Thursday, June 30, 2011

NASW Social Work Delegation Oct. 15-24, 2011

Consider an investment in your career that will generate lifelong returns. Travel to Brazil with executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) and President of the NASW Foundation Elizabeth J. Clark in October 2011 as a member of the People to People Social Work Delegation.
You could benefit from nearly 50 years of People to People exchanges as you:
  • Build lasting partnerships with your peers overseas through formal meetings, discussion sessions, and site visits
  • Deepen your understanding of your profession and enhance your value to your organization by networking internationally while earning continuing-education credits
  • Enjoy immersive cultural experiences and take in iconic sights
  • Make a global impact—not only advancing your field, but also gaining international perspectives
Across nations, there may be similarities in social problems, but the focus of concern can differ within borders and within cultures. Competency in social work today requires an understanding of the global context of human rights and social justice. Take this opportunity to explore international social work by traveling to Brazil with NASW Executive Director Betsy Clark October 15-24, 2011 as a member of the People to People Social Work Delegation.

Build lasting partnerships with your peers overseas, network internationally while earning continuing education credits, enjoy immersive cultural experiences, and make a global impact. This delegation will specifically focus on the following topics of discussion throughout the trip:
  • Rights of women
  • Racial inequality
  • Crime and prisoner reentry
  • Services for the aging
  • Structure of social work practice in Brazil
  • Violence against street children
Delegation Member Cost: $5,995.00

  • International airfare from a domestic gateway city
  • Accommodations in four- to five-star hotels
  • Admission to all activities specified in the itinerary for delegates or guests
  • Most meals, as specified in the itinerary
  • All in-country transportation for the group
  • Fees for all group services, including tips and taxes
  • Continuing-education credit, where applicable
  • Pre-travel materials to aid in your preparation
  • 24-hour support from the program office
It's good to see NASW finally branching out to some international social work and this sounds like an amazing opportunity to meet like-minded professional workers. Plus you are lead by the ED of NASW! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Mexican Institute for Family and Population Research "Yo quiero, you puedo"

Dear UCLA Faculty, Staff, and Students, 

I am contacting you to make you aware of a new learning opportunity for interested students and alumni with the Mexican Institute for Family and Population Research (IMIFAP) nonprofit.  IMIFAP “Yo quiero, yo puedo,” gives volunteers the opportunity to participate in international field work with established projects in the areas of youth development and microenterprise.   

IMIFAP “Yo quiero, yo puedo” has a solid reputation of delivering high-impact training and programming to marginalized communities throughout Mexico for over 25 years.  Our mission is to create and implement programs which contribute to sustainable human development in order to allow individuals to take control of their own health, productivity, and lives. With over 200 established partners and 24 ongoing projects, IMIFAP “Yo quiero, yo puedo” has the network and know-how to offer volunteers a valuable volunteer experience. IMIFAP has a range of preventative and community building programs, which have impacted over 19 million people in Mexico, the United States, Uzbekistan and 11 other countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Volunteers will work in Hidalgo, Mexico alongside a team of IMIFAP program leaders and community members.  IMIFAP offers a custom-built volunteer experience, allowing volunteers to choose their area of focus and the week-long period they would like to volunteer over the summer. Volunteer projects are offered in Youth Development: working with disadvantaged children to improve life skills, promote healthy development, and prevent drug use and teen pregnancy; or Microenterprise: working with a local bakery or water purification plant to develop and enhance business goals and strategies.  Volunteers will gain valuable field experience, skills, and knowledge to enhance their academic and professional careers.

We, at IMIFAP "Yo quiero, yo puedo", would like to extend a special offer to volunteers.  This summer, volunteers may take advantage of discounted prices for their week-long service trip, as this is the first summer the organization will be operating international volunteer service trips.  Trip costs include on-site volunteer training and orientation; all accommodations; in-country transportation and meals; cultural activities and experiences; and project-specific Spanish classes.

For more information about IMIFAP "Yo quiero, yo puedo", visit our website   Thank you for your assistance with this and feel free to contact me directly or by phone at (773) 744-3024.


Jessie Schwartz, MSW
Volunteer Coordinator
IMIFAP "Yo quiero, yo puedo"

China Education Initiative

I know this application deadline has passed for this cycle, but I decided to post it so those interested can watch out for the next application date. 

