Welcome to the International Summer School!

Social Work and Social Science in a Global Context



Social work has become a global profession. The transnational nature of issues such as poverty, immigration, violence, and environmental degradation require a global perspective. Social workers need to look beyond their communities and national borders and find ways to connect with colleagues around issues of common concern. This program provides such opportunities.


The International Summer School in Rovaniemi, Finland enables students and professionals in social work and related human service fields to explore the meanings, practices and implications of social work from a global perspective. A multinational cohort of students and faculty create an enriching environment for expanding and deepening understanding of global issues and how social workers can work collaboratively to address them. Participants engage in lectures, small group discussions, agency visits, and informal interaction. They learn about issues and challenges faced by social workers in different parts of the world and innovative responses to them. In addition, participants have opportunities to travel throughout Finland learning about its progressive social welfare system and social work services and experiencing Finland’s environmental and cultural treasures.


Since 1998, more than 800 students from approximately 35 countries have participated in the summer school. Student evaluations consistently rate the program as a highly meaningful and valuable educational experience, in some cases even life changing!


We invite you to consider participating in this unique educational experience.


Stanley L Witkin, Ph.D.
Leader, International Summer School
Professor, Department of Social Work
University of Vermont
Burlington, Vermont, USA


 Liisa Hokkanen
Co-leader, International Summer School
Lecturer in Social Work
Faculty of Social Sciences 
University of Lapland
Rovaniemi, Finland