3-Credit Study Abroad: Transformative Global Experiences

Now accepting applications for our popular short-term study abroad courses during Winter Break:

Open to all undergraduate and graduate students at Case Western Reserve University (any major), the Mandel School’s short-term study abroad programs travel to nearly every continent on earth and offers 3-credit courses that provide the experience of a lifetime. The trips are led by experienced faculty who have been traveling to these countries for nearly a decade. One-third of all CWRU short-term study abroad programs are offered by the Mandel School — reflecting our commitment to and enthusiasm for international study.

For more details or to apply, contact International Education Programs Director Dr. David B. Miller or Assistant Director Valerie Rambin.

Study abroad courses are open to all undergraduate and graduate students, regardless of major, as 3 credit-hour electives led by Mandel School faculty. These course credits are approved for Global or Cultural Diversity for Arts & Sciences majors, Social Science credit for Engineering majors, the Social Work minor, or elective course credit. Courses also count for the MSASS Global Health Certificate. All courses have mandatory pre- and post-trip seminars and assignments.

  • Study Abroad courses are multi-disciplinary and include in-depth study and immersion in countries in Europe, Central and South America, Africa, and Asia.
  • Students meet with international community and neighborhood leaders, researchers, faculty, policy makers, social workers, and other practitioners and clients.
  • All programs have a minimum of two professionals traveling with the group and staying at the same accommodations.
  • Most program fees include: In-country transportation, lodging, facilitators, translation (where needed), international and regional staff to guide the trip, agency visits, guest lecturers, emergency medical insurance, and 1 to 3 meals per day (depending on the program).
  • Program fees do not include: Passport, vaccinations and visas (where needed), tips, course credit hours/tuition, the non-student and non-CWRU student professional development fee of $400.00, transportation to and from CWRU to the airport, non-program travel and meals not included by the program.
  • Scholarship available for MSSA and MNO students.

Student posing with a llama.


Winter Break 2018 – 2019

SASS 375A / 575 Health, Human and Social Development

December 27 – January 10

Pre-Trip Seminars: November 3 & December 1

Post-Trip Seminar: January 26

Cost $3,995 (flight included)


Student in India


Winter Break 2018 – 2019

SASS 375G / 575 Global Health and Social Development

December 27 – January 9

Pre-Trip Seminars: November 3 & December 1

Post-Trip Seminar: January 26

Cost: $3,395 (flight not included)



Spring Break 2019

SASS 375D /575 Child Welfare in Guatemala

March 8 – 17

Pre-Trip Seminars: January 26 & February 23

Post-Trip Seminar: March 30

Cost: $2,995 (flight included)


Spring Break 2019

SASS 325 / 575 Social Justice: Health & Violence Prevention

SASS 375B / 575 Mental Health Issues & Practice

March 9 – 15

Pre Trip Seminars: January 26 and February 23

Post-Trip Seminar: March 30 OR April 13

Cost: $2,295 (flight not included)


Spring Break 2019

SASS 375C / 575 Invisible Groups in a New Poland

March 10 – 16

Pre-Trip Seminars: January 26 & February 23

Post-Trip Seminar: March 30

Cost: $2,095 (flight not included)


Spring (May abroad)

SASS 375H / 575 21st Century Ghana: Culture, Institutions, and Development in West Africa

May 21 – June 5

Pre-Trip Seminars: February 23 & March 30

Post-Trip Seminar: June TBD

South Africa

Spring (May abroad)

SASS 375 L / 575 Social Justice and NGO Immersion

Details TBA

  • Contact International Education Programs Director Dr. David B. Miller or Assistant Director Valerie Rambin to schedule an advising meeting.
  • Contact Nancy Issa for Financial Aid eligibility details and procedures.
  • Apply at case.edu/studyabroad. Click on login next to “Student Login” section. Click on “Search Programs.” Type SASS under “Program Name.” Select the country you are interested in from the drop-down menu. Once you click on the Search button, information on the trip will appear at the bottom of the page. For any questions about the application, please contact studyabroad@case.edu.
  • Pay the deposit to the Center for International Affairs. CWRU students: The rest of the program fee will be billed from the Bursar’s Office along with your tuition. Information on how to pay the deposit is on the application.
  • Registration for CWRU students: Register on SIS after your application is accepted. All CWRU students outside of the Mandel School require permission to register. A registrar from another department will be sent a request to give you permission.
  • Registration for students from other universities: Students from other universities should register for an Independent Study (or the equivalent) at their own university. CWRU faculty will give the university instructor information on the student’s performance in the course. Students from other universities and interested professionals must pay the program fee plus an administrative fee of $400. This fee covers some administrative costs of the program that is ordinarily covered by tuition.
  • Order a passport. If you already have a passport, check that the expiration date has not passed. Renew your passport if it expires within 6 months after the return date. For more information, see the U.S. Department of State’s site for U.S. Passports & International Travel or contact the National Passport Information Center (1-877-487-2778) for more information.
  • Verify your medical insurance. Case Western Reserve does provide medical insurance (with restrictions) for all participants. In certain instances, including non-emergency medical situations, you may be required to pre-pay your medical care and/or related costs and then seek reimbursement afterward.
  • Update your vaccinations. Learn about vaccines prior to traveling. Please check the Center for Disease Control website unless you are traveling to the Netherlands or Poland, where vaccinations aren’t needed. Visit your family physician, health clinic, or the University Health Service (UHS) on the Case Western Reserve campus. UHS can provide students with any travel medicine and vaccines needed for trips. Students are only required to pay for vaccines or prescriptions that are filled at a pharmacy. To make an appointments, contact UHS (216-368-4539) or visit the UHS website.

University Statement on Safety and Security Precautions

CWRU and Office of Education Abroad Comment on Zika Virus

Check out photos from previous travel and study courses in Ecuador, Ghana, Guatemala, India, the Netherlands, and Poland.
Read a cross-cultural perspective from Mandel School faculty member and alumnus Patrick Boyle.

Hannah Bidigare-Curtis, Undergraduate Student (Major: Biology and Environmental Studies), on Health, Human and Social Development in Ecuador (2013)

I gained a ton of perspective on this trip. Learning about different ways of life and attitudes from the indigenous groups that we visited; actually seeing…pretty much everything we did on the trip just expanded my smaller-town view of the world. After experiences like these, what happened becomes so tightly intertwined with how I now view the world that I can hardly remember what it was like to not have gone on the trip.

Alison Swartwout, Undergraduate Student (Major: Nursing), on Health, Human and Social Development in Ecuador (2017)

Alison filmed the following video on her trip and shared it with us:


Mary Wills, Graduate Student (Social Work MSSA), on Global Health and Social Development in India (2015)

I think that overall the experience was life changing. I learned more about myself in a two-week period than I have in 23 years, made some close friends and got closer to the ones that I already had. I also learned a lot from the hospital and social activist discussions and learned more about American culture in the process. I am still processing the entire trip. Every day I remember something different about India and how it has affected me.

Sarah Jammal, Undergraduate Student (Major: Sociology), on Global Health and Social Development in India (2016-17)

Sarah’s filmed the following video on her trip and shared it with us:


Dylan Brown, Undergraduate Student (Major: Psychology) on Invisible Groups in a New Poland (2016)

When I first decided to go to Poland, I never anticipated it would be one of the most impactful experiences of my life. Experiencing such a different, yet wonderful culture helped me appreciate the incredible diversity we have in our world. My time in Poland expanded my worldview in a way that would have been impossible if I remained in America. The most surprising aspect of these visits, and indeed the entire trip, was the passion I saw in every social worker we encountered.

Teresa Mowen, Graduate Student (Social Work MSSA/CNM) on Child Welfare in Guatemala (2011)

Individual growth is a component of education, and growth certainly occurs when one travels to an area outside of their own familiarity. With each opportunity to travel abroad comes a different growth opportunity. Guatemala was an amazing experience, to say the least; the people, the food, the deep rich culture and the atrocities which fill their history. Meeting the people and seeing with my own eyes the obvious disparity between rich and poor strengthened my resolve to learn more about other areas of the world and ways in which we can provide comfort, equality and empowerment to vulnerable populations at home and abroad.

Ben Ratner, Undergraduate Student (Major: Computer Science) on The Netherlands Social Justice: Health and Violence Prevention (2016)

I learned a lot and really got new insight on American social customs and practices. You always hear about the Netherlands being very different, but seeing it firsthand and learning from real citizens was a phenomenal experience. I’m so grateful to have been able to go.

Emilie Wyszynski, Graduate Student (Social Work MSSA/MNO) on The Netherlands Mental Health Issues and Practice (2016)

Study abroad gave me a spark I’ve been missing all my life. Studying abroad was life changing to the core. I came home a completely different person.