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Study Abroad Programs

The School of Social Work has several study abroad programs that offer students an incredible opportunity to examine social welfare policy and social work practice in other countries, as well as a deeper understanding of another culture. Currently, the School of Social Work offers courses in Romania, Israel, China and Mexico.


The aim of the course is to examine the response to growing concerns for vulnerable populations in the years since the initiation of social welfare reforms in Post-Communist Romania and other countries in the former Soviet Bloc. Specifically, we look at how countries that are transitioning to democracies are moving from residential care to family-focused, community care. Of particular interest will be minority and disenfranchised groups such as the Roma (gypsy) and children separated from their parents. Students will learn comparative perspectives on social work practice and social welfare structures around the globe, drawing from the academic literature and research initiatives of national and international non-governmental (NGO's) and governmental organizations. The emergence of promising practices are studied using a framework that incorporates common elements of need for various risk groups across the life cycle, and highlights preventative and home-based care over institutional care that can be applied across borders. The framework includes: policies and laws, the structure of programs and services, human resource capacity, and outcome measures and evaluation. Students will have an opportunity to integrate the classroom learning into practice through a service learning experience in a community-based organization.

For more information about study abroad to Romania, visit the Rutgers Global–Study Abroad website or contact the program leader, Rebecca Davis, Director of the Office of Global Programs at

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Concentrating on organizational and community issues in the human and social services and cultural diversity, the program will include field visits to governmental and non-governmental organizations in Beer Sheva, Arad, Eilat, and Jerusalem, among others.

For more information on the Study Abroad program to Israel, visit the Rutgers Global–Study Abroad website.

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The aims of the course are to introduce students to the social welfare system in China, including the growing field of social work practice, and to examine social welfare issues and challenges China is now facing in response to its rapid economic development, strict one-child policy, and other issues. Students will explore comparative  perspectives on social welfare policies and social work practice between China and the United States, drawing on the academic literature, research initiatives, and site visits to various organizations and agencies. 

Click here to download the PDF flyer from the May 2011 trip, or visit the Rutgers Global–Study Abroad website for more information.

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This course of study will include a three-hour credit course that will focus on how poverty, social ecology, and culture affect mental healthcare delivery to a rapidly developing urban society in Chennai, India. Students will learn about ways individuals achieve recovery from mental illness, and how these strategies and challenges differ from mental health practices in the United States. Students will also learn about the structural barriers to achieving mental health recovery, including poverty, violence, social exclusion, stigma, the intersections of class and caste, homelessness, and how these hamper or help individuals with severe mental illness. The course is designed to be experiential and comparative, exposing students in the field to real-life practices and challenges of caring for individuals with mental illness in India's poorest social strata.Coursework and field assignments will be overseen by professors from Rutgers as well as experts from the Tata Institute of the Social Sciences/Banyan Academy of Leadership and Management (TISS-BALM).

This program will not be running for 2020. Contact Rebecca Davis, Director of the Office of Global Programs at with questions.


This course of study will include a three-hour credit course that provides the student with the necessary information and background on vulnerable populations in the Yucatan, Mexican culture and tradition and the education and practice of social work in Mexico. Field visits and international service learning opportunities will engage students directly with social workers in public services, in non-governmental organizations and local traditional and/or religious community groups.  The course of study and service learning will emphasize knowledge and skill-building in community engagement and development that is specific to social work practice in Mexico.  Empowerment as a means of addressing discrimination and oppression is a special strength of social work in Spanish- speaking countries and can have an added benefit for US-trained students and social workers that emphasize more individualistic approaches to problem-solving. Specific attention will focus on social work practices in Mexico that engage and empower indigenous populations, vulnerable women, children and their families.

For more information on the Study Abroad program to Mexico, visit the Rutgers Global–Study Abroad website.

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