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GSSWGraduate School of Social Work



GSSW is the academic home of ISL Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) (formerly known as Project Bosnia), the oldest international service-learning program at the University of Denver. ISL-BiH enables students from across the DU campus to learn about the Balkans region through combined academic study and service-based internships in Sarajevo.

As an ISL-BiH participant, you'll take on-campus courses before traveling to Bosnia to complete an eight-week internship at one of many local and international non-governmental organizations. You'll also immerse yourself in Bosnian culture and learn first-hand about reconciliation, peace and the healing of people still scarred by the Bosnian War and genocide (1992-1995).

GSSW students who participate in ISL-BiH can apply the on-campus course credit they earn to their MSW degree and their Bosnian internships toward their required concentration year field internships.

  • Read blog posts from previous ISL-BiH participants.
  • Watch a video by Clinical Professor Ann Petrila, ISL-BiH Program Director.


GSSW also offers an international experiential MSW course entitled "The Social Work Response in Post-War Bosnia." Developed in partnership with the University of Sarajevo School of Social Work, the course focuses on human services responses to the Bosnian War and genocide (1992-1995).

You will learn about Bosnian history, culture, religion and politics, then spend two weeks in Bosnia where, paired with Bosnian social work students, you'll visit historically significant sites and social work agencies. You will also attend lectures by University of Sarajevo faculty and sessions of Bosnian war crimes tribunals.

Through interactions with the resilient war and genocide survivors, you'll learn first-hand about ongoing efforts to establish and maintain peace, as well as challenges posed by pervasive PTSD, economic hardships, thousands of unidentified missing persons and casualties, legal and political issues hampering the investigation by the war crimes tribunals, and women's issues related to the intentional and strategic use of sexual violence as a weapon of war. Studying these issues through a social justice lens will help you gain insights that have implications for local, national and international social work practice.


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 ISL Bosnia-Herzegovina and the MSW course, "The Social Work Response in Post-War Bosnia," please contact Clinical Professor Ann Petrila, Assistant Dean for Field Education and ISL-BiH Program Director (303-871-2863).