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Field Study & America Plus Programs

Course Description

All students will participate in an English Communication class each day and then move to a content focused class of their choice. The English Communication class will have different levels depending on the total number of students and the test results of a short placement test we'll administer before the program starts.While the class contents may change depending on the level of students, the general focus of our teachers is helping students practice their English conversation skills so they are prepared for future travel, study abroad, or use with international visitors and colleagues. English classes focus on skills like fluent pronunciation and how to have natural conversation flow rather than focusing on grammar or writing rules.

Students will participate in 20 hours per week (on average) of class time including "field studies" or excursions with their content class instructor each week. Content classes may rotate depending on partner interest and teacher availability but currently include American Business, ֱPop Culture, and Tourism & Food Studies. For more information about our content classes and when they are offered, please go to the Content Course section below.

Content Courses

Our “Field Study” or Content courses are an experiential learning class style where students typically rotate between one day of typical class and then a “Field Study” excursion. Each day in class students learn vocabulary and detailed content focused on a specific topic in order to prepare them for their excursion activities. Excursion activities may be mixed with other student groups or local Portlanders for activities such as volunteering while business visits or other tours will be private to the group.

Example topics are listed below:

American Business (only offered in the dormitory program)

  • Business Vocabulary, Body Language
  • Presentation Skills/Team Formation
  • Logos and Slogans
  • Guest Speakers and Q&As
  • Company SWOT Analysis

ֱPop Culture! (Offered in both homestay and dormitory program)

  • What is Pop Culture?
  • Keep ֱWeird, ֱHipsters
  • Recycling & Upcycling
  • Beyond Starbucks, Cheap Eats
  • Artsy Portland, Art Power in Portland

Tourism & Food Studies (only in the homestay program)

  • Exploration of Portland’s unique food culture, such as Voodoo Donuts, Salt & Straw ice cream, Stumptown Coffee, and food carts from around the world
  • Informative surveys and research at local tourist locations
  • Meeting with ֱtourism professionals

Activities and Class Excursions (Field Trips)

All students will participate in cultural activities throughout the program that are not tied to any of the content classes and are shared by all participants. These cultural activities are meant to help students learn about life in ֱand the United States, and provide students with opportunities to explore and interact with Americans on their own.

Activities (, ) and field trips may include:

  • Participate in a downtown ֱwalking tour
  • Visit the Oregon coast
  • Go to outlet mall for tax-free shopping
  • See the largest waterfall in Oregon,Multnomah Falls, which is our most popular travel destination
  • Visit other popular ֱplaces like Saturday Market, the Farmer’s Market, Powell's Bookstore, coffee shops, etc.

Excursions are tied to content courses and may rotate depending on the availability of our partners. Example excursions include:

American Business Excursions

  • Visit Intel to talk with current employees about work in a multinational company
  • Learn about entrepreneurship from immigrants who own their own business in the U.S.
  • Tour local businesses

Pop Culture Excursions

  • Thrift Store visits
  • Art and mural tours of different areas of the city
  • Coffee and other special food visits
  • Neighborhood based scavenger hunt challenges

Tourism & Food Studies Excursions

  • Coffee and other special food visits
  • Local restaurants
  • Travel Portland

Program Dates:

Winter 2024 Session is Closed!

Summer 2024 Dormstay Program August 12- August 30, 2024

Summer 2024 Homestay Program August 19- September 6, 2024 (Program & class dates; students will stay in Homestays with ACES International Homestay and should arrive the weekend prior.)

Program Fees and Housing Information

Please contact us at isp.programs@pdx.edu for more information about program fees and dorm fees.

For the homestay program, students will all stay with host families arranged by ACES International Homestays, for more information please contact Kellie Irish at kellie@exploretheworld.org or read their.

Program Eligibility

  • Participants must be 18 years of age or older
  • Most participants are students at a university or college, but it is not a requirement
  • There is no required English test score

Deadlines and Notifications

  • You must apply by May 26th to secure homestay placement or space in the dorm; space is limited. Homestays are filled on a "first come, first served" basis.
  • Homestay programs include all meals.
  • Dorm stay is for 21 nights and does not include any meals.
  • A 2.75% credit card processing fee will be applied to all credit card payments, except for the homestay fee.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

  • The program fee includes a $120 non-refundable application fee.
  • If you cancel 30+ days prior to the program start date, you will receive a full refund of the program fee minus the $120 non-refundable application fee. You will not be refunded the housing fee for the dorms.
  • If you cancel between the 30 and 14 days prior to the start of the program, you will be refunded 50% of the program fee minus the $120 non-refundable application fee. You will not be refunded the housing fee for the dorms.
  • If you cancel within 14 days prior to the program, you will be refunded 33% of the program fee minus the $120 non-refundable application fee. You will not be refunded the housing fee for the dorms.
  • Once the program has started there will be no refunds.
  • If PSU has to cancel the program for any reason before the start date you will receive a full refund.
  • For Homestays, please follow the ACES refund policy.