My name is Ken Saathoff, and I am a US Recruiting Manager for China Education Initiative (CEI). CEI is a non-profit working to end educational inequity in China by sending recent graduates of US and Chinese universities to some of China's most under-resourced schools to work as full-time teachers for two years. I'm currently in LA trying to reach out to outstanding seniors and recent graduates from UCLA and let them know about the CEI Fellowship. I found your organization online and thought many of your members who are seniors might be interested in this opportunity!

Please let me know if you'd be interested in getting together or speaking over the phone to learn more about the Fellowship! Or feel free to check out our website, to learn more and apply (application deadline: March 10th). As a former Fellow myself, I can tell you that the CEI Fellowship offers an opportunity to do truly meaningful work while living in a beautiful, fascinating, and seldom visited part of China. More than anything, though, it offers you a chance to work with children that desperately need teachers and absolutely deserve better opportunities in life. Help us make those opportunities a reality for them!

All the best,

Teach to End Educational Inequality in China
This is the chance to join the movement to end educational inequity in China. Today, less than 2% of Chinese students in low-income, rural schools will make it to college compared to 70% of their peers in affluent, urban environments. Working to provide quality educational opportunities for all children in China is no easy task, but determined and talented fellows from top universities in the U.S. and China have already shown that they are up to the challenge.
Change the Future of Sino-U.S. Relations
As President Barack Obama has said, “Today, virtually no global challenge can be solved without the United States and China cooperating.” CEI is putting a new philosophy for Sino-U.S. cooperation into practice, as the first and only organization to pair outstanding graduates from top universities in the U.S. and China in a long-term service initiative.
Become a Global Leader
Whatever path you choose to follow after your fellowship, CEI’s partnerships with employers and graduate schools, as well as a strong alumni network, provide clear opportunities for career growth. Through its connection with Teach for All, CEI has already established partnerships with Harvard University, Stanford University, Columbia University, and Princeton University.

CEI is partnered with Teach For America and the global Teach For All network. We are funded by generous support from Ford Foundation, The Henry Luce Foundation, and Goldman Sachs, among others.
Together, we are building a global movement of leaders committed to fundamentally changing the status quo. We believe that one day, all children—rich or poor, American or Chinese, urban or rural—will have access to a quality education.
Get a sense of our placement schools:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

SEALNet: Service & Leadership

Here is a great organization that a friend is going on. This is a non-religious nonprofit organization founded by Stanford University students in 2004. They focus the development of Southeast Asia and have different "Projects" every year.

For the Indonesia project 2011  they are doing a public health project that education and does prevention with high school students about GI worms.

SEALNet's mission is to bring service and to promote the spirit of service leadership among Southeast Asian communities in the US and abroad . We strive to accomplish this by building and nurturing a community of service leaders who are committed to serve, equipped to lead, enterprising in action, and plugged into a network of like hearted individuals who are passionate about social development.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Social Work Course in Vietnam for Summer 2011

Unfortunately UCLA's SW program does not have the capacity to built up a international component to the program (yet) however San Jose State University just collaborated with universities in Vietnam and created a new summer course for social work students! You can get credit while traveling?! Yes!

They have invited students from other universities including UCLA! There are about 5-8 spots left as of today.


Credits:         3 credit hours. Students will enroll under the course SW 285/185.
Faculty:          Huong Nguyen and Tuan Tran (School of Social Work)
Time:              July 3 – July 23
Location:        Hanoi – Hue – Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam)
Host:               School of Social Work (San Jose State University).
Partners:        Vietnam National University; Hanoi University of Education; Thang Long University; University of Labor and Social Affairs; Hue University.
Cost:              About US$ 2600 per student, not including air ticket (about US$1300, quoted by STA travel in November 2010; might increase if bought too close to departure time)
Syllabus:        Email the faculty for a copy of the syllabus that includes detailed day-to-day activities for the entire trip.

The program is co taught by a faculty member and a SW doctoral student. NO PRIOR VIETNAMESE LANGUAGE IS REQUIRED! 

I know it says that the deadline on the website has passed but they have e-mailed us and said the deadline has been extended to April 30th to allow more spaces to fill up.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


ProWorld has a great variety of volunteer, internship and study experiences in many different countries- many focused on Central America and South America, but also India, Nepal, Ghana, and Thailand.

