The Social Work Department at Elizabethtown College highly encourages its majors to study abroad, either in a long-term study abroad program (a semester or a year-long experience), or through one of the many short-term, faculty-led opportunities offered by the College.
The Social Work department sponsors different short term trips around the world for our students. In recent years, we have traveled to Vietnam and Honduras. Each trip encompasses a service learning component with members of the culture, in addition to cultural excursions with classmates and faculty. These are often done over winter or summer breaks.
Dr. Peggy McFarland leads a service learning trip every other year to Vietnam during May Term. This trip is open to all majors from Elizabethtown College. Participants travel through Vietnam and engage in a variety of cultural activities, as well as volunteer at orphanages and street children centers, with our in-country partner organization, Brittany's Hope Foundation.
Social Work students traditionally study abroad either in the spring semester of their sophomore year or fall semester of their senior year. In an effort to promote study abroad in the fall of the senior year, we have worked with study abroad partners to establish internships abroad in English-speaking countries, such as India and New Zealand, and Spanish-speaking countries, such as Ecuador and Mexico for those with Spanish proficiency.
For example, in Chennai, India at Madras Christian College, a range of internship possibilities are available including children's organizations, women's rights groups, and organizations working with those who have are survivors of sex trafficking. Students also take courses at the school including Social Problems in India.
In Mexico, students have interned at Matraca, a center that works with street children. In New Zealand, students have interned at a community development agency working to develop youth support programs, and at a community mental health center.
We are proud to be one of the few programs that allows our students gain practical field experience in social work both domestically and internationally. We believe that experiences abroad make for more well-rounded professionals, especially those working with people from a variety of backgrounds. Additionally, study abroad experience is one of the most frequently cited advantages in the job search process.