Broadening the 'Environment' in Social Work: Impacts of a Study Abroad Program

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Abstract

Adopting a critical social work frame of reference, this paper explores the impacts and challenges of a two-week study abroad program to India on Australian social work students' understanding of the environment in practice. Using a mixed methods approach, a small study was undertaken in 2011 involving pre and post-program surveys, as well as a facilitated reflective workshop to explore environmental social work. Results are discussed and indicate the program had a positive impact on expanding students' conventional socio-cultural understanding of the environment and global dimensions of environmental degradation. Whilst this is positive and suggests some justification for the international study abroad program, other questions and challenges are raised relating to complex cultural issues and neo-colonial aspects of study abroad programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalCritical Social Work
Volume15
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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