The study aboard programs mostly are language immersion, service-learning, and field study programs at local universities.

Many of the internships are very unique to the culture and location. For example in India you can do a health internship at a ashram! or in Mexico help kids with disabilities ride horses. Have to say...that's pretty cool. 

They also have scholarships for certain projects and referral incentives. 

Volunteering in China's Orphanages

Many of you may know or heard about China's (and many other parts of the world) challenge of overcrowded and understaffed orphanages. These are a vulnerable, helpless population that rely on the kindness of childcare workers to survive. Some are lucky enough to get adopted (but mostly from international adoptions - these orphanages are filled with many medical/special needs children and females.

Unfortunately China- while pushing forward into modernization- still cling to the traditional notions that male children are better and with the One Child Policy many couples rather have a son as their only child.

Studies have shown that lack of physical and emotional interactions with others in early childhood deeply affects the child in physiological ways- many literally die from loneliness. Many people wish they could volunteer at these orphanages to provide more than just basic needs, but love.

However through my research and some contacts with people who run the orphanages- China's state run orphanages usually prohibit foreigners from volunteering for fear that they are just there to "baby shop" or to spread foreign influence.

If you truly want to just lend a hand and a heart, there are ways. Many US citizens or other people from Europe have started their own private orphanages and they welcome volunteers. However, a lot of the work would be on your own - to plan where to live, what to do, how long, etc.

China Care - is an organization founded in 2000 by a young teenager who really had a heart for these children in China. Now there are "clubs" all around the US on college campus to raise awareness and support. China Care Bruins is the UCLA Chapter that does great things like a Mentorship Program for adoptees from China and fundraising for life-saving surgeries for orphans in China. They do not have an international component, but CCB show that you can help just by being on campus.

Blue Sky Healing Home in Beijing

Volunteer through IFRE

New Hope Volunteer in Xian, China

I have heard that going through a church is the easiest instead of going by yourself, but -remember- do your research and understand the dynamics of religious institutions and the Chinese government. Happy hunting!

Global Vision International

This is another organization that provides flexible and customizable abroad experiences. There are volunteer and internship opportunities that can last as little as 2 weeks or as much as more than 6 months. They have projects offered on very continent (except for Antarctica). They also have "expeditions" which seems to be a combination of volunteering and tourism with a group, they mostly focus on environmental and wildlife themes but there are community expeditions.

  • with Children (teaching, arts, sports, social work, childcare)
  • climate change 
  • marine conservation
  • Teaching English abroad
  • Construction
  • Community
  • Wildlife and Conservation
  • Environmental
  • Non-profit
  • Humanitarian
  • Responsible Business

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Student Volunteer Panel Links

On Feb 24th the ISWC had a great panel of fellow students who shared their experiences of volunteering and work abroad. Here are the links they shared with us!

- clinics all around the world to provide vision to communities
- they partner with optometry school from the US to send student volunteers

- "We partner with governments and with UN, non-profit and private sector organizations in order to support development programmes. UNV delivers a prompt, efficient and value-adding service to identify and engage professionals who can deliver services and fulfill a wide range of specialised tasks." 
- they also have their own online service to connect people to volunteer organizations! 

based in the indigenous community of Soloy, District of Besiko, Ngobe-Bugle Comarca, Panama

- a particular focus on education, women, children
- all volunteer-based!
- Countries: Brazil, Haiti, Cambodia, China, India, Mongolia, Panama, Swaziland, Tanzania, US, Vietnam

- through InterVarsity
- particularly recruiting students and recent grads
- living in local slums in communities around the world. 
- ministry

- work in slums of other countries as well as inner cities of the US
- internships
- Thailand, India, Mid East, North Africa, South Africa, Mexico
- Los Angeles, San Antonio

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Consumer Consciousness

At the risk of going slightly beyond what this blog was intended for, ISWC is posting this interesting link about our roles as consumers and big name companies within the ever growing global economy. This is not hoping on a plane and doing work abroad....but it IS taking action and creating awareness.

This was brought up in a discussion about Human Trafficking in the 251 Violence Against Women course today. 

