Creating Successful Bridges through Study Abroad: An International Social Work and Culture Competency Approach

Samson B. Chama, Ph.D.
Alabama A & M University, Huntsville, AL, US

Series: Social Issues, Justice and Status
BISAC: SOC025000



Volume 10

Issue 1

Volume 2

Volume 3

Special issue: Resilience in breaking the cycle of children’s environmental health disparities
Edited by I Leslie Rubin, Robert J Geller, Abby Mutic, Benjamin A Gitterman, Nathan Mutic, Wayne Garfinkel, Claire D Coles, Kurt Martinuzzi, and Joav Merrick


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International social work is a growing area of study and today many social work programs across the country are embracing it. Several factors account for its growth and these include a growing concern for global development and the interconnectedness of global socio-economic problems such as poverty, human tracking, and health challenges such as HIV and AIDS. International social work can be viewed as a bridge between social work and global development. At another level, it is a platform from which social work students can engage in international social work and global projects. Through global engagement, students are offered unique opportunities to demonstrate the social work profession’s standards and practice behaviors as espoused by the Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) through its Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS). When social work students are able to become culturally sensitive to other cultures, they are more likely to become skilled, alert, productive actors and facilitators of change in various settings where they might be placed in. To this end, this book is the first of its kind to speak to these elements.

It is also among the first to highlight the importance of CSWE standards and practice behaviors including how these could be used as vehicles of learning and knowledge building for international social work students. The book uses a unique framework approach in which the standards are meticulously couched within some of the different programs that are discussed. To this effect, the framework is punctuated with selected chapter discussions that highlight and focus on international social work programs of interest. These programs are carefully examined in a way that demonstrates their usefulness and impact on both local communities and students. The programs import and bring home a different level of understanding to international social work. It is right to say that these are fully fledged pro-active programs which act as conduits of knowledge and skills. Therefore reading them would generate interest in the minds of those students who are still novices in international social work and global development. At the end of each chapter are critical discussion questions that provide students with an opportunity to engage chapter content as well as to think critically about what they have read and learned. The questions are clear and simple and yet loaded with rewarding assumptions about international social work and global community development. Certainly, this book is a must for those social work programs that want their students to have a real and first-hand feel of international social work and global community development. It is a book that has been written at an opportune time, a time when current global socio-economic and political trends call for full involvement of social workers.


Table of Competencies

Chapter 1. International Social Work and Global Education: A Preamble (pp. 1-8)
(Samson B. Chama)

Chapter 2. Cultural Competency and Translational Research: International Project on HIV/AIDS on Children, Families and Communities (pp. 9-34)
(Samson B. Chama and Bwalya Chama)

Chapter 3. Vijana Amani Pamoja: A Sports Driven Transformation Approach to Community Development (pp. 35-52)
(Samson Chama and Enouce Ndeche)

Chapter 4. Co-Creating Global Opportunities Through Learning Abroad: Promoting Cross-Cultural Understanding with University Colleagues in Ghana and Mongolia (pp. 53-76)
(Caren J. Frost, Ruth Gerritsen-McKane and Beth M. Laux)

Chapter 5. The Ghana Community Trade Program: Interdisciplinary Ghana Study Abroad Program (pp. 77-94)
(Tony B. Lowe, Patricia Hunt-Hurst and Emily Blalock)

Chapter 6. Preparing to Intervene in Child Trafficking: Interdisciplinary Ghana Study Abroad Program (pp. 95-118)
(Tony B. Lowe, David Okech and Tiffany Washington)

Chapter 7. The Jamaica Project: A Community Movement in Service Learning, Social Work and International Travel (pp. 119-134)
(Leslie Yaffa)

Chapter 8. Reflections on Cultural Competency Related to Poverty from a Study (Abroad) in India Course (pp. 135-166)
(Mahasweta M. Banerjee)

About the Editor (pp. 167-168)

About the Authors (pp. 169-172)

Index (pp. 173)

“The book is designed to help international social work students learn and practice the basics of social work profession in reference to culture competency as espoused by the Council of Social Work Education's most recent Educational Policy and Accreditation Standards (EPAS).This is the first book of its kind focusing on international social work elements in relation to culture competency. The book, in fact, conceives 'social work without walls.' Modern social work values focus on universal virtues, genuine goodness and human compassion. The book demonstrates that basic pillars of social work (solidarity, equality and goodwill) are not confined within walls or cultures. The book conveys the message that international social work values embody a boundary less community where mutual differences end up in a common universal goal of peace and prosperity. I recommend that this volume which is concerned with universal culture competence be placed in every library and every school of social work must incorporate it in their curriculum.” - Jitendra Kapoor, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, Alabama A & M University, USA

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