During the 2019 summer session, twelve MSW students participated a study abroad course in Loyola University Chicago’s John Felice Rome Center from 6/14 to 6/29. Lead by Professors Caleb Kim and Ivan Medina, participating students learned about Italian social work practices, social policies for migrants and refugees, and cultural diversity by visiting diverse social service agencies and listening to lectures from invited Italian guest speakers. In addition, students visited several migration/refugee centers and community welfare agencies such as Joel Nafuma Refugee Center, Centro Astalli, and Programma Integra in Rome and Piccoli Passi (child welfare agency) in Velletri. From these site visits, students experienced current issues of migrants/refugees in Italy and Europe, and had an opportunity to meet with refugees in each agency.
Two invited guest speakers, Dr. Annamaria Campanini, President of International Association of Schools of Social Work, presented Italian and global social work practices, while Ms. Camilla Lai, Italian human rights attorney, taught legal and social justice issues which many migrants and refugees encountered in Italy.
Study abroad programs also include various cultural opportunities such as visiting the Roman Colosseum, Roman Forum Roma, Old Jewish Quarter, Vatican City, and Florence city. During the weekend, a group of students participated in a Panini distribution service for homeless people in Rome. Through well programmed site visits, activities and lectures during the two weeks, all students evaluated highly this year’s study abroad program in Rome. It was an eye-opening learning experience and opportunity to strengthen their professional social work career.