The international summer school brings together students and instructors from different countries to explore the meanings and implications of social work and social welfare from a global perspective. In addition, participants have opportunities to learn about the social welfare system and social work services in Finland. The program provides a unique learning opportunity for students and professionals in social work and related human service professions. Since 1998, more than 800 students from approximately 35 countries have participated in the summer school. Student evaluations consistently rate the program as a highly meaningful and valuable educational experience, in some cases even life changing.
Social work has become a global profession. This has become evident in the global distribution of social work educational and service organizations, the growth of international professional organizations such as the International Federation of Social Welfare (IFSW), the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW), and International Consortium on Social Welfare (ICSW), and most saliently, in the transnational nature of the social issues facing humanity. Thus, social work in the 21st century requires professionals who are aware of developments in different parts of the world, who appreciate the value of intellectual and cultural diversity and who are interested in connecting around issues of common concern. The international summer school "Social Work from a Global Perspective" provides such opportunities.
The summer school is organized by the University of Lapland, Faculty of Social Sciences in cooperation with the University of Vermont, Department of Social Work.