. (radio, Tv, & Film)
  • Comm. Science & Disorders
  • Communications
  • Conflict Studies
  • Conservation And Preservation
  • Continuing Education
  • Counseling
  • Earth Sciences
  • Education
  • Engineering
  • English
  • English As A Second Language
  • English Literature
  • Environmental Management
  • Environmental Management Systems / Policy
  • Environmental Risk
  • Environmental Studies
  • Family & Home Studies
  • Field-study
  • Health Administration
  • History
  • Horticulture / Floriculture
  • Hospitality
  • Human Res. Management
  • Human Rights Advocacy
  • Humanities
  • Industrial Design
  • Intensive Language
  • Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Museum Studies
  • Nursing
  • Occupational, Environ. Health
  • Physical Therapy
  • Pre-med
  • Psychology
  • Service-learning
  • Sustainable Development
  • Swahili
  • Urban & Regional Planning
  • Women's Studies
  • Zoology & Wildlife Sciences

Cost in US$:

Australia, Thailand, Costa Rica, New Zealand, South Africa: USD 3395; Dominican Republic and Ecuador: USD 3295

Cost Includes:

  • Housing
  • Food
  • Living stipend
  • Medical insurance
  • Excursions
  • In-country orientation/Training
  • In-country staff support
  • Registration fees

Program Fees Include:

1. Your university or department may charge fees or tuition for you to do an independent study course (like any other course offered on campus). Check with your academic advisor or department administrator regarding any fees payable to your university.
2. If you choose to follow the ISV Course Syllabus, a small fee payable to ISV will be added to your invoice. ISV will send you the Course Syllabus of your choice and which corresponds to the types of Volunteer Projects offered in your host country.
3. If you are not following the ISV Course Syllabus, but you do require an evaluation from your Project Leader for your course, send an email to request one. There is a small fee payable to ISV for this service.

Credit Available


Experience Required


Volunteer Types

  • Animal Welfare
  • Childcare/children
  • Community Centers
  • Community Development
  • Community Organizing
  • Conservation
  • Gardening
  • Gender Issues
  • Grassroots Organization
  • Health
  • Health Education
  • Human Rights
  • Minority Groups
  • Reforestation
  • Strategic Planning
  • Volunteer Management
  • Wildlife Surveying
  • Women

Age Range

must be at least 18 years old

This Program is open to

Worldwide Participants.

Typical Living Arrangements

  • Group living
  • Other

Participants Travel

in Groups

Typically Participants Work

in Groups

Scholarships are Available

Contact ISV for details.

Application Process Involves

  • Other
  • Written Application

Typically The Application Process Time is

1 Week

Post Services Include

  • Alumni Network
  • Exit Debriefing Abroad
  • Job and Internship Network

Institution Affiliates:

World Youth Student & Educational Travel Confederation