Community-based participatory study abroad: A proposed model for social work education

Academic Article


  • Study abroad experiences offer important benefits for social work students and faculty, including global awareness, practice skill development, and enhanced multicultural competence. Short-term study abroad programs are most feasible but typically lack depth of engagement with host communities and may perpetuate existing systems of power and privilege. We propose a model of community-based participatory study abroad with 6 components: (1) shared power, (2) co-learning, (3) reciprocal benefits, (4) empowerment, (5) community-grounded processes, and (6) sustainability. This model is community-driven and social change oriented, addresses power and privilege, and emphasizes fundamental social work values. We use a study abroad course initiative in Kenya to illustrate each principle, and we conclude with a discussion of implications for teaching and student learning.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Fisher CM; Grettenberger SE
  • Start Page

  • 566
  • End Page

  • 582
  • Volume

  • 51
  • Issue

  • 3