Testimonials | Social Work | SIU

Southern Illinois University



College of Education and Human Services

students during course


I studied abroad in May 2014 and it was the best decision I have ever made. I first found out about the course in August and I started planning since then. I planned for about 9 months in order to have the best trip ever. I was extremely excited to go to Germany and the moment I got there it was unreal. I could not believe how beautiful the city of Munich was. There was just so much happening and so many amazing things to see. The class went to Austria for a day and it was yet again, a beautiful place. It was so breathtaking. I could not believe the view I had when I was at the castle. Words cannot even describe how beautiful the view was. I got to meet so many great people that went to the trip as well. Students got to explore the city after class was over and it was just so much fun to do it with other people that have the same interest as you. 

I learned so much about the history of Germany and Human Rights. I am so glad that a study abroad trip like this exists. So many people that are interested in this should definitely go because not only can they receive credit hours but they also go to such a beautiful place. It was an amazing time and place, I know I will be back again!

--Alejandra Corona
Southern Illinois University

The study abroad experience definitely added to my professional development and really changed my life. I consider myself more objective and a better equipped social worker thanks to the exposure to European social work practice approaches. The experience has definitely impacted the clients I serve and the professionals I work with as I'm able to share and apply much of what I learned in Germany.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              --Jorge Villalobos
University of Texas, El Paso

Having the opportunity to study Human Rights in Munich and the surrounding cities has been on of the most memorable experiences of my graduate career. The classroom and textbooks can teach you theories and critical thinking skills, but living yur education first hand is an invaluable experience that every student should take advantage of I will remember this trip for years to come.

-- Stephanie Panousieris
Arizona State University, MA Social Justice and Human Rights

It was an experience that I will never forget and impacted me very much. I am taking a class this summer called Global Perspectives in Social Work, and your class prepared me perfectly for it. This course was an exceptional first hand view of why human rights are so important to learn about. It was eye-opening, interesting and completely heartbreaking all at the same time. I was very impressed with Munich and the German people, I know I will have to go back again!

-- Helen Hamlin 
University of Arkansas

Last summer, I studied abroad in Munich, Germany, where I took a course in international social work and human rights. The two-and-ahalf week, intensive learning course examined human rights within a social work framework and from a European perspective. I was immersed in German culture and history and learned about the policies and social services created by the country's principals for human rights. Each day was dedicated to visiting a local agency and/or significant landmark for human rights. During each visit, I learned how social work plays an integral role in shaping these experiences. Among the monuments we visited were the Dachau concentration camp, the Palace of Justice where the Nuremberg Trials took place, and the Street of Human Rights in Nuremberg. 
      In addition, while in Munich, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with the directors of a well-established LBGTQ and HIV community center, a drop-in counseling center in one of Munich's busiest train stations, a grassroots women's advocacy center, and an innovative senior day center. These varying excursions, although rigorous, provided my classmates and me with a thorough understanding of how the skills we obtain as social workers are versatile and potent. Further, I became aware of how these skills must be used frequently to maintain their potency. As a result, I learned that if we remain silent against social injustices, we put our communities at risk for becoming victims of those injustices. This experience left a profound impression on me: it taught me what it means to be a social worker advocating for human rights and social justice.

-- Janine Martinez 
Boston University School of Social Work

The trip to Germany was the perfect combination of education, fun, and enlightenment. I had the best time of my life and I feel very lucky that I was able to have that experience.

-- Elizabeth Edgar 
Southern Illinois University Carbondale

I honestly felt like it was a great experience. The course itself was very helpful in understanding human rights principles and how those principles are parlayed into an international setting. I was able to have direct experience with social work as it is practiced in Germany. I recommend it if you are looking to get a good grasp on how another culture views social problems. It is also an excellent exposure to international social work.

-- Christina Daly

I had the most wonderful experience. The course helped broaden my thinking and I really have a new perspective about our profession and issues related to human rights. I truly fell in love with Germany and cannot wait to return in the future Needless to say, your course was very inspirational and life changing. I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to go!

-- Sara Bounds 
University of Baltimore, Maryland

I had always longed to travel internationally, and this course offered the perfect way. I was able to experience another country while it was contributing to my education. I was able to better understand human rights but also apply and see it up close in the international setting. By going to different social agencies, you are really able to get a grasp on how other countries address social issues and human rights within their culture. This trip was truly one of a lifetime and I definitely recommend it to those who are interested in international social work.

-- Sara McClusky 
Southern Illinois University

Studying abroad has been a dream of mine since I started college. Currently I am a graduate student studying public administration at SIU. When I received an email from the Social Work department about a study abroad opportunity to Munich, Germany I thought, "Here is my chance!"

I had one of the most eye opening experiences during the two week visit. We learned about social work organizations that help those less fortunate as well as visiting one of the first established concentration camps in Dachau, Germany. This not only expanded my knowledge in public administration but it also raised my awareness for human rights on a more global level.

--Michelle Mansfield
Southern Illinois University