INTERNATIONAL PRACTICUM PROGRAM
The International Practicum Program (IPP) was developed by the Faculty of Social Work as an innovative approach to provide students with an opportunity to advance their knowledge and theory of social work practice in countries with social, economic and political contexts that are significantly different than Canada, while encouraging the sharing of ideas among social works students, schools and practitioners around the world. The program fosters students’ understanding of global interdependence, the universality of social problems and the need to develop responses grounded in the local community.
Currently, the international practicum is a 60 day placement and takes place during the second practicum, which falls between September to December. Students are expected to work 28 hours/week for 15 weeks, as well as take part in day-to-day community life.
MSW students in the two-year full-time and four-year part-time program, who successfully completed their first practicum, are eligible to apply for the IPP. Successful completion of all first year courses, participation in IPP orientation sessions and the IPP course are also requirements of the program.
MSW students apply for practicum opportunities with international agencies that the Faculty of Social Work has an established agreement with. The host agencies are listed on the FSW website with detailed information on each placement opportunity. Students seeking new placement opportunities that are not listed on the FSW website are encouraged to present their proposed placement to the Coordinator during the first term of their program.
Students pay tuition fees at Laurier, and are responsible for all expenses incurred while abroad, including health insurance. In the past, students have offset their expenses through scholarships, and organizing various fundraisers. There may also be opportunities to apply for external grants. Some international organizations assist with housing students or offer students a stipend towards accommodation or meals. Such financial assistance is offered at the discretion and capacity of the organization.
Year 1 - Fall term
- Prospective applicants attend the IPP Information session and preparatory meetings with the Coordinator.
Year 1 - Winter term
- Students attend meetings/presentations facilitated by students returning from an international practicum.
- Formal applications are submitted.
- Interviews take place.
- Successful candidates participate in the IPP pre-departure orientation sessions.
- Students register for the required courses.
Year 1 - Spring term
- IPP course begins.
- Pre-departure orientation sessions are completed.
- International placements are finalized.
- Students begin planning for travel, immunizations, etc.
Year 2 - Fall term
- International practicum starts in September and ends in December.
Year 2 - Winter term
- Students continue course work.
- Presentations about international practicum learning and experiences are facilitated by returning students.