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International fieldwork: a mirroring of the expectations and experiences of social work students
Social Work Education  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-09-09, DOI: 10.1080/02615479.2021.1973989
S. P. Rajeev

ABSTRACT

International fieldwork is a significant element of the internationalization of the social work profession. This paper describes the expectations and experiences of social work students engaged in international field education. There are different models practised by universities for international exchanges and fieldwork. This paper focuses on the reciprocal agreements between universities to facilitate student fieldwork. The qualitative study presented here recruited participants from Australia, USA and India, who travelled internationally for their fieldwork. The findings highlight the expectations and experiences the students had during each phase of the international fieldwork and the learning, specifically with issues of cross-cultural practices, social work service delivery systems, setting specific requirements, adaptations and challenges found across the three themes of preparation and planning; undertaking placement; concluding and re-presenting fieldwork. The paper concludes by considering the implications of the findings and how these relate to international fieldwork pedagogy, supervision and models of international placements.