Study Abroad

We encourage our students to experience a study abroad program, if they can.   However you should keep in mind that the junior and senior year social work courses must be taken in sequence.  If the sequence is interrupted, you will have to wait until the next fall or spring semester to continue the sequence.  If you do not wish to add an additional year of study to your degree plan, we recommend that you look for a program that is offered during a break or summer months.

The Council on Social Work Education hosts a list of Social Work Study Abroad Programs:

What are the Benefits?

“You really get to experience the world. You get out of your comfort zone. Try new foods, languages, meet new people. You gain independence from having to do everything on your own. “–Brooke Vielee

“It helped my Spanish skills immensely. I also feel that it gave me time to figure out what I wanted to do professionally as a social worker.” –Morgan Milin

“Living in another country made me appreciate other cultures more than I ever had before." –Kristin Myrick

Can I get aid?

Some students use savings and loans to go abroad. For those who can’t, there may be aid:

Who can I talk to for more info?

Office of Overseas Study
111 S. Jordan Avenue
Bloomington, IN 47401
Open weekdays from 8am-5pm
Phone: (812) 855-9304

How much does it cost to go abroad?

What is included in program costs varies on the program. For specific info, go to the Office of Overseas Studies and talk to an advisor.

  • For semester programs, Social Work students estimated paying $13,000-$18,000 depending on the program*
  • Summer programs are usually 4-6 weeks. Students estimated paying $4,500-$8,500 depending on the program & length*

*Estimates included tuition, housing, food, travel, and entertainment expenses before loans or aid.

A Semester Example:
  • Program Cost paid to IU: $14,700
  • Total Outside expenses (plane ticket, food, entertainment, extra travel): $3,850
  • Total aid received: $9,600
  • Total loans taken out: $4,500
  • Total Cost to the student: $4,450

** Each program and student’s scholarship and funding opportunities will vary greatly


“I would have immersed myself more into the culture. It is easy to stick close to other American students, but meeting the locals is important.” -Melanie Wolfe

“I would have flown to Europe a little bit earlier to do more travelling by myself before my program started.” –Sara Hutson

Classes Abroad

It can be difficult to find classes for social work while abroad. Many students complete GenEd classes, language courses, or classes needed to complete any other major and minor degrees.

Will it hold me back?

The class restraints of the Social Work major and a junior class standing requirement to go abroad makes finding a convenient time to study abroad challenging for students.

Some social work majors choose to go abroad & push their graduation date back by a semester or year. Others choose to spend their time abroad during the summer months. This conflict is the only thing students report wanting to change about their experience.

*Select programs allow sophomores to go abroad which enables them to successfully go abroad while keeping their initial graduation date.