Where did your shirt come from? 
Who picked the tomatoes in your sandwich? 
Who assembled your laptop? 
What child made your shoes? 

Apologies for just throwing these links out there, definitely more to come surrounding these issues- definitely international social work issues. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

UCLA Habitat for Humanity + Global Village Trip

It is my personal pleasure to share the wonderful opportunities and experiences HfH- UCLA Chapter has to offer.  Habitat for Humanity is a national non-profit that is well known for their mission to not just provide shelter but HOMES for deserving families and people.

UCLA has their own student organization partners with the San Fernando Valley HfH and builds every Saturday in the Pacioma, CA site. Become a member of the UCLA club and it's a great deal because outside groups usually "donate" about $2000 in order to have their people build. It's a one-time fee!

For an international experience, every year UCLA HfH take two groups of chosen applicants to Peru and El Salvador to build for about 10 days during Winter Break. The application process is competitive and starts in the Spring! You have to provide your own funding, but depending on the efforts of your fellow participants you can organize fundraisers. 

Global Village partners with Fuller Center for Housing - founded by the same founder as Habitat for Humanity. The Fuller Center does have religious influences, but no where on the trip was there any proselytizing or anything of the sort, it is very welcoming. 

They also have similar domestic opportunities in Florida and New Orleans during Spring Break! 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Global Brigades

A fellow classmate found this organization. They provide services focused in medical fields but also law and development!

They seem to emphasize on university student involvement and are open to starting local chapter clubs on campuses.

UCLA apparently has their own Medical Brigades! Facebook Medical Brigades page

Saturday, March 26, 2011

If you are a social worker, volunteer, interested in non-profit work, or just an overall do-gooder and you haven't heard of you MUST check it out. It's a great hub for jobs, internships, volunteer opportunities, and networking.

It's not necessarily for international placements, but it does have links to international non-profits and domestic organizations that do work abroad. They also travel around the country to host volunteer fairs at university campuses like UCLA.

ABroader View

One of many many volunteer programs out there- this one interestingly offers specifically "Social Welfare" programs (as well as law, child care, language immersion, and more) - however the SW programs are concentrated in Central and South America (and 1 in Africa).

If you are interested in doing some social work in

  • Chile
  • Peru
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • and Tanzania
Check out Abroader View

Cross-Cultural Solutions

Here is a big organization that arranges volunteer opportunities aboard -they have programs in

  • South America
  • Eastern Europe 
  • Asia
  • Africa
They also have various areas of focus for your placements- from health to economic empowerment to women. Their placements can last from 1 week to 12 weeks. 

"Cross-Cultural Solutions is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1995. Today, 25,000 people have participated in our volunteer programs in Africa,AsiaLatin America, and Eastern Europe. CCS has a worldwide staff of over 300 people in 12 countries, with administrative offices also located in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. In the UK, CCS is a Registered Charity (No. 1106741) and a Registered Company Limited by Guarantee (No. 4991010). In Canada, CCS is a registered non-profit corporation (Federal Corporation No. 445810-9). Steven Rosenthal founded CCS in 1995 and serves as its Executive Director.
CCS has been profiled in more than 500 news outlets, including: CNNThe New York TimesThe San Francisco ChronicleTimeNewsweekThe Chicago Tribune,The Toronto StarThe Today ShowUSA TodayNational Geographic Traveler, and the ABC Nightly News."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

i-to-i Volunteer and Adventure Travel

This seems to be more of those organizations that "work hard, play hard" - combining some volunteer serving with tourist activities.

They specialize in offering TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)

They offer programs by the week up to 12 weeks, but they also have some special internships every year for 2011 it's for China and Thailand.

United Planet

United Planet seems like a well-organized program with a good, solid reputation. They have a wide variety of programs- there's pretty much something for everyone.

* solo travelers
* college/ grad students
* families
* corporate groups
* teens

40 countries to volunteer in - there's at least 1 program in every continent (except Antarctica!)
Including: Tibet, Ecuador, Cambodia, Romania, and Jordan.

Another unique feature they have are "group" trips organized and customized for groups.

* Social work related internships in Peru, Nepal, and Jordan!
* Spanish immersion

Monday, March 14, 2011

Global Experiences - Get an Edge in Life

While they don't have "social work" internships per se, they do offer many internship areas that could be very useful and related to social work: education, communications, government, law, etc.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Go...

