Timeline of International Social Work


International Travel at the Mandel School

  • Representatives sponsored by the United Nations, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and the U.S. Agency for International Development visit the Mandel School to study and exchange ideas

  • Faculty members participate in consultative, leadership, and educational posts in

  • international organization and foreign institutions

  • International alumni include the former Israeli Minister of Labor and Social Affairs; social welfare advisors in the Asian and Pacific region of the United Nations; a director of Catholic Social Services in Australia; and UNICEF representatives, to name a few


International Travel at the Mandel School

  • Several funded exchange programs are created with universities in other countries

  • A study-abroad program for Mandel School students take place at The University of the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica

  • Faculty and doctoral student exchanges take place with Tel-Aviv University in Israel

  • A university affiliation program funded by the United States Information Agency is created with Stockholm University in Sweden

  • Visiting Professors from other countries establish relationships with the Mandel School. Countries include Australia, Canada, Great Britain, Israel, Norway, Sweden, New Zealand, and Geneva headquarters of the United Nations.

  • Merl “Terry” Hokenstad Jr., receives funding from the Gund Foundation of Cleveland to complete the internationalization of the social work curriculum. His goal is based on the need to educate for a world view that social service delivery systems are best understood in a cross-national context.

  • A doctoral course was developed on international social welfare. It included content in Comparative Social Policy and Cross-National Analysis of Social Security

  • and Social Development and Personal Social Services Programs.


  • In the early 1990s, a relationship was established with Evotos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary. The program was funded by a grant from the University Affiliations Program of the United States Information Agency. Several Mandel School faculty