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Other Courses

PIA provides a variety of other courses, such as test preparation courses and volunteering. Below is a list of the additional elective courses PIA offers, with detailed information about each one.

TOEFL Preparation

PIA offers a TOEFL Preparation course based on demand. In this course, students learn about the Test of English as a Foreign Language (including details about the constituent parts), explore test-taking tips, and take practice tests.

English and Volunteering

Volunteer with Pacific International Academy

The two-week English and Volunteering course provides students with opportunities to use English in authentic settings, explore socio-cultural issues, and serve local communities in need while exploring one or two focus issues.

  • Improve English conversation skills
  • Practice language in authentic settings
  • Make a difference in the community
  • Learn about how organizations solve problems in society

Explore an Issue

  • Hunger & Poverty
  • Shelter & Green Building
  • Art & Community
  • Senior Citizens in Society
  • Immigration & Diversity in the US
  • The Environment & Renewable Energy

Sample Week One Schedule: Focus on Hunger & Poverty



English Class

Intro to the Issues: Food Distribution Center

English Class

Volunteering: Food Bank

English Class

English Class

Volunteering: Homeless Shelter

English Class

English Class

Volunteering: Community Kitchen for the Elderly

English Class

English Class

Volunteering: Volunteering Community Garden

English Class

More Information about the Issues

Hunger & Poverty

Learn about how food banks distribute bulk food to various outlets where low-income people can benefit from free groceries and meals.

Volunteer and visit with some of the following places: Meals on Wheels, The Oregon Food Bank, a local community garden, a homeless meal center, nutrition education specialists, nonprofit restaurants, farmers’ markets and food pantries.

Hear from visiting speakers about urban gardening, how poverty occurs, and concepts in nutrition.

Shelter & Green Building

Learn about how a house is built and new techniques in making construction more sustainable.

Volunteer and visit with some of the following places: Habitat for Humanity, the ReBuilding Center, Portland State University’s Sustainability Department, green building architecture sites, and a permaculture landscape firm.

Hear from visiting speakers about new perspectives in sustainability, permaculture, and being kind to the planet as we grow in population density.

Senior Citizens in Society

Learn about new perspectives on integrating senior citizens into society and how we can care for the growing elderly population.

Volunteer and visit with some of the following places: retirement centers, Meals on Wheels, AARP, and an art gallery for senior artists.

Hear from visiting speakers about accessible transportation for seniors, assisted living specialists, dementia experts, health insurance agencies, and the seniors themselves.

The Environment & Renewable Energy

Learn about caring for the Earth’s land and water resources from one of the greenest cities in the USA.

Volunteer and visit with some of the following places: the World Forestry Museum, the Bonneville Dam, Forest Park Conservancy, recycling resale stores for art and construction supplies, tree planting charities, recycling centers, and nature reserves.

Hear from visiting speakers and local activists about solar energy, wind energy, forestry practices, water resources.

Art & Community

Learn about various art-focused nonprofits that bring people together to heal and connect.

Volunteer and visit with some of the following places: Children’s Healing Art Project, art studios for mentally challenged populations, retirement centers, Milagro Theater, art centers, the Community Music Center, Marylhurst University’s renowned Art Therapy Department, SCRAP, circus troupes, City Repair, and the Portland Art Museum.

Hear from visiting speakers about how their large-scale art projects have influenced their communities, how their nonprofits have helped underserved populations, and how art can bring communities together.

Immigration & Diversity in the United States

Learn about the challenges of moving to a multi-cultural country and how immigrants are integrated into local cultures.

Volunteer and visit with immigrant and refugee community centers, Milagro Theater, school programs for Latino children, Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, community gardens for immigrants, the Oregon Nikkei Foundation, and local intercultural community organizations.

Hear from visiting speakers, the Multnomah County Offices of Citizen Involvement, and experts from intercultural institutes or Marylhurst University’s Communications Department about what it’s like to call a new country your home and the process that an immigrant entering the US must go through to become a citizen.

Contact for pricing.

ESL Test Preparation

Students in the ESL Test Preparation course gain familiarity with common standardized English as a Second Language assessments (including IELTS, TOEFL, and TOEIC), fine-tune their understanding of advanced grammar concepts, analyze the various constituent sections of standardized ESL assessments, complete practice tests, and develop useful study and test-taking skills. Level 3 or higher required.

TOEIC Preparation

TOEIC Preparation at Pacific International AcademyPIA offers a TOEIC Test Preparation course based on student demand. Students in this course learn about the TOEIC, practice test-taking strategies, review each section of the test, and take a pre-test and a post-test to measure their improvement. Level 3 or higher required.

GED Test Preparation

Students in the GED Test Preparation course gain familiarity with the General Education Development assessments, study relevant, culturally-specific topics, fine-tune their English language skills, acquire strategies for effectively reading and writing for the tests, complete practice tests, and develop useful study and test-taking skills.