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Global field placement student Erin Elly with social work staff from the University of Hong Kong

Global Field Placements

This Global Field Placement option is being restructured and phased out for Fall 2020. Fall 2020 applications should visit the Global Activities Scholars Program webpage for information about how to incorporate a global field placement into their MSW program.

Application Deadline

Global Field Placement applications for incoming Fall 2019 students are due October 24, 2019

The Office of Global Activities and the Office of Field Education offer global field placements for Master of Social Work students interested in working with individuals, communities, and organizations in a global context as part of their MSW program. The approved global field placements meet the following conditions:

  • Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) accreditation standards
  • Field curriculum standards
  • Professional level credentialed supervision

In addition to students accepted to the Global Activities Scholars Program, each year up to two applicants will be selected to participate in a global field placement. Selection is based on placement slot availability, current academic standing, fall field placement performance, and the strength of application and interview.

Approved Locations

Global field placements are only approved for the locations listed below. Due to the length of time necessary to develop new placements students are not able to create or propose a new placement site. Students interested in developing a unique project should consider a global independent study project.

* = Arabic or Hebrew fluency will greatly increase field placement options

** = Requires Spanish fluency

*** = Cantonese or Mandarin language skills are highly preferred

Global field placement sites are subject to change. Currently, placements for Interpersonal Practice are not available in Chile, Costa Rica, or Peru.


Students must be in the Advanced Standing, MicroMasters MSW, or out-of-sequence, 16-month curriculum track and begin their foundational field placement during the fall of their admit year. Advanced Standing students must complete four credits of advanced field in both the fall and winter semesters. Please see the global course planning worksheet for more information. Note: Selecting the appropriate field plan does not guarantee a student will be selected for a global field placement. Students not approved for a global field placement will remain in their local field placement during the spring/summer term.

Applicants may select any practice method concentration and practice area except for the Interpersonal Practice and Mental Health combination due to limitations in the field. Please note that placements for Interpersonal Practice and Social Policy and Evaluation are limited. In addition, dual degree Master of Social Work/Master of Public Health students are not eligible for this program.

Due to the global field requirements, completing a minor practice method will only be approved for advanced standing students who have elected the 16-month program.

Course Work

Accepted students must enroll in a 1-credit preparation seminar (SW 648) the Winter Term before their departure for their global field placements, and they will be required to attend mandatory post experience meetings in the fall once they return from their global field placements.

Students completing a global field placement will be enrolled in 8 credits of advanced field education (SW 691) during the Spring/Summer Term while abroad. In some locations it may be possible to add additional elective credits of advanced field education.


Global field placements cost an estimated $8,000-$10,000 depending on the country. This estimate takes into consideration costs such as a plane ticket, housing, local transportation, visa fees, vaccinations, travel health insurance, and other related travel costs.

Students accepted to complete a global field placement who are not already in a SSW Special Program will receive up to $6,000 in scholarship funds to help cover the cost of the placement. This scholarship is not intended to cover all costs associated with a global field placement. Accepted students are responsible for funding the remaining balance of their trip costs.

Students may apply for additional funding resources or plan to self-fund to supplement the travel costs.


Apply For Global Field Placement »

All students interested in a global field placement should email prior to submitting an application.

Domestic Field Placements with a Global Focus

In addition to global field placements in international locations, the Office of Global Activities works with the Office of Field Education to offer a limited number of domestic field placement sites that focus on global issues. Dependent upon educational and career goals, some students may find this option better meets their future needs.

Only select domestic agencies constitute designation as a global field site. These agencies:

  • Engage in work with organizational entities outside of the United States
  • Address problems of a global nature with agencies engaged in global outreach; or
  • Focus explicitly on global issues, such as working with immigrant populations or dealing with cross-national issues.

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