About SWSS 6990 TR1

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Summer break travel course; In-country dates 5/19/24-6/2/24; Course dates 5/20/24-6/2/24; Post work required; Location: Finland; Instructor permission required; Program fee $3,260 minus $450 deposit; Airfare is additional; Tuition is additional; Out of Pocket Expenses (approx. $640) are additional

Section Description

Social work is a global profession. Global interdependence, the transnational nature of issues such as poverty and violence, the movement of people across borders, advances in communications and information technology, and the development of the social work profession around the world, make a global perspective an essential part of social work education. In this course, students convene in Finland to learn about how social work is understood and practiced in different parts of the world. Together with students and faculty from other countries, we explore social issues, social work responses to those issues, and ways of communicating across cultural and language differences. We also consider how our common identification with the social work profession connects us and might enable us to work together to improve the lives of people worldwide. Finally, we learn about the progressive social welfare system and cultural treasures of Finland. Learning objectives for course include: 1. Explore social work issues and the profession from the perspectives of different cultures. 2. Learn about the Finnish social welfare system and social work services. 3 Learn about Sámi culture and social work issues related to this population. 4. Consider the meaning and application of social work values and ethics across cultures. 5. Reflect on one’s own acculturation and ethnocentricity and its implications for social work. 6. Consider how to advance cross-cultural understanding and culturally sensitive practices. 7. Engage in dialogue about social work issues with international colleagues. 8. Consider the meanings of social transformation within a global context.

Section Expectation

This is a travel study course. The first week of the course takes place at the University of Lapland in Rovaniemi Finland. We attend lectures by participants from different countries and participate in small group discussions on topics germane to global social work. We begin the second week with a field trip to Inari and Utsjöki , near Finland’s northern border with Norway. As the only municipality where indigenous Sámi people are the majority population, Utsjöki offers a unique opportunity to learn about Sámi culture and the provision of social services in a remote, sparsely populated locale. During our visit we experience and learn about the northern Lapland environment and how it influences the lives of people living in this region of the world. Our second excursion is to Helsinki, Finland’s capital and largest municipality. In Helsinki we visit social service organizations and sample some of Helsinki’s many cultural offerings.


Students are expected to participate in all course activities. This includes attending all lectures, dialogues, site visits, events, and required cultural activities. It also includes being a responsible and constructive participant of the program: showing up on time, contributing ideas, asking questions, sharing your knowledge about social work in the U.S., and being open to different ideas. Participation will be assessed based on attendance and contribution to the overall learning environment of the course. Part of your participation in the course requires participation in several group activities, including a student group presentation, international evening event, and potluck activity with all participants of the International Summer School. In addition to attendance, participation, and collaborative learning, there is assigned reading and the primary assignment for the course is a reflective journal.

Important Dates

Note: These dates may not be accurate for select courses during the Summer Session.

Last Day to Add
Last Day to Drop
Last Day to Withdraw with 50% Refund
Last Day to Withdraw with 25% Refund
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