International field experience in social work: Outcomes of a short-term study abroad program to India

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Abstract

This paper describes the development of an accessible, short-term (two-week) international field experience program for distance education and on-campus social work students at a regional university in Australia. Pre-program and post-program evaluation surveys were undertaken and results indicate that the international study experience had significant positive impacts on student learning, student group cohesion, professional commitment and motivation as well an enhanced appreciation of international social work, grassroots community development work, cultural diversity, human rights and social justice issues. Other positive impacts included ongoing relationships with social justice projects in India and positive, practical contributions to placement agencies during the active phase of the program. The need for adequate academic preparation, reciprocity, as well as ongoing academic support and facilitation of short-term study abroad programs is reinforced.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1032-1047
Number of pages16
JournalSocial Work Education
Volume32
Issue number8
Early online date2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013

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