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International Social Work: An Italian Perspective
Milan, Italy
Program Terms: Summer
This program is currently not accepting applications.
Program Cost: Summer
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Summer 2014 03/15/2014 
03/17/2014 06/30/2014 07/13/2014

Indicates that deadline has passed
Fact Sheet:
Program Type: Faculty-Led Study Abroad Program Coordinator: Ingrid Horton
 Language of Instruction:
 Minimum GPA Eligibility:
2.5 GPA
Academic Discipline: Social Work Open to Non-KU students: Yes
Open to graduate students: Yes
 Fulfills KU Core Advanced Education Goal 4.2 - Culture and Diversity:
Program Description:

Program Overview

Italy_MilanThis 12-day program offers students the opportunity to gain an international perspective on social work through lectures, field trips to social service agencies, and presentations by social work faculty from the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore. The program will focus on the political, economic, and historical context of Italy as it impacts social work education and the delivery of social services. Students will visit social service agencies that address mental health, social work with children and families, public health, government and community-based social work practice, aging, and immigration issues. In addition to daily seminars and site visits, students will have the opportunity to travel to significant cultural and historical sites in Milan, Florence and the Lake Como region.


Milan is the second largest city in Italy with a population of about 1.35 million people. The city is one of Italy's most fashionable cities and one of the richest cities in Europe but it also holds several historic and artistic attractions, including the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, the Last Supper painting, and the famous La Scala Opera House. Travelers to Milan will find a fast-paced, glamorous city with a thriving cultural scene and a top city for shopping. Although the city was heavily bombed during World War II, much of it was rebuilt.

Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore (UCSC)

Established in 1921, the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore is the biggest private university in Europe and the biggest Catholic university in the world. Originally a monastery built by Benedictine monks in the 8th century, the UCSC Milan main campus is characterized by the façade entrance constructed by famed Italian architect Giovanni Muzo, the Chapel of the Sacred Heart, the atrium of the zodiac, as well as the Great Hall. The campus is nestled within the original city walls of Milan. UCSC was granted five stars by QS stars, a global university rating system, in employability, teaching, infrastructure, and engagement.

Academic program

Students will enroll in 3 credit hours of SW 560, SW 855 or SW 955.

Two formal class sessions will take place in Lawrence, Kansas, one prior to departure and one upon return. These lectures will provide background information on Italian history, language, culture, and customs in Italy. In Italy, the lectures and field placement visits will provide an overview of the Italian social service system. The impact of history, global economics, religion and culture on social policy and practice in Italy will also be presented.

Credit notes

Pre-Social Work and BSW students can use the course towards a general education requirement or as elective credit.

• 1st year MSW students can enroll in this course after they have completed all foundation level requirements and apply the credit towards advanced level coursework.

• MSW students can use this course towards the elective in the Clinical Concentration or towards the Advanced Social Administration selective for the SWAAP Concentration.

• Ph.D. students can use the course as elective credit.

Social work students should contact Dr. Terry Koenig ( in the School of Social Welfare for more information.

Students from other KU majors or universities should contact their academic advisor for information about how this might meet requirements.


Open to BSW, MSW, and Ph.D. students in the School of Social Welfare; open to graduate students in related fields. Minimum 2.5 GPA required (exceptions considered after submission of petition).

There are no language requirements.

Community professionals may also take this course as part of the School’s Professional Community Education Program.


May 21:  Arrive in Milan, orientation and welcome dinner
May 22-24:  Lectures, discussions and visits of social service agencies
May 25: Visit Como
May 26: Visit Bergamo
May 27-29: Lectures, discussion and visits of social services agencies
May 30-June 1: Visit Florence and departure dinner
June 2: Return to US


Student will be housed in one of UCSC’s residence halls.

Financial Aid

KU students who qualify for financial aid in the form of Stafford and/or other loans, Pell or SEOG Grants, and scholarships may apply the aid to the cost of a Study Abroad Program.

KU Study Abroad supplemental scholarships are available to KU degree seeking students. Applications are available online. The scholarship application deadline is October 1 for Winter Break programs.

Social Welfare Study Abroad Scholarships

The Dean of the School of Social Welfare has scholarships available for students admitted into the KU School of Social Welfare.  All students who submit a complete Study Abroad program application by the deadline will be considered for the scholarships.  Scholarships will be awarded on the basis of academic merit and financial need.

Application Procedures

All applicants will be required to complete several documents for each study abroad application.  Below is a list of documents that will need to be completed for an application.

a. Social Welfare Statement of Purpose
        b. Verification of Minimum GPA Requirement
        c. Unofficial Transcript or Advising Report
        d. 2 Recommendations
        e. Authorization to Release Student Information
        f. Student Conduct Verification
        g. Financial Aid Questionnaire

For more detailed information about the application process, please visit our Application Process page.

For more information contact:

Terry Koenig, Associate Professor
School of Social Welfare
Phone: 785-864-2656


Program Ratings:
Overall Experience:
Academic Experiences:
Cultural Experience:
Program Reviews:
Summer 2013 Participant
My favorite part of this program was the site visits. It is one thing to learn about how policies work in Italy. It is an entirely different thing to have the opportunity to experience how the policies work.
Alexis Nicole Hernandez, Summer 2013 Participant
My favorite part of this program overall was being given the opportunity to work with such a wide group of people. However, going into further detail, we got to visit a facility for people with disabilities and it really opened my eyes up to a new passion I might have. Seeing these people work with the agency program to make their everyday lives easier was amazing. Simple things to me, I realized were not so simple to others, making a bed, putting together a meal, taking a shower, etc. It was interesting to learn and interact with a few of the members who had nothing but smiles on their faces.
Alexis Nicole Hernandez, Summer 2013 Participant
I learned that although you may be set on one area of social work, study abroad gives you the opportunity to have a little “taste” of everything. There are areas I never thought I would be interested in, but after this program I would definitely consider them! I also learned that before studying abroad I had my own perception of what Italy should look like and how the people are. Some of my assumptions were correct however I learned a lot more about Italy by really being there then just thinking what it would be like.
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This program is currently not accepting applications.