lauantai 4. kesäkuuta 2016

19th International Summer School of social work,
Friday 27.5.2016

On sunny and warm Friday the 19th International Summer School of social work continued with the lovely guests from far, far away. We had a great opportunity to listen to lecturers from the United Arab Emirates and the USA. The student panelists of the day came from Guatemala, Iran, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the USA. The day was packed with very interesting presentations, enriching conversations and important topics, such as the human rights in the context of the United Nations sustainable development goals (Professor Josephine Allen), transnational considerations in understanding intergenerational adversity among Latino families in the U.S (Ph. D. Sharon Borja) and the Affordable Care Act which also is known as the Obamacare (the USA student panel).

The USA student panel

For the very first time in the history of International Summer school of social work, we had a chance to learn about the Islamic culture. Dr. Lacey Sloan and Dr. Khadia Alhoumad from the Abu Dhabi Zayed University told interesting, and for many of us, unknown facts about the Islamic world. We learned, for example, about Islamic values and the rights of women in Islam. They also talked about social work practice in Islamic countries. One of the main key points in their presentation was to increase knowledge about cultural differences and humility. Especially important is to unlearn stereotypes, which I found the biggest learning lesson of the day, and maybe even of the whole Summer school. To see the person behind all the problems, stereotypes, outfits and other things like that, that is the most important thing to keep in mind. Not only in globalizing social work but in life in general.

Dr. Lacey Sloan presenting the 
traditional dress

From the social work student's point of view, it has been very enlightening to learn how the social work studies have been organized in different parts of the world. Many of the student panels during the Summer school have dealt with this interesting topic. For example in the USA social work students take therapy lessons, because clinical social workers are able to work as therapists. In Finland that is not possible. And in the United Arab Emirates you can study to become either an assistant social worker or social worker. In Finland there are the bachelors of social sciences from the university of applied sciences and masters of social sciences from the university. Maybe that relates somehow to the United Arab Emirates social work education system.

Heidi Lauri, social work student, University of Lapland, Finland

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