Customized and Faculty-Led Programs

Since SiPN's inception in 2015, we have organized more than 50 different Faculty-Led Programs, hosting more than 650 students and faculty from various schools in the US.

With the support of FLAD and its institutional contacts at the highest levels of the Portuguese government, the US Embassy in Lisbon, relevant business players, research-oriented centers, NGOs, and civic society, in general, are at reach.  This network of contacts allows us to build customized faculty-led study tours with unparalleled access to critical sectors of Portuguese society.

Do you have an idea for a study tour that you would like to explore with us? We can help you flesh out the who, where, what, how, and at a price that is usually a fraction of what most program providers charge.

SiPN was designed for fellow academics who wish to connect with Portugal but who may need assistance in building out their programs. Besides all the necessary logistics like housing, insurance, domestic transport, etc., FLAD and its SIPN project can connect you with our network of top Portuguese universities, potential guest lecturers, key scientific researchers, policy, and decision-makers, as well as the booming Portuguese startup scene and multinationals that are settling here. SiPN also possesses an extensive network of volunteer placements and over 150 credit-bearing internship opportunities for those looking to offer more profound ways for their students to connect with Portuguese society and culture.

Science and Technology

For the 4th consecutive year, SiPN hosted a group of graduate students in the Master’s of Science in Engineering Management at Johns Hopkins University.
The Portugal Immersion Program enables students to put their management and engineering expertise to use in a real-world setting by pairing teams of MSEM students with research groups at the International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory (INL) in Braga, Portugal. In addition to working with clients at the INL, students spend extended weekends immersed in Portuguese culture, touring new locations, and sampling cuisine under the guidance of SiPN.

Business and Humanities

⇑A group of future Global Leaders (freshman year) from Western Michigan University

⇓ A group of students from Brigham Young University that participated in a 7-week long program (quarter system) in Portugal that combined regular in-class hours in Lisbon (where their base was) and various site visits all around Portugal, includind a 5-day trip to 3 islands in the Azores archipelago.

Interested in learning more about costumized faculty-led options with SiPN’s support?

Hospitality and Tourism

A group of 44 students and 2 accompanying faculty from Johnson and Wales University participated in a 5-day faculty-led program organized by SiPN on International Hotel Operations Program – Development and Management.

“Student groups travel together at the end of JWU term to a well-developed or emerging international hotel destination to experience how local government, economy, and infrastructure can help or hinder hotel development.”

Arts and Design

During the month of January 2018, the Study in Portugal Network (SiPN) hosted a group of 16 students and 2 faculty from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), one of the top design schools in the world.

They have traveled all over the country, from north to south, and met with renowned architects, industrial and interior designers, industry reps, and makers of all kinds of artisanal products made in Portugal.

The trip enjoyed precious support from Portuguese industry partners like Amorim Cork, as well as public sector institutions like FabLab Lisboa, the faculties of architecture of the universities of Lisbon and Porto, and the University of Beira Interior (UBI).

This was just the beginning of a larger project funded by the Luso-American Development Foundation that hopes to build closer ties between a world design leader like RISD and the creative industry sector in Portugal.

In January 2016 the Study in Portugal Network received its first 3 short-term faculty-led programs.

We worked closely with faculty from Johns Hopkins University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and the University of Rhode Island to design customized programs that met the curricular goals of each group.

8 graduate students from Hopkins engaged in consulting work with Portuguese start-ups in the renewable energy sector and toured various cutting-edge Portuguese companies.

RISD brought 13 undergraduate architecture students and two accompanying faculty to engage in site visits all around the country, including studio tours with Pritzker-prize-winning architects at the University of Porto.

20 URI students and their accompanying faculty joined us for a far-reaching examination of Portuguese society, culture, and business practices, including numerous guest lectures with recognized experts in their respective fields.

And beyond...

Check out some of SiPN´s Previous Faculty-Led Groups and Testimonials to have a better idea on the kinds of topics and quality of our services

Take a look at some of the program that SiPN helped to organize to provide you an idea about the kinds of programs and formats that you/your school can explore.

“Themes in the Visual Arts: Portugal Study Abroad” (Azores, Lisbon, Porto during May-mester of 17′)

Various courses (quarter abroad) – standard dates: May 1 – June 17)

2017, 2018, 2019

In partnership with ULisboa – School of Economics and Management (ISEG), classroom access

Consulting trip for 34 MBA students (Easter Break, 2019)

“Portuguese Cultural Identities” + Language component (2019) – Summer Program

In partnership with NOVA-Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities faculty (language)

Global Portuguese: Arts and Culture ” (May-mesters of 2018, 2019)

“On this summer program, students study the culture, history and art of one the oldest European capitals. Participants go on excursions led by IU faculty throughout the city to enhance the learning experience. Explore Portugal’s global connections to Asia, Africa, and Brazil.”

Master of Science in Engineering Management (MSEM) – Practice of Consulting – Immersion Program in Portugal (2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020)

In partnership with the International Iberian Nanotech Institute

  • “Vulcanic Wines” (held in the Portuguese islands of Madeira & Azores in 2017, 2018, 2019)

In partnership with the Escola de Formação Turística e Hoteleira dos Açores

  • “International Hotel Operations” (2019)

Drug Policies: Portugal in Comparative Perspective” (March, 2019)

The course that brings us to Portugal is a comparison of the U.S.’s War on Drugs, that has contributed significantly to the problem of mass incarceration in the country, to Portugal’s policy of decriminalization of drug use. 

  • It examines the criminal justice approach used in the U.S. to the public health and harm reduction approach at the heart of Portugal’s policies.
  • It also involves a comparison of Lisbon and Philadelphia. Philadelphia has the largest open-air drug market on the East Coast, and the city has found it difficult to address the homelessness, violence and high rates of overdose deaths this market has caused. 
  • Finally, the course looks at the politics behind the reform movement in the U.S., as the country grapples with mass incarceration, legalization of marijuana, and the opioid crisis.


The 16 undergraduate students in the course come from a wide variety of majors, including political science, sociology, psychology and nursing, but also the sciences and literature.”

  • International Business Program in Portugal (March, 2017)
  • The Culture and Globalization of Business in Portugal (March 2020 – Postponed due to COVID)
  • Service learning course: business consulting for non-profit organizations” (July 2017, 2018)
  • Information technology: Comparative perspective on multinationals operating in Portugal” (March, 2017)

Reading, Writing, and Working: Porto, Lisbon and Providence” (Winter-session, 2016)

Portugal: Material Practices” (Winter-session, 2018)

Mapping Portugal: Bio-Geo-Cultural Heritages” (Winter-session, 2019)

Design with Nature in the Azores” (Summer 2020) – Postponed due to COVID

  • Natural Disasters“, 2 weeks in the Azores + 2 weeks in Lisbon (Summer 2017, 2018)

“This Study Abroad course  is based on geological hazards in the world that dramatically affect life on Earth, with emphasis on Portugal tectonic hazards; particularly earthquakes, tsunami, volcanoes, and landslides/coastal erosion. participants will gain knowledge of the geologic reasons and tectonic settings that produce natural disasters in the north Atlantic Azores islands and the Iberian Peninsula, and will subsequently be able to apply these new-found scientific skills into real field situations.”

  • Portugal and the North of Spain: Culture and Contemporary Life“, Lisbon-Santiago Compostela-Porto (Summer 2020) – Postponed due to COVID

“This course takes us to the cities of Lisbon and Porto (Portugal), and Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain) for 26 days in June 2020. These three westernmost urban centers in Europe form an axis of the most important cities along the Atlantic Coast of the Iberian Peninsula — all within a five-hour drive. We will study their very rich cultural, historical, architectonic, and artistic patrimonies — from Celtic and Roman settlements to urban street art, as well as other aspects of modern and contemporary life such as their food culture, bilingual identities, and ethnic diversity, with the integration of Spanish and Portuguese-speaking migrants from African and Latin American nations. The program adopts an approach that highlights differences and affinities between Spain and Portugal.Travels to other cities and regions in the countries, such as Sintra, Coimbra, Guimarães, the Douro Valley Port Wine region, Cape Finisterra and Lugo are included”.

“Comparative Legal Systems” (Summer, 2019)

This course provides an examination of various legal traditions and systems of the world. International law and transboundary issues will be discussed. Substantive and procedural laws will be examined.”

“Comparative Legal Systems” (Summer, 2020) – postponed due to COVID.

Note: This course will integrate SiPN´s regular summer program in 2021, meaning it will be open for all students (credits issued by the Portuguese university, or by SPC upon request.

  • “Crafting Light” (March 2020) – Postponed due to COVID

Within the context of this studio, we propose to re-define “back to basic” at a very elemental level — As a case study,
Lisbon and Porto has become a focal point for its long history in the evolution of architectural tradition.
“Tradition is important when it contains moments of change, when it is not just outward form and when it also implies
an idea of what goes on inside a building, of conflicts and a potential for innovation.” — Alvaro Siza

  • Program on Geological and Ecological aspects (March 2020) – Postponed due to COVID

“Post-Colonial Experiences in Portugal: Brazil, Angola & Mozambique” (Summer of 2017, 2018, 2019)

Using materials from Brazil, Angola, Mozambique and Portugal, this course examines colonialism and its aftermath in Lisbon through the study of contemporary literature and cinema, as well as recent sociological and anthropological perspectives from the Lusophone world. The course explores the Lusophone experience—in several of its important variations and overlooked implications—within the broader debates of postcolonial studies. Readings and discussions in English.

Note: This course has integrated SiPN´s regular summer program in since 2018, meaning that it is open to all interested students (credits issued by the Portuguese university, or by UCF upon request.

  • Security Studies and Criminal Justice (2017, 2018)

The students were given insight into criminal justice issues in Portugal and across Europe. They used the knowledge they learned to look at the comparison between the United States justice system and the Portugal justice system. One of the clear focus was the understanding of Portugal´s decriminalization of drug consumption and its impacts at both health and justice levels.

  • Lisbon in Film (2020) – Postponed due to COVID

“Portugal: A Different Perspective” (winter session of 2017, 2018, 2019)


(Winter session of 2016, 2017, 2018)

“Special Education and Social Services in the Azores” (Summer of 2018)

This course offers students the opportunity to explore education and social service systems outside of
the US, in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. With a specific
focus on family partnership with professionals, we will visit various schools, programs, and social
service agencies, seeking to understand and experience their work and policies. This daily experiential
learning will be complemented by lectures and discussions led by local experts on the subjects at
hand. With a specific focus on family, school, and community partnerships we will visit various
schools, social service agencies, and explore Portugal’s progressive public health approach to

Interested in learning more about costumized faculty-led options with SiPN’s support?