Global Experiences

School of Social Work Study Abroad Mexico and Finland

Michigan State University offers more than 260 programs in over 60 countries on all continents. Programs range in length from one to six weeks to a semester or an academic year, and they are offered during each session, including winter and spring break. For more information about University study abroad programs, please click here. To try to find information about a specific program, go to Search Programs and select the country in which you are interested.

MexicoCuetzalan street scene
Spring 2017
Policy, Practice and Advocacy in Mexico

Contact: Karen Newman, newmankm@msu.edu

This is a collaborative project of the MSU School of Social Work and Migrant Student Services, with support from the Desarrollo Integral de la Familia (DIF) of Mexico. This faculty-lead Spring semester, short-term study abroad program blends semester-long, on-line course work (SW822/3 credits & SW891/1 credit) with a 9-day study abroad experience. Short-term time abroad with more extensive on-line coursework is designed to optimize student learning opportunities and increase access to study abroad for graduate and non-traditional students. SW822 investigates areas of comparative and applied social policy, practice, and international social work in the context of Mexican social services provision at federal, state, and municipal levels. SW891 course work relates to program, safety, and cultural orientation. Students may pursue an additional 1-2 credit hours of SW891-independent faculty mentored study to support their personal research or practice agendas. (Graduate students only.)
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MexicoCuetzalan pyramid
Spring 2017
International Engagement in Mexico

Contact: Patty Joly, jolyp@msu.edu

This is a short-term intense opportunity to make a difference in the lives of those at the fringes of Mexican society. During Spring Break, students will be active members of a team which will engage with local community members through the provision of needed maintenance and program assistance to Mexican human service agencies. Additionally, students will explore the foundations of local cultures through visiting cultural/historic sites, connecting with community agencies and people, and participating in local special events. Engagement and cultural experiences will be examined in relation to students’ roles and impacts as community volunteers through hands-on and reflective program activities. Students will gain an understanding of the intimate relationships among leisure, volunteerism, and civic engagement; community and personal growth; and awareness of some of the cultural characteristics that define US and Mexican societies. Preparation for the program requires participation in four pre-departure classes prior to Spring Break week and two post-program classes after Spring Break. (Most appropriate for undergraduate students.)
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FinlandStudy Abroad in Finland
Summer 2017
International Social Policy and Social Service Delivery

Contact: Amanda Woodward, awoodar@msu.edu

cover shot of Finland Study Abroad webinar

This overseas blended model program is designed for graduate students in social work, health science policy/law, or related fields of study and is taught during the summer, with 2 of the 7 weeks spent abroad. Students will investigate areas of comparative and applied social policy, practice, and international social work in the context of Finnish social services provision in the classroom, online, and in Finland. Study will include history, economy, and government as it is relevant to understanding Finnish social policy development; trends and shifts in education and policy regarding social work especially as it is affected by the European Union and professional organizations; service provision to those who need physical and mental health care—either institutionally or in the community—from infants to elderly.
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