At Home & Abroad

International Social Work and Cross-Cultural Training

SSW students understand that societal problems extend far beyond Boston and encompass the larger pursuit of social justice for all people. Rooted in this spirit, SSW has a rich history of international and cross-cultural travel/study opportunities for students and alumni. In prior years, we have offered travel/study visits to Denmark, Cuba, Israel, China, and Costa Rica, with a focus on social work practice and policies in these countries. In addition, we often host visiting international scholars-in-residence, most recently from Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Israel, and Australia.

Mali, West Africa

Mali is one of the poorest countries in the world, but one of the richest in culture and tradition. This 3-credit elective course, “Development, Social Welfare and Culture in Mali, West Africa,” is offered when possible during the winter interim, and involves lectures, presentations, site visits, and a final paper after returning home. For more information, contact Associate Professor Scott Miyake Geron (, 617-358-2633).

Puerto Rico

For three weeks each summer, students taking part in “The Puerto Rican Experience” focus on the social, economic, and cultural issues that impact the island, and have hands-on opportunities to practice public health social work. Participants take Spanish-language classes, visit local agencies and community groups, and attend lectures taught by Puerto Rican social work professors and practitioners. Students can also gain valuable skill sets by assisting in ongoing substance abuse research projects. For more information, contact Assistant Professor Luz López (, 617-353-7720).