Our program 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 China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Denmark, and Israel, with a focus on social work practice and policies in these countries. In addition, we often host visiting international scholars-in-residence in our program, most recently from Australia, Israel, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, and Russia.
We currently offer a three-week summer public health social work program in Puerto Rico (with elective course credit). Led by SSW Assistant Professor Luz Lopez, in conjunction with the Inter American University of Puerto Rico, “The Puerto Rican Experience” focuses on social, economic, and cultural issues in Puerto Rico. Participants take Spanish-language classes, visit local agencies and community groups, and attend lectures taught by Puerto Rican social work professors and practitioners.
SSW also offers a three-week winter travel/study program to Mali, in West Africa, one of the poorest countries in the world, but one of the richest in culture and tradition. Led by SSW Associate Professor Scott Miyake Geron, the 3-credit elective course, “Development, Social Welfare and Culture in Mali, West Africa,” combines a study of efforts to address basic health and social welfare problems with a study of the culture and visits to outstanding architectural and art historical sites. The class format involves lectures, daily journal writing, student presentations, field trips to nonprofit service organizations, and a final paper after retuning home. Dr. Geron describes the course as a “way to bring to light how policies in the West directly create poverty in developing countries, providing both clinical and macro students with an opportunity to intimately explore and consider issues such as privilege, poverty, and professional sense of self.”