Social Work

Author: Sara Kerschner, U-M School of Social Work Alum and Former Education Abroad Peer Advisor

This page describes resources for researching international opportunities for U.S. undergraduates, graduate students, and doctoral students interested in the field of social work. Highlighted are programs and positions for finding organizations, funding sources and other resources. All publications listed are available for your use in the Education Abroad Office at the U-M International Center.

Employment, Internship, and Volunteer Opportunities

The following list contains directories and organizations. It is a partial list and there are many more organizations exist that are reputable.

U-M School of Social Work, Office of Global Activities
The Office of Global Activities promotes social work in a global context. U-M MSW students should contact the OGA about global opportunities for going abroad, as well as funding.

U-M International Center, Education Abroad Office
This web site contains links to several hundred selected web sites for study, work and travel abroad. The office is home to books and people who know a lot about overseas work.

U-M International Institute
Their Area Study Centers can be very useful for those involved in international research or study. Also, they have scholarships and other funding available for international research and internships.

U-M School of Public Health International Job Listings
Excellent site with many listings and regular updates.

U-M SSW Library's International Social Work Resources
Great link with many organization listings.

Cross Cultural Solutions
Great organization that administers short-term volunteer projects in developing countries.

Doctors Without Borders
Large organization doing international medical care, which includes mental health and related positions. Work with medical staff in developing countries on various health projects. 6-12 month-long volunteer positions.

Social Work and Social Services Jobs Online, Washington University
Through Washington University's George Warren Brown School of Social Work. Includes specific job listings and links to other appropriate job web sites. Search provisions make it easy to find jobs by type of work or location, including a good number of overseas listings.

Goshen University's Community Development Organization Links
Goshen University's links to community development organizations sites.

Useful links about community activism involved in worldwide grassroots work.

Includes job, internship, and volunteer positions for over 20,000 non-profit organizations, some of which are international.

InterAction Member Profiles
InterAction is the largest group of U.S.-based international NGOs. Organizations are indexed under many social work topics such as cultural preservation; refugee services, urban development, etc.

International Federation of Social Workers Includes links to many organizations and other resources that have job/volunteer listings.

International Medical Volunteers Association
Section “On Volunteering” contains a good introduction to volunteering and tips on finding opportunities. “Help Wanted” section has profiles of dozens of organizations accepting volunteers, many include social workers.

International Monster
Commercial website with many job listings.

Madre: International Human Rights Organization
International women's human rights organization compiles international grassroots women's organizations. Check out their extensive links.

globalEDGE: International Internship Directory
Michigan State University
Lists several international internships offered to undergraduate and graduate students. Search by type of organization or by keywords.

Relief Web
This is a project of United Nations and lists many NGO's. Useful for year-long international experiences or for research.

Transitions Abroad: The Guide to Learning, Living, and Working Overseas
Magazine and web site includes current overseas employment opportunities, articles, and additional publications.

University of Texas at Austin's Service Leader
Includes general information on volunteering abroad and links to external sites to search international opportunities.

Positions in Australia and Africa

Australia search engine
General job search engine with several social work positions.

Positions in the United Kingdom and Ireland

Social work is also called “social care”.

HCL Social Care
Agency that recruits social workers for a variety of positions in the United Kingdom.
General job search engine with several social work positions in Ireland. Use the “Social & Not for Profit” search category, or search by keywords.

Social Work Solutions/Hays Social Care
Listings for social work positions in the UK. If no results are found through the social work category, the website allows you to register directly with social work agencies in the UK and provides contact information


Study Opportunities

Year-Long Study Abroad Programs

Several international, post-graduation study opportunities exist for students interested in long-term international educational opportunities.

The Fulbright is for graduating seniors, graduate students, and alumni and provides grants for individual study or research programs, as well as teaching assistantship placements abroad. Interested U-M students should contact a U-M Fulbright Program Advisor at the University’s International Institute for more information about the application process and program.

Rotary Grants
A variety of grants are available for undergraduates, graduates, and professionals. The grants are divided into district, global, and packaged awards. The application deadlines, processes, and grant amounts vary. Applicants should apply to their local Rotary Club. For more information, see the Rotary International website or contact the club in your area.

Short-Term Study Abroad Programs

Study abroad while enrolled in the U-M social work program is unusual, but some summer graduate programs for credit exist and are listed in these directories.

Can search by programs related to the field of social work including social administration, social change, social policy, social problems, human rights, organizational behavior, and women's studies.

World Learning School for International Training
Offers many programs for both undergraduate and graduate students, with focuses on areas such as human rights, social justice, education, peace building, and other international development work.

Funding Sources

Funding international travel is an issue common to all students. U-M International Center does not provide any funding; however we have many resources for helping you find some. If you are interested in a year-long experience, two great opportunities are the competitive Fulbright and Rotary scholarships, which are listed above. Also, we encourage you to consider U-M International Institute's “Individual Fellowship” grants for the summer term. These are competitive also. Other methods of finding funds are directly through the School of Social Work Office of Global Activities or through the program itself. Always check to see if your department can help with this, as well as asking about the possibility of matching grants (this is common). Outside of that and family, the following resources provide ideas for further funding. We are also happy to brainstorm options with you. Remember that if you want to go overseas, there are usually ways to accomplish this. Get ready to be creative and resourceful.

U-M International Institute
Suite 2660
School of Social Work Building
1080 S. University
[email protected]
Where the Fulbright scholarship office and area study centers are located. Area study centers may have funds and ideas available concerning specific world regions. The office also administers the Individual Fellowship, a grant available to both undergraduate and graduate students.

U-M International Center, Education Abroad Office
A resource with comprehensive information on international opportunities and sources of funding available within the University of Michigan community and otherwise. See Funding Undergraduate and Graduate International Internships.

Financial Aid for Study and Training Abroad/Financial Aid for Research and Creative Activities Abroad
Both books by Reference Service Press. Lists scholarships, fellowships, loans, grants, awards, and internships for study, research and training abroad. Sample of subjects related to the field of social work include: AIDS; alcohol use and abuse; aged and aging; community development; criminal justice; disabilities; family planning; health and health care; poverty; public administration; social sciences; social services; social welfare; social work; urban affairs.


For U-M Faculty & Students: In addition to the above-mentioned resources, the U-M International Center has shelves of general and country-specific books on international careers, international volunteer opportunities (and most other international opportunities!)