Global Opportunities | Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
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The Brown School is at the cutting edge of international research and practice for social work, public health and social policy.

Our students, faculty and alumni effect change all over the world.

Students gain experience in international settings in a variety of ways: elective field-based courses, global research opportunities and international practica for those eligible. The Office of Global Programs also hosts speakers, conferences and student-focused events that provide rich international perspectives from diverse stakeholders.

Field-Based Courses

Field-based courses integrate research from multiple disciplines in order to address real-world problems in a comprehensive way. Students and faculty have the chance to work in communities and examine social work, public health and social policy challenges specific to those countries and regions. Course offerings, which change each year, are based on individual faculty proposals.

Upcoming courses include:

"Gender, Physical Activity and Urban Development" (Germany)

This course will build on the topics of Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation, and Social Work with the refugee and migrant population. The course is structured to introduce students to the responses and unfolding of the refugee influx to Germany, and challenges that the public health, social work, and urban development sectors face with regards to global population displacement.

Learn more here.

"Protection and Wellbeing of Refugee Children" (Colombia)

The course is grounded in the Global Classroom concept of “distributed learning” that mobilizes the power of a diverse set of learners to collectively explore the multifaceted challenges associated with organized efforts to protect children and promote their well-being in humanitarian settings. It will emphasize global standards and best practice; the value of local, culturally-grounded voices/experience; collaborative workspaces and dialogue; and locally-informed investigations or assignments. The course format will include classroom lectures, discussion seminars, sites visits and data collection in Colombia. The course structure will combine classroom instruction with experiential learning provided through field visits to displaced communities and NGOs.

Learn more here.

"Sustainability, Development and Health" (Costa Rica)

This course will employ lessons from diverse fields including, but not limited to, agriculture, forestry, energy production, environmental economics, domestic and international policy, ecology, resource management, and human health. The course introduces perspectives from the natural and social sciences, arts and humanities, and professional disciplines and explores how their interconnection increases the prospects for creating a more sustainable future. The course will be taught in Costa Rica at Earth University.

Learn more here.

"Policymaking, Advocacy and Analysis in the U.S. Legislative System" (Washington, D.C.)

The course will be developed over three phases, with the first phase occurring in the classroom in St. Louis. The second phase will be located in Washington DC over spring break, and will use the opportunities provided by the nation’s capital to explore transdisciplinary policy practice in government, think tanks, and advocacy groups. Students will learn from policy and advocacy experts, as well as from social science leaders in Congress. Students will also learn about the basics of government and the legislative process, research-based advocacy, and how social scientists affect social policy around the world. For the third phase, students will return to St. Louis for debriefing of the visit as well as processing of the student policy leadership projects.

Learn more here.

Global Research

Our faculty and doctoral students lead research projects all over the globe, often hiring students as research assistants to partner in their work. Areas of investigation for recent faculty and student international research projects include:

Using eggs to combat undernutrition in Haiti and Ecuador (Lora Iannotti)
Rural aging in place in South Korea (Sojung Park)
Livelihoods in Kenya (Carolyn Lesorogol)
Youth savings in Colombia and Ghana (Michael Sherraden and the Center for Social Development)
Protecting fisheries in Haiti (Joe Steensma and Lora Iannotti)
Disabilities in South Africa (Jean-Francois Trani)