It's great that people have big enough hearts as to say they want to drop whatever they are doing and get over to a disaster zone to volunteer...but it's definitely not as simple as just joining a volunteer program. Disaster relief aid is a completely different environment -ask yourself are you mentally, physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially prepared?

  • Can I afford to pay my way there?
  • Do I need an organization to help sponsor me?  Can I do fundraising to contribute to my ticket and airfare costs?  
  • Do I have a U.S. passport?
  • Am I current on my vaccinations?
  • How about lodging once in there?
  • Would it be better that I support a reputable organization or sponsor somebody who is better qualified than me to go on such a trip?

This is in no way to discourage people from giving with their hearts, but there have been some controversy that has come up, especially from "professional relief aid workers" on the topic of regular citizens volunteering aboard in the mist of a natural disaster. Their message is that while most people have the best intentions, they are ill-prepared and have high expectations, and are naive. So consider carefully and be honest with yourself. 

Disaster Relief in Japan

Yesterday the US woke up to the news of a tsunami devastating Japan. Money and aid is pouring into Japan and if you want to help here are some websites to check out. 

Monday, February 28, 2011

Fly for Good

Often, even when you find an affordable abroad program, the flights are not included. Then suddenly your "great deal" ends up adding up...

Here is a great website for those flying somewhere for a good cause!

Happy Flying :) 

Summer University in Social Work SWITZERLAND

June 20- July 1st, 2011

Gender, Intergenerational Relationships, and Social Work

Meet social work students from all over the world in a 2 week program in place in Lausanne, Switzerland at the University of Applied Sciences Western Switzerland · EESP ·

This program occurs every two years, the gap years are used for professors to travel and introduce the program and lecture on topics related to the theme of the upcoming year. 


Conferences, lectures, workshops in small groups, visits of social facilities and institutions, cultural and social events are on the program of the Summer University ; these various activities offera unique opportunity to address social work issues and to identify similarities and differences with the participants’ own national orregional contexts.
  • Conferences and lectures will provide the chance to hear internationally renowned specialists from the social work, social sciences and humanities faculties in Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Canada, France, Greece, United States,…
  • Workshops organized for small groups, with methodological support, will enable students to work on an original social work project linked to gender and intergenerational relationships issues. Projects will be presented in plenary session on the lastday of the Summer University.
  • Field visits to social work services and structures will help students understand how social workers deal with concrete issues of intergenerational relationships and gender.
  • Social evenings and other informal events will facilitate socialization between students and faculty.
Switzerland, a multilingual and multicultural country in the heart of Europe, is ideally situated to host this Summer University in social work.
Taught in English and French (with translating avail.) 

Registration Deadline: MARCH 15th, 2011

I heard about this program from MSW students from who went 2009- it sounded like intense but rewarding work and a great experience of an international perspective on social work and social issues. 

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Travel Study

do your outside course another country! It's possible.

Each UC school has their own unique programs during the summer, but any UC student can participate in any campus program and get UC credit. Programs/countries vary every year.

UC Berkeley -

UC Davis -

UC Santa Cruz -

UC Irvine -


UC Santa Barbara -

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Welcome to the International Social Welfare Caucus at University of California, Los Angeles.

The purpose of this blog is to be a place and space for members, students, faculty, alumni, professionals in the field, nonprofits, and visitors to post and find international social work opportunities and information.

Find links to

  • study abroad opportunities
  • field placements
  • fellowships
  • volunteer opportunities
  • travel links
  • international and domestic nonprofits that are doing great work addressing international issues. 
All entries will be "labeled" as accurately as possible to make it easier for you to find something specific that you are looking for. 

Please feel free to post comments and post opportunities that you have found. Eventually, we hope that people will share and review their experiences with volunteer organizations and share tips/ advice to other readers.

*ISWC does not directly endorse any programs posted on this platform, please do your research to ensure the program is a good match with your goals, values, and expectations. 

*we ask that you show respect in your words to the Caucus, fellow readers, commenters, organizations, and countries/cultures/religions/governments/races/ethnic groups/genders/ orientations that may be discussed. Thank you.

~ International Social Welfare Caucus at UCLA, Luskin School of Public Affairs