International Education: University of Houston - University of Houston
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International Education

The world community is rapidly changing and becoming an increasingly interdependent global marketplace. The social work profession recognizes that competent practice requires knowledge of other countries and peoples, appreciation of cultural diversity, and the capacity to function as internationally competent individuals.

In order to ensure GCSW students receive the best opportunities to increase their global knowledge, it is of the utmost importance that the GCSW provides support for students wishing to expand their education. The GCSW’s Office for International Social Work Education is committed to supporting, promoting, and celebrating individuals in an intercultural global environment. The Office advocates for and facilitates international and cross-cultural experiences, perspectives, and initiatives. Several opportunities for international education are listed below.

Study Abroad

Through our Office of International Social Work Education, students have journeyed to destinations around the globe for study abroad courses. Courses are typically offered in the summer and are 2 to 3 weeks in duration. Usually, courses count towards elective credits. Students benefit from established partnerships with a number of agencies and institutions worldwide. To learn more about study abroad opportunities, attend an information meeting in late fall (look for meeting announcements in GCSW communications), or contact Dr. Patrick Leung at

The GCSW has led trips to the following countries:

  • India: 2020
  • Yogyakarta, Indonesia, 2019
  • Puerto Rico, Ireland, Wales, UK: 2018
  • Hong Kong and China: 2003, 2004, 2007,2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, and 2017
  • Swansea, Wales, UK: 2016
  • Cuba: 2016
  • St. Petersburg, Russia: 2015
  • Bolivia: 2014
  • El Salvador: 2013 and 2014
  • Sweden, Finland, Russia, Latvia and Poland: 2012
  • Turkey: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013
  • South Africa: 2008
  • England and Scotland: 2006
  • England and Wales: 2003

Reciprocal Educational Exchange Program (REEP)

For many years, the GCSW has offered international exchange opportunities including hosting several exchange students at the GCSW each spring and placing GCSW students in agencies in Hong Kong focusing on clinical or community practice during the summer semester. Applications for the GCSW students to complete field work in Hong Kong open annualy in spring.

Lectures & Workshops

Throughout the year, we regularly host international social work scholars and students to promote an environment of cultural exchange. Our lunchtime international lecture series provides students a window to the world they will encounter post graduation. The GCSW is committed to offering our students programs, opportunities, and experiences to enrich their social work studies with a global perspective.

Contact Information

For more information on any of the opportunities listed above, contact Dr. Patrick Leung, Director, Office for International Social Work Education at