Virtual Social Welfare: Costa Rica and Italy
- Students will learn about the culture, history, and current realities of Costa Rica and Italy.
- Students will explore aspects of Italian and Costa Rican social services that is of particular interest to them.
- All students will receive in-state tuition.
This study abroad course focuses on social welfare services and their development in Costa Rica and Italy. This program is offered in conjunction with The University of Costa Rica in San Jose, Costa Rica and with Universitá Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy. There will be an orientation to this course approximately two weeks prior to the regular sessions, and there will be one session held approximately one week after the formal sessions have completed. We will focus on the impact of Italy and Costa Rica’s history, global economics, religion, and culture on its social welfare institutions and their practices; the influence of its geopolitical interactions in the region; and the similarities and differences between preparation for practice in Europe, Central America, and the United States.
Three hours of academic credit are granted by the University of Kansas upon successful completion of the program. Students will enroll in 3 credit hours of SW 560, SW 855, or SW 955, dependent upon academic level. The credits will count toward the BSW degree for BSW students, the diversity requirement for MSW students, and as elective hours for Ph.D. students.
The course will introduce students to the culture, history, and current realities of Costa Rica and Italy. Classes will be synchronous and asynchronous with Costa Rican and Italian scholars, and community-based leaders will present on a range of social work services, e.g. health and mental health, migration, children and disability services, and there will be opportunities for discussion and questions. There will be one orientation meeting prior to and one reflection meeting after the program dates.
This program is open to students in good academic standing in their respective degree programs.
Students participating in this program are eligible to apply for a KU Study Abroad & Global Engagement virtual scholarship.
Additional scholarships are available for students in the Multicultural Scholars Program.
Rick Spano is a professor Emeritus in the School of Social Welfare, and is an avid proponent of study abroad, He has a significant relationship with Costa Rica that dates back 15 years.
Terry Koenig is a professor in the school of Social Welfare and has been involved with study abroad in Italy for the past 8 years.