Internationalization “At Home”: Fostering Inter- and Transnational Perspectives in the Social Work Curriculum


The article addresses questions of internationalization of social work education programs with a particular focus on internationalization “at home” as the engagement with inter- and transnational perspectives and content within curriculum elements available to all students. Two approaches to internationalization will be presented, that were developed in accordance with the Global Standards for Social Work Education and Training, defined by the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) and the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), over the years in the social work degree program at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (UNIBZ). The approaches include a mandatory course in “Inter- and Transnational Social Work” and a project of collaboration with the California State University in San Bernardino (CSUSB), in which UNIBZ hosts a summer school that combines lectures with field visits and activities, including local services and social work organizations. The article will discuss the experiences with the two approaches in the light of current debates on the internationalization of social work education, addressing some of the shadows and challenges of social work education in Italy, and offer insights – based on an empirical-analysis of students’ papers and evaluations of the curricular course in “Inter- and Transnational Social Work” – on how students deal with international course content, and on the question of which value they give to that content in the context of their social work studies. The results highlight the potential of integrating international social work as mandatory module as opportunity for an internationalization “at home” available to all social work students, and provide indications for a learner-centered approach to implementation.

Nagy A., Nothdurfter U. (2022) "Internationalization “At Home”: Fostering Inter- and Transnational Perspectives in the Social Work Curriculum " Italian Journal of Sociology of Education, 14(1), 7-27. DOI: 10.14658/PUPJ-IJSE-2022-1-2  
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Italian Journal of Sociology of Education
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