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!