The Social Work in a Latin American Context program was jointly created in 2003 by a collaboration of CSWE accredited social work programs in the Minnesota/South Dakota area. The program satisfies the curriculum requirements for the BSW degree and is in accord with CSWE accreditation standards. When space is available, it is open to social work majors from other CSWE accredited institutions who meet the pre-requisites for the program.
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.
Students from non-consortium schools are welcome to apply and will be accepted on a space-available basis.
Collaborative member of the program in Mexico:
Escuela Nacional de Trabajo Social de la UNAM (Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico) in Mexico City
A visiting social work professor from one of the consortium schools accompanies students to Mexico and teaches the social work courses.
Cuernavaca, the capital of the state of Morelos, is about 50 miles south of Mexico City. Both the city and the state are important in Mexican history: the palace of the conqueror Hernan Cortez borders the central plaza in Cuernavaca and Morelos is known as “the cradle of the Mexican revolution” of 1910 led by Emiliano Zapata, who was born in a small town near Cuernavaca. A city of more than one million, Cuernavaca is also known for its innovative grass-roots education programs, economic cooperatives, and base Christian communities inspired by liberation theology.
Most students choose four courses from the following:
1) a Spanish language course
2) International Social Welfare: The Mexican Context
3) Social Work Practice II: With Families and Group
4) Comparative Social Policy
5) Field Work II: Integrative Seminar
Housing and Homestays
The Center for Global Education maintains two houses in Cuernavaca, which will be your home base during the semester. It is located in Colonia San Anton, across the street from the language school where you will take your Spanish classes and just a 15 minute walk from downtown Cuernavaca. Approximately four students will share a room. There is also common living space for classes, study and leisure time, as well as a small library. Meals (including vegetarian options) are prepared and served on the premises.
Students also spend four weeks living with a local family in Cuernavaca.
Community Service and Internships
The program offers the option of community service placements. 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).
Academic Information and Prerequisites
The program is intended for sophomores, juniors, and seniors at the consortium schools (please check with your social work program to see when it works best in your curriculum). Students from consortium schools are given priority in admissions, and the selection of students is made at each participating school. Students are accepted from other CSWE accredited institutions on a space-available basis. One previous college-level course in Spanish or its equivalent is required. This can be done in January in Mexico before starting the program, if necessary. Students from non-participating schools should be social work majors and have completed an introductory social work course.
The equivalent of four courses or 16 semester hours are offered on this program.