Upcoming Programs:


Program Dates: UWinteriM 2023
Credits: Global Studies 297; 3 credits
Instructor: Associate Professors David J. Pate (Social Welfare) and Portia Cobb (Peck School of the Arts)

Black Lives Matter: A Global Comparative Study, an internationally focused comparative course on the BLM Movement in the United States and abroad, will be offered again in Fall 2022 with returning and new faculty.

The innovative team-taught course will be taught by Portia Cobb (Peck School of the Arts), Jennifer Kibicho (College of Nursing), David Pate (Helen Bader School of Social Welfare), Sarah Davies-Cordova (College of Letters and Science), and Demetrius Williams (College of Letters and Science).

In addition, a related study abroad course will be offered in UWinteriM 2023 led by Professors David Pate and Portia Cobb.


Comparative Public Policy and Practice – Social Work & Criminal Justice Program

Program Dates: May 28-June 11, 2022
Credits: 3 undergraduate or graduate credits in Social Work or Criminal Justice & Criminology
Instructor: Amy Kirby, Social Work

Learn More about the Austria Program
Center for International Education (CIE) Application

The University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria Summer course in Social Work and Criminal Justice is a two-week intensive course of study in comparative public policy. This course is relevant to students in social work, criminal justice, history, political science, psychology, peace studies, and other related disciplines.

Austria Learn more about program structure, accommodations, and cost

Program Structure

This is a two-week summer course for graduate and undergraduate students focusing on Austria’s public policies related to social work practice, criminal justice, services to children & families, treatment of addictions, immigrant families, social justice, and other relevant topics. Within each of these broad areas, students will focus on a particular topic in order to compare an aspect of the Austrian system to a comparable concept in the United States.


Students are housed in a hotel in Linz that includes morning breakfast and Wi-Fi. The accommodations consist of a double sleeping room, with bed and desk for each student and a private bathroom. Accommodations are near the university and on a direct transportation line to the city center. The city center is also within walking distance of shops, restaurants, pubs, bookstores, antique stores, clothing stores, and parks.


The course includes attendance at an international conference for students and faculty from several countries during the first week. Students will have opportunities to interact with these foreign students and faculty as a part of this conference. The second week will consist of seminars, agency visits and historical tours of sites with significant impact on current public policies.

Most professionals in Austria are bilingual, so lectures will be in English. In addition, translators will be available at all the site visits to facilitate interaction with participants. Students will attend lectures by foreign professionals and will visit agencies where they can interact with staff and users of services. Lectures may include European social policy, issues of immigration and crime, historical background on the Nazi era, and responses to family violence and substance abuse.

Site visits may include trips to an immigration center and refugee camp, a violence prevention center, a residential substance abuse facility, and Mauthausen (a former Nazi concentration death camp). Criminal justice sites may include local police departments, Garsten prison, and a residential center for youth involved in the criminal justice system.

The two weeks are full, but there is time built in for additional travel. There is one
unscheduled weekend where students can take advantage of day trips to Vienna,
Salzburg, or the area around Linz. Adventurous students may decide to visit an
adjoining country such as Germany, Budapest in Hungary, or Prague in the Czech


The assignments for the course include attendance at mandatory orientation meetings including a pre-departure orientation program hosted by the Center for International Education (CIE).

Students are expected to attend all lectures and site visits. At each of the visits,
students generally attend a presentation after which they will have an opportunity to
interact either with service users and/or staff. Students are graded on their active
participation in these lectures and site visits as well as on their final written assignment.
The program instructor will attend the lectures and site visits and be responsible for
course grading. The final assignment is graded based on the adequacy of the research and a comparative analysis. A syllabus will be available before departure. The final project is due in August.


A rough estimate based on previous years is between $2500-$3200 and includes tuition, lodging, international conference registration, lectures, agency visits, ground transportation and some meals.

Airfare is not included, but many students have been able to get low airfare by researching deals and booking early. Students can apply for and use financial aid for the program. Scholarships and grants are available for qualified undergraduate and graduate students. Please apply early and submit by posted deadlines! Financial planning for studying abroad.

Program Application

Interested students need to complete an online application through the Center for International Education by March 15, 2022.


If you are interested in participating in this course, please attend one of several online informational meetings. If you have questions, please contact Jeanne Wagner.
Jeanne Wagner
Clinical Professor and Director of Social Work Field Education

Costa Rica Intensive Spanish for Social Work Practice

Program Dates: January 3-18, 2023 (UWinteriM 2023)
Credits: 3 undergraduate or graduate credits in Social Work or Criminal Justice
Instructors: Jeanne Wagner, Social Work Program

Program PDF
Program PowerPoint

This course will immerse students in the Spanish language and Latin culture of Central America where we will study conversational Spanish and culturally competent practice, in order to effectively serve Latino clients in Wisconsin. Students may earn 3 hours of undergraduate or graduate credit in Social Work or Criminal Justice during three weeks of study and service-learning in the small, friendly, historical town of Grecia, Costa Rica. Visit the Academia Centroamericana de Español website

Costa Rica Learn more about program structure, accommodations, and cost

Program Structure

In collaboration with an established Costa Rican Spanish language school, Academia Centroamericana de Español, this intensive language course accommodates each student’s current language skill level, ranging from beginner through advanced. Students will study with social work students and practitioners from across the U.S. during the two-week course, “Spanish for Social Workers,” a course that was developed in consultation with the California chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).

