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The University of Michigan School of Social Work (U-M SSW) has played an integral role in the University's work by engaging in international collaborative research projects, arranging faculty and student exchanges at partner institutions, and developing internationalized curriculum.  In collaboration with the School as a whole, Office of Global Activities (OGA) promotes social work in a global context. The office has the following agenda:

  • To promote the U-M SSW's leadership role in global social work education and research
  • To increase students' competencies in global social work practice
  • To foster an environment conducive to global social work education and research

Learn more at the Office of Global Activities page.

Program Details

Global Field Placements

Global field placements offer students who are committed to global social work in the 16-month curriculum track the opportunity to complete a spring/summer field placement in a global location. The Office of Global Activities also works with the Office of Field Education to provide domestic field placements that address cross cultural and global social work issues.

Learn more about global field placements »

Global Independent Study

Global independent study courses offer 20-month, 16-month and advanced standing curriculum track students the opportunity to work with a social work faculty sponsor to develop a project to explore or research a particular social work issue in a global context. Travel occurs during the spring/summer term.

Learn more about global independent study »

Peace Corps

The Masters International Volunteer Program offers 20-month and advance standing students in any practice area or concentration the opportunity to incorporate 27 months of Peace Corps service into their MSW program. The Peace Corps Coverdell Fellows Program provides Returned Peace Corps Volunteers the opportunity to earn a Master in Social Work at the University of Michigan.

Learn more about Peace Corps related programs »

Potential Careers

Unitied Nations Programme Officer, Economic and Social Development Specialist, Immigration program administrator, Cross-national adoption consultant

Student Profile
Lauren Reiser, MSW '15

  • Practice Method Concentration:
    Children and Youth in Families and Society
  • Practice Area:
  • Scholarships:
    Wheeler Family Memorial Scholarship, Global Activities Program Scholarship, SSW Alumni Board of Governors Award

Lauren’s eyes were opened to the needs of undocumented immigrants at her first job in New York City.  She saw first-hand how difficult it was for immigrants to navigate the judicial and child welfare systems. She witnessed the separation of families, incarceration of undocumented immigrants and deportation. Inspired by the social workers who helped immigrants access services for their families, Lauren decided to continue her education and is now pursuing her MSW.

During her global field placement in Chile, Lauren worked at a prison where she participated in a theatrical program. She came back to Ann Arbor eager to learn more about how artistic expression can communicate important messages. She is currently volunteering with the Corner Health Center Theatre Troupe, a peer health education program that uses performance as a tool to teach teens how to live healthier lives.

Her vision for the future  is to use the Corner Health Center Theatre Troupe as a model to create a theater group that teaches youth about immigration. Lauren’s scholarship has provided her with the opportunity to invest time in her classes, assignments, field placement and volunteer activities. “My scholarship gives me the luxury of time to explore my practice and deepen my cultural humanity.”


Global Learning Community

  • M. Antonio G. Alvarez

    M. Antonio G. Alvarez

    LEO Lecturer II
    School social work, adventure based practice, child welfare, community-based interventions, bullying and suicide prevention and intervention, international social work, and practice with indigenous/immigrant populations.
  • Lauren M. Davis

    Lauren M. Davis

    Assistant Director of SSW DEI Program
  • Larry M. Gant

    Larry M. Gant

    PhD, MSW

    Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work, and Professor of Art and Design, School of Art and Design

    Program evaluation, social action, community-based health programs, mezzo practice and social planning; public health social work, international social work, arts-based community development, health disparities emerging from syndemic-structural interactions, e.g. HIV/AIDS, poverty, violence-related PTSD, and impoverished care access.
  • Lydia W. Li

    Lydia W. Li

    Professor of Social Work
    Depression and suicide in later life, rural elders, cross-cultural gerontology, ageism, community-based interventions.
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