International Study: Semester Abroad in Mexico

The mission of the program is to develop cross-culturally competent, ethical social work professionals with a global perspective by providing a semester of transformative, experiential learning focused on social and economic justice. You will develop key cross-cultural and professional skills to help you work more effectively with the Latinx community, as Mexicans comprise the largest immigrant group in the U.S.

The program offers the option of community service opportunities. In addition, field experience placements are available for students with intermediate to advanced language proficiency (a limited number of placements are available for students with fewer Spanish language skills).

You will:

  • Learn directly from social work practitioners, social welfare policy makers, and community leaders
  • Have the opportunity to take part in fieldwork in a Mexican organization
  • Meet CSWE EPAS competencies toward a BSW degree
  • Develop Spanish language proficiency
  • Gain valuable knowledge and skills for working with diverse and immigrant populations

Meet With:

  • Social workers from non-profits, governmental agencies, schools, health centers, an addiction service program, and other organiztions.
  • Mexican social work students studying in Mexico City at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) during a 2-week academic exchange
  • Mexican students at a university in Cuernavaca
  • Members of rural and urban communities that have been affected by globalization and US immigration policies
  • Former migrants and family members of emigrants to the U.S. during a week-long rural homestay in a community heavily impacted by emigration to the U.S.
  • People who have migrated to Cuernavaca, people who have worked in the US with and without documents, family members who have been left behind, and people who have been deported

This program satisfies the curriculum requirements for the Bachelor of Social Work degree and meets Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation standards. The program is sponsored by the social work departments of thirteen schools and managed by CGEE.

The Social Work in a Latin American Context program is open to Augsburg students, and students from our consortium schools. When space is available, it is open to social work majors from other CSWE accredited institutions who meet the prerequisites for the program.  Please inquire with CGEE regarding the space available to non-consortium members.

NEW: Follow the students on Instagram @cgeemexico.

Read the 2018 social work blog:

Students from Nine other Universities Take Part in the Semester Abroad
  • Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN
  • Bemidji State University, Bemidji, MN
  • Bethel University, St. Paul, MN
  • College of St. Catherine/University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN
  • Metropolitan State University, St. Paul, MN
  • St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN
  • St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN
  • University of Sioux Falls, Sioux Falls, SD
  • Winona State University, Winona, MN

Students generally register for 16 credits at their home school. At the end of the semester, grades are provided for a designated faculty at the home school to report to the registrar. These courses at BSU include:

  • SOWK 3552: Generalist Practice 2
  • SOWK 2160: Human Behavior in the Social Environment I
  • SOWK 2140: Field Experience in Social Work

Placements are available for those with strong Spanish skills. The Consortium is developing placements for students who do not have strong language skills. In addition, community service opportunities are available for students.

The application deadline is October 15 for the spring term. Contact Dr. Sue Rickers if you are interested or have questions:

Registration and Financial Aid

The student’s home school provides financial aid. The student retains matriculation and registers for classes there Bemidji State University, social work students would register for the following courses.

Total estimated costs for Minnesota residents are $7,000-$9,000 which includes tuition and fees, room and board, airfare, books and spending money.

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