Global Opportunities

Social Work is a Global Profession

The need for social work is universal. More countries are turning to the profession to address not only ordinary human struggles but also the consequences of social inequality, human dislocation, and other structural conditions. How social work is practiced in communities around the world is shaped by local cultures, customs, and policies. NYU Silver offers an array of global learning and research opportunities through which students are immersed in different cultures; examine the distinct values, ethics, ideologies, and approaches to social work practice; and develop cross-cultural competencies and perspective. 

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A Unique Social Work Degree for Global Practice

Our MSW Program at Shanghai and New York is the only MSW program of an American university in China. It educates students for global social work in a deep way, reflecting on cultural, social, political, and economic similarities and differences across these two countries. Through our generalist practice curriculum in Shanghai and specialized practice curriculum in New York City, students study and conduct fieldwork in two complex and dynamic urban environments, and receive individualized attention with small class sizes, full support for cross-cultural learning, and access to the vast resources and services at both campuses.

Intensive Study Away Courses

Note: The University is continuing to monitor the impact of COVID-19 on future travel


The profession of social work seeks to promote social justice through the equitable provision of benefits and services to assist all individuals, families, and communities. Advocacy for federal social welfare policies, or “policy practice,” has been and remains an important professional activity. This course provides students the opportunity to enhance their policy analysis and advocacy skills around key social welfare policy issues relevant to individuals and communities served by social workers and to engage in legislative action on Capitol Hill.

Learn more about our study away course in Washington, DC

Five students flank the door to U.S. Rep John Lewis's office in the Cannon House Office Building in Washington, DC
BS and MSW

In this course, students play an active part in an ongoing research study that includes implementing interactive workshops and leading focus and discussion groups on women’s health and resilience, reproductive health, domestic violence, and community economic development. Prior to traveling to the Philippines, students are trained to work with local residents, conduct qualitative interviews, collect data, lead discussion groups using a curriculum, and to fully engage with the community. 

Learn more about our study away course in Del Carmen, Philippines

Two students sit on the floor and seven stand behind them between two sets of windows with the shades drawn

This course focuses on how mental health relates to issues of social and economic justice. It compares and contrasts the approach to social welfare in these two countries with a particular focus on the differing health care systems and differences and similarities with regard to government role, funding, and role of social workers. It also presents understandings of mental health within the global context, the social determinants of mental health, and mental health reform in the U.K and the U.S. 

Learn more about our study away course in Glasgow, United Kingdom

Five people kneel and 13 people stand behind them in the Scottish Parliament Building

Both study abroad trips I took ‒ Scotland for international policy and Israel for treatment of children of substance-dependent parents ‒ were critical to my personal and professional development.

Christopher Longo, MSW '19

A Student’s View on Studying Abroad: “Do it if you can!”

Natalie Asalgado, MSW ’20, and 17 classmates traveled to Buenos Aires, Argentina, for our ten-day course on Core Concepts in Child and Adolescent Trauma taught by Clinical Professor Diane Mirabito. Through class sessions at NYU Buenos Aires and site visits to youth-serving agencies across the city, Natalie and her peers enhanced their understanding of traumatic stress responses in children and families and how trauma influences children's lives.  According to Natalie, "Study away opportunities provide unique, immersive experiences that enhance our classroom learning I loved learning new subject material in a new environment... When I was in Buenos Aires, I could be fully present to process the course material and get to know my professor and my classmates on a more personal level."

Natalie Asalgado smiles at the camera as she sits at a computer screen