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Field Studies

Social enterprise is best experienced in the field, and our Social Enterprise Field Studies take you there.

Each year a mix of community members and PSU students travel to India or Cambodia, or participate in a Portland intensive where they spend two weeks working, learning and collaborating with social enterprises.  

While participating in the field study, you'll experience the real-life struggles and successes of social entrepreneurs in one of the world's most inspiring places. You will see a variety of social enterprise models firsthand and have the opportunity to discuss the advantages and disadvantages of those models directly with leading social entrepreneurs. 

About the Cambodia Field Study:

The program will expose students to the application of entrepreneurial approaches to issues as varied as clean water, sanitation, education and youth employment. Students will engage in mini-research/consulting projects on behalf of host organizations. In addition, students will come away with deeper appreciation for the rich history and culture of Cambodia and the beauty of resilience of its people.

Participants will spend the first week in and outside of Siem Reap familiarizing themselves with Cambodian history and culture, meeting with two partner NGO’s and visiting their enterprise development projects in the field.

During the second week, the program will move to Phnom Penh and participants will become engaged in more intensive field-based work with partner NGO’s providing the opportunity to apply social enterprise theory on mini-consulting projects regarding issues spanning water, sanitation, agriculture and youth employment.

About the Portland Field Studies:

For two intensive weeks in September, field studies participants will visit the offices of innovative local organizations, meet with leading social entrepreneurs, and prepare a business plan for an existing social venture or their own proposed social venture. Students will also create a personalized career and leadership plan to help them move forward as leaders in the field.

This two-week practicum provides undergrads and grads with 4 units of elective credits, provides community members with 12 units of continuing ed. credits, and for participants in the Business of Social Innovation Certificate, it fulfills the field study requirement.

Registration is now closed for the for the 2014 Field Study

    Learn more about the Cambodia program >>

    Read the student blog for our 2013 field study in CAMBODIA >>

    Read the student blog for our 2012 field study in INDIA >>


    *click the image above to download the full 2013 report

    "The most incredible part of the journey was being in the field with the people of India and seeing social impact take shape. No classroom alone could offer this kind of inspiring and humbling experience."

    --Amelia Pape, 2009 India SEFS, co-founder of My Street Grocery.