International Field Placements and Study Abroad Programs

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Our students have studied around the globe, from Brazil to Bangladesh and South Africa to Scotland, investigating a range of issues. Students can transfer these credits into the UB School of Social Work to meet some of their elective credits and fulfill field placement requirements.

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Support Study Abroad

Study abroad is an expensive proposition for students, but in our globally-connected society it is more essential than ever. Please help to make this program more accessible to students by supporting our International Study Fund.

MSW Field Placements with an International Focus

The Field Education Department offers regional field placements that provide services to refugee and immigrant populations and address global, social and economic issues and policies, such as human trafficking, refugee resettlement and immigration status.

Students can also develop a field placement in another country by working with field education staff and an international organization.

Procedures for requesting an international placement can be located in the My Field Education Dashboard. For more information, email

UB Study Abroad Programs Office

In addition to the 80+ programs UB offers, many directed by our faculty, you can choose among 600 programs offered by other SUNY campuses in more than 60 countries.

The Brockport Vietnam Program: Another Step Forward

Since 1998, the Brockport Vietnam Program has provided nearly 200 students with the opportunity to study abroad in a unique program that is a blend of study and service in Danang, Vietnam. It is the only international education of its kind and has become an intrinsically important part of the Danang community as the longest such foreign program in Central Vietnam. Participating students have enrolled in the program since 2000 and have come from across America. The program also has been the subject of many media reports, documentaries and published articles. It has provided academics and service providers from around the globe with assistance and consultation.

UB School of Social Work Students can take part in the Brockport Vietnam Program for Study Abroad credit or to the meet the requirements for the advanced year field practicum. Procedures for requesting an international placement can be located in the My Field Education Dashboard.

Past Social Work Study Abroad Programs

Global Perspectives in Social Work: From the US to the Post-Soviet Republic of Moldova (2015)

Winter Session: Jan. 9-19, 2015

The development of social welfare institutions in the Republic of Moldova has occurred within a context of rapid change and resource constraints. The impact of language, history and cultural paradigms on the process of engagement and community practice in Moldova will be examined, along with the importance of working with other disciplines in environments in which social work is an emerging profession.

This study abroad opportunity is designed to broaden participants' knowledge of social issues, policies and practices within a foreign cultural context. The need for reciprocity in international collaboration will be emphasized. Students will gain an understanding of how the unique social work person-in-environment perspective contributes to social and economic development activities and will develop skills in cross-cultural engagement.

A range of issues will be explored, including, but not limited to, income disparity, labor migration, health, mental health and disabilities.

The group will be led by visiting international scholar Ana Niculaes and Laura Lewis.  

Program Director

Laura A. Lewis

Clinical Associate Professor; Assistant Dean for Global Partnerships; Director of Field Education

634 Baldy Hall

Phone: 716-645-1232; Fax: 716-645-3157


YouTube Video on Moldova Program

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Globalization, Migration and Social Welfare: The Changing Italian Mosaic (2015)

Winter Session: Jan. 7-22, 2015

Open to Juniors and Seniors, Graduate Students

This winter session program is designed to broaden participants' knowledge of social issues, policies and social welfare approaches in the Italian context with an emphasis on migration. The backdrop for the course is its iconic and historic location in the cities of Rome and Florence, considered the most beautiful in Italy because of their magnificent architectural achievements and rich culture. The course will also include a side to trip to Venice, the romantic, unique and beautiful city that is one of Italy's most popular tourist attractions. 

Academic Program

In this course, students will gain first-hand knowledge of the development of Italy’s evolution as a key immigrant receiving country and multicultural society and the expansion of social welfare institutions in Italy as a result of economic development since World War II. Through site visits to various NGOs and social programs, lectures, discussions and exchanges with academics, students and human service professionals, students will analyze policies and approaches to delimit social exclusion and to promote immigrant integration that have developed in Italy. Students will examine various aspects of the Italian social welfare system and programs and policies that address health, gender violence, children and youth, and income support from a comparative perspective. These issues and the Italian response to them will be examined through globalization and human rights frameworks. In addition to the examination of social welfare, the rich history and culture of Italy will be woven into the course. The vast archaeological, cultural and literary heritage will be explored and students will have opportunities to view the world famous works of the many legendary Italian artists. 


Hotel/hostel accommodations will be arranged for students while staying in Rome and Florence. Students will share double rooms with the same gender. Costs for the hotels are included in the program fee.

Preliminary Itinerary (Subject to Change)

January 7-14 Rome Visit to the National Museum of Italian Emigration and group discussion, film screening and discussion on migration; visits to Save the Children; presentation on unaccompanied minors to Italy; visit to Joel Nafuma Refugee Center; visit to La Sapienza University at Rome; one day at the Vatican; one day in Ancient Rome Sites such as the Coliseum, Roman Forum, Parthenon and popular  sites such as the Trevi Fountain, Trastevere and Piazza Navona, with more in the works.

January 15-16 Florence Tour/lectures from faculty at University of Florence, cultural visits to Uffizi Gallery, Santa Croce, Il Duomo.  

January 17-18 Venice Sightseeing at Piazza San Marco, Doge’s Palace, Grand Canal and Rialto Bridge, Galleria dell’ Academia, Venetian Lagoons; group discussions.

January 19-21 Florence Visits to NGOs Projetto Arcobaleno, Artemisia and Innocenti Center; cultural visits to Medici Chapel, Ponte Vecchio, and Boboli Gardens; lecture from faculty at University of Florence.

January 22 Depart from Rome to Buffalo.

Program Director

Filomena M. Critelli

Associate Professor; Undergraduate Studies Coordinator

Research Interests: Gender-based violence in domestic and global contexts; global migration, human rights of women, children, and migrants; intersection of trauma and human rights; global social work and social welfare

681 Baldy Hall

Phone: 716-645-1250; Fax: 716-645-3456