In 2005, the national bi-partisan Lincoln Commission charged with examining national study abroad programs called for boosting the number of American undergraduates who study abroad to one million annually by the year 2017; this would require increasing the annual growth rate in the number of students studying abroad by about 50 percent. In November 2011, Secretary Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State, supported the goals of national International Education Week (2011) by encouraging students to study abroad. Presently, the School of Social Work offers two study abroad programs, the London Maymester (Roots of Social Justice) and the Ghana Maymester (Community and Social Development). Both programs are interdisciplinary and include a focus on social justice and equity. Information sessions are held in the fall. Both programs are led by School of Social Work faculty and coordinated through the UT Austin Study Abroad Office. To learn more about study abroad at UT and Maymesters, visit http://world.utexas.edu/abroad.
Community and Social Development, Cross-listed as AFR 374
Through this course, students have the opportunity to study Ghanaian social and community development programs and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that are actively responding to Ghana’s major social service needs in the areas of education, child and family welfare, gender empowerment, youth programs and health promotion.
The course involves both experiential and classroom learning with a significant international academic service learning component that allows students to develop and implement a small-scale volunteer project as a major course assignment. The course content will dovetail with the nature of community service in critical ways to ensure that 1) student learning is enhanced, 2) small-scale community needs are met, and 3) students are able to critically reflect upon their community service experience.
Roots of Social and Economic Justice
Students in the London Maymester learn about the historical roots of the profession of social work and about social welfare in the modern context. They examine governmental, social and health services and their impact on diverse client populations. London has been the destination for immigrants throughout its long history, resulting in an immensely diverse population.
Students learn through cultural immersion in ethnic neighborhoods, places of worship, ﬁeld and agency visits, seminars, and lectures from British scholars. The overarching purpose of the course is to deepen students’ understanding of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship in a global society and to promote cross-cultural learning.
In addition to experiencing the city of London as a classroom, the course creates the opportunity for growth in critical consciousness through engagement and development of the learning community of UT Austin students and faculty.
- Article in The Utopian about the Ghana Maymester (PDF)
- Feature article: “Maymester Students Support Reforestation Project in Ghana”
- “Maymester in London May Lead to Social Work Career Overseas” (PDF)