The course consists of two weeks of classroom study, lectures by social work scholars, and visits to nearby social service agencies, as well as exquisite nature preserves and ecological tourist sites.


Costa Rica is hot and likely to be quite humid, which determines many of the local customs from the way homes and communities are laid-out to how people dress (modest, loose clothing). You will eat a lot of local shaved ice.

The Academia curriculum includes students living with “Tico” host families during our visit. All host families live within walking distance of the school. Families provide each student: a private room for study and sleep, laundry service, breakfast and supper each day. Family-style meals include typical Tico food (heavy on rice and beans), allowing you opportunities to engage in conversation, ask questions, and clarify understanding, all in Spanish, since “your family” is unlikely to understand English. Typically about 30 social work students are housed throughout Grecia.

The school has a computer lab including six computers with Internet access, and there are also several Internet cafes nearby. The school sells international telephone cards ($10) with which you can call the U.S. The school has a public restaurant on the main floor (which we use for breaks), tiny classrooms on the second floor, and a lecture hall on the lower level.


The Spanish classes are conducted in Spanish, and limited to two to four students at similar levels per teacher. Instruction takes place five days per week from 8 a.m. to Noon. Spanish is spoken throughout the day during all planned activities. Three different workbooks, specifically developed for this course, are provided. (Breaks are taken in mid-morning and mid-afternoon, with snacks, to keep us going.)

Lunch is on your own, and class resumes at 1:30. To complement our course, four lectures will address various current topics:

  • Costa Rica: An overview of the country and culture
  • Latino and Norteamericano cultures: similarities and differences
  • Social work in Costa Rica: Who does what, how, and where?
  • Increasing effectiveness with Latino clients

On four afternoons there are choices of cultural and recreational activities (Salsa dancing, cooking, and optional sight seeing, river rafting, zipline tours, etc.) The weekend offers some optional excursions, national parks and beaches, at an extra cost of $25-$200.

On two afternoons, field trips to two different social service agencies will allow us to engage informally with clients and practitioners, and observe some program activities. Sites visited may include: child welfare, residential care, domestic violence shelters, schools (K through higher education), addictions treatment, commodities distribution, and international relief organizations. Current social problems you may hear about: poverty, drug trafficking, illegal immigration (especially from Nicaragua), sex trafficking, growing international food shortages, the global debt crisis, sustainable environments, and the impacts of increasing “eco-tourism” and globalization on “tico” culture.

Evenings are free for study, socializing and “hanging out” in the Central Plaza (where most young people meet). Grecia has a thriving local central mercado, various restaurants, bars and coffee houses.


Attend all language class sessions, and participate in all conferences and site visits. A final paper is due after returning home.

A complete syllabus will be available before departure.


  • The cost is estimated to be $3,500-$3,640 and includes tuition, lodging, airfare, most meals and ground transportation.


If interested in the program, please contact Jeanne Wagner. Or visit the Center for International Education Information.
Jeanne Wagner, MSW, LCSW, ACSW
Clinical Professor and Director of Social Work Field Education

Social Development Short Course in South Africa

Program Dates: On hold.
Credits: 3 credits undergrad or grad; Open to sophomore, junior and senior undergrads in any discipline
Instructors: Melinda S. Kavanaugh, Social Work


This course work will be taught by faculty in South Africa and includes: South African welfare policy, role of community in social development, cultural practices in health care, mental health and substance abuse in South Africa and the U.S. and South African social policy. The course will include field visits to Cape Town townships, substance abuse centers, and health care and community development organizations. Cultural and historical centers in Cape Town will be included: District Six museum, The Slave Lodge and Robbin Island. The estimated cost is $2,900-$3,200.

South Africa Learn more about program structure, schedule, and cost

Program Structure

Course work taught by faculty in South Africa includes:

  • South African welfare policy
  • Role of community in social development
  • Cultural practices in health care
  • Mental health and substance abuse in South Africa
  • U.S. and South African social policy


Learn from the community in numerous field visits including:

  • Cape Town townships
  • Substance abuse centers
  • Health care
  • Community development
Visit cultural and historical centers in Cape Town:
  • District Six Museum
  • The Slave Lodge
  • Robben Island


Approximately $2,900 – $3,200 (plus airfare)


If you are interested in participating in our Summer Study Abroad course in South Africa, please attend one of several informational sessions. If interested in the program, but unable to attend these, please contact Dr. Melinda Kavanaugh.
Dr. Melinda S. Kavanaugh
Associate Professor
(414) 229-4414
Enderis Hall 1049