Social Work International Study Opportunities Expand to India

The Cedarville University Department of Social Work has partnered with multiple organizations to expand international field study opportunities by opening a study option in Chennai, India. Photo courtesy of Julie Furj-Kuhn, assistant professor of social work and director of international field experience.

The Cedarville University Department of Social Work has partnered with multiple organizations to expand international field study opportunities by opening a study option in Chennai, India. Photo courtesy of Julie Furj-Kuhn, assistant professor of social work and director of international field experience.

by Bethany Brock, Public Relations Writer

April 18, 2013

The Cedarville University Department of Social Work recently finalized plans to give students the opportunity to complete the field experience requirement at a new location in Chennai, India.   

In addition to international field experience opportunities in Romania and Uganda, students will be able to take classes taught by social work faculty at Madras Christian College in Chennai, and gain experience through an internship in the Chennai area. 

The field experience is a capstone course that requires students to apply the knowledge they acquire in the classroom to the field of social work. “It is the point where knowledge and skill converge,” said Nelson Henning, Ph.D., chair of the department of social work.

Julie Furj-Kuhn, M.S.W., assistant professor of social work and director of international field experience, and George Huff, M.S.S.A, field director and professor of social work, collaborated with multiple organizations, including Cedarville’s International Programs Department, Bridges, Connect, Act Study Abroad Program, various internship sites and Madras Christian College in Chennai to organize the study location in India.

“It takes a long time to visit the site, build rapport with my colleagues at other international sites and conduct research to gain an understanding of the particular culture groups you and your students will be working with,” said Furj-Kuhn.  

Furj-Kuhn spent time at the field experience site in India and was impressed with social work practices there. “I almost wanted to spend a semester there myself to take it all in,” she said.  

While in India, students will gain experience through internships in variety of social work areas, including mental and physical disabilities, domestic violence, mental health, HIV/AIDS, victims of sex trafficking, medical social work, homelessness and chemical dependency.

“Our ideal goal in the social work program would be to establish an international internship site on every continent,” said Furj-Kuhn. “We are grateful to God that he has equipped us to provide such a life-changing experience.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University attracts 3,400 undergraduate, graduate and online students to more than 100 areas of study. Celebrating 125 years of inspiring greatness, Cedarville is a Christ-centered learning community recognized nationally for rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. Visit the University online at www.cedarville.edu.