International Summer School in Social Work: Social Work from a Global Perspective

The International Summer School in Rovaniemi, Finland enables students and professionals in social work and related human service fields to explore the meanings, practices and implications of social work from a global perspective.

Social work has become a global profession. The transnational nature of issues such as poverty, violence, and environmental degradation require a global perspective. Social workers need to look beyond their communities and national borders and find ways to connect with colleagues around issues of common concern. This program provides such opportunities.

A multinational cohort of students and faculty create an enriching environment for expanding and deepening understanding of global issues and how social workers can work collaboratively to address them. Participants engage in lectures, small group discussions, agency visits, and informal interaction. They learn about issues and challenges faced by social workers in different parts of the world and innovative responses to them. In addition, participants have opportunities to travel throughout Finland learning about its progressive social welfare system and social work services and experiencing Finland’s environmental and cultural treasures.


The first part of the program includes brief lectures, panel presentations, and small group discussions. Lecturers include faculty and practitioners from Finland, U.S., Hong Kong, Austria and other countries represented in the program. Students also have an opportunity to share information about their home countries and their work experiences. All participants engage in small group discussions on topics related to social work (e.g., ethics) and the impact of globalization (e.g., media). Field trips to local social agencies may also take place. A social-cultural program includes a welcoming reception and international evening.

The program also includes two excursions, designed to enable participants to learn about the Finnish social service system and to experience various aspects of Finnish culture. Although these excursions are not mandatory, all international students are strongly encouraged to participate. You can indicate your intent to participate in the trips to Utsjoki and Helsinki by checking the appropriate boxes on the application form.


The program can only accommodate a limited number of applicants. Therefore, acceptance will be based on an assessment of each applicant’s ability to contribute to the program. Each applicant should complete the application form and submit it and all supporting materials by the due date.

In addition to an applicant’s educational background, experience, and statement of why she or he wishes to participate in the program, we consider the applicant’s home country as our goal is to achieve the broadest possible international participation. Please note that the incomplete applications will not be considered.

Educational background

Participants are expected to have a sufficient background in social work or the human services (such as University level course work and work experience) that will enable them to participate actively in the program. This is not an introductory course.

Language requirements

All lectures, discussions and workshops are held in English. Participants for whom English is not a first language must have a relatively high level of comprehension and expression.

Course details

Academic level(s)Bachelor,Master,PhD,Other
Language of instruction
InstitutionUniversity of Lapland
Begin date20.05.2015
End date04.06.2015
Registration deadline12.04.2015
ECTS credits0.0
Field schoolYes
Fields of studySocial work and counselling
Teaching placeRovaniemi, Finland
Tagsfield schoolsummer schoolsocial workglobal
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