Preparing Social Work Students for International Interdisciplinary Practice: A Teaching Model and Its Impact on Self-Efficacy

  • Pinar Zubaroglu Fordham University
  • Marciana Popescu Fordham University
Keywords: international social work, interdisciplinary education, self-efficacy, experiential learning, social work education


To promote international social work education and prepare MSW graduates for international careers, several teaching models have been developed, including intensive teaching in international settings, hybrid teaching with study abroad components, and applied learning through service learning and international internships. Benefits of international social work education range from increased knowledge and skills in addressing global issues through policy and advocacy, to significant improvements in multi-cultural competence and awareness upon participation in structured cultural immersion programs. Current challenges for social workers in international development careers point to the need for an interdisciplinary approach to best address complex global social issues. This paper proposes an international interdisciplinary teaching model that aims to prepare social work students for international development practice. Based on a pilot study of the proposed model, students showed significant increases in the self-efficacy of interdisciplinary international knowledge and skills.