GLOBAL LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES
At GSSW, the past decade has brought significant growth in the number of MSW students choosing to pursue international social work practice, as well as in the number and variety of international experiences we offer them. As social work educators, we're rapidly expanding our focus beyond our local communities to the global community of which we are all a part.
GSSW's global practice courses and internships can offer you firsthand experiences in Bosnia, China, Kenya, Mexico and South Africa, and more such opportunities are being developed.
Our new Sustainable Development and Global Practice concentration provides you with the knowledge and skills to initiate and sustain change in a global context, guided by the principles of human rights, global justice and sustainability.
You may also choose to take courses at the University's Josef Korbel School of International Studies or earn master's degrees simultaneously from both schools, one of several interdisciplinary dual and cooperative degree options open to our students.
EXPERIENTIAL MSW COURSES AND INTERNSHIPS
GSSW is the home of Global Practice Bosnia (formerly known as ISL Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Project Bosnia) the oldest international service-learning internship at the University of Denver. Additionally, an affiliation agreement between GSSW and the University of Sarajevo School of Social Work has resulted in faculty exchanges and the development of an international experiential MSW course entitled "The Social Work Response in Post-War Bosnia."
GSSW's academic partnerships in China have helped establish to the social work profession in that country and currently enable MSW students to complete summer internships focused on the social, economic, cultural, health, environmental and conservation issues of urban and rural China.
In collaboration with the African Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW), GSSW offers the international experiential MSW course, "Social Work in Kenya: Context, Empowerment and Sustainability." In addition to helping Kenyan communities develop more environmentally sustainable ways to generate income, our students have become friends, advisors and customers of the Watha Cultural Centre, where community members demonstrate and preserve native dances and basket-weaving skills.
Mexico and Latin America
Since 2002, GSSW has offered the Social Work with Latinos/as Certificate. The certificate, which includes an experiential class with an international component, provides MSW students with the cultural, linguistic and intervention skills needed to serve the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States.
Since 2013, Dean and Milton Morris Endowed Chair James Herbert Williams has taught a global practice experiential MSW course entitled “South Africa - Social Justice/Social Work, Global Learning Through Community and NGO Immersion and Internships.” Conducted in partnership with Educo Africa, a South African wilderness-based experiential learning organization in Cape Town, the course offers students the opportunity to learn firsthand about issues facing South African citizens and communities. In addition to assigned reading and daily reflective learning discussions, students engage in community immersion activities, participate in historical community tours and complete four-day service-learning internships with local service providers. Prior to their internships, the students spend four days with the Educo Africa group in the Groot Winterhoek Nature Reserve wilderness, where the challenges of the wilderness experience help to build trust and lay the foundation for a deeper understanding of South African culture. Three on-campus classes precede the two-week trip. Watch video.
INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENTIAL TRAVEL
There are additional costs associated with courses and internships that include international travel, over and above the cost of the MSW degree. These costs can be covered by financial aid for those who qualify. Not every international course is offered every year, and all international experiential courses are subject to modification or cancellation based on State Department travel recommendations and/or restrictions.
For additional information about GSSW's international courses and internships, please contact Clinical Associate Professor Karen Bensen, assistant dean for community academic programs (303-871-3709), or Clinical Professor Ann Petrila, director of field education (303-871-2863).
Watch a video information session about global practice opportunities.
Read student blogs from around the world.
Read first-person accounts of GSSW's international courses and internships in the spring 2012 issue of GSSW Magazine (PDF) .