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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work

International Courses and Internships


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 and Mexico, 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.



GSSW is the academic 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."
Learn more.


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.
Learn more.


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.
Learn more.

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.
Learn more.


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 Assistant Professor Karen Bensen, assistant dean for community academic programs (303-871-3709), or Clinical Associate Professor Ann Petrila, director of field education (303-871-2863).

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) .