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

Colleen M. Fisher, Susan E. Grettenberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)566-582
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Social Work Education
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2015


Dive into the research topics of 'Community-based participatory study abroad: A proposed model for social work education'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this