The International Social Work Program (ISWP) is offered to Master of Social Work (MSW) students in the two-year full-time program. The Faculty of Social Work collaborates with international organizations that offer MSW students challenging and unique opportunities.
The International Social Work Program (ISWP) is an innovative approach to provide you with an opportunity to advance your 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 work 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.
The ISWP combines courses, pre-departure sessions, and an advanced international field placement. Students interested in the ISWP attend information sessions during the first term of their program. Students take four courses and participate in pre and post-departure sessions. Students who successfully complete all requirements graduate with a diploma in International Social Work in addition to their Social Work degree.
The advanced international placement takes place between late August and December of the second year of the program.
MSW students in the two-year full-time program are eligible to apply for the ISWP. Final acceptance into the program is subject to an interview process, successful completion of all first-year courses and foundational placement, and participation in pre-departure sessions.
Student participation the ISWP program varies each year. On average, six students participate in the program each year.
MSW students apply for field placement opportunities with international agencies that the Faculty of Social Work has an established agreement with. Interested students are provided with detailed information on all opportunities which have been confirmed for the international placement cycle. Students seeking new placement opportunities are encouraged to present their proposed placement to the coordinator during the first term of their program. Currently, the Faculty of Social Work is partnered with host agencies in China, Peru, the Philippines, Tanzania, Uganda and Ghana.
There are a few funding opportunities available to ISWP students, including:
You 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 or offer you a stipend towards accommodation or meals. Such financial assistance is offered at the discretion and capacity of the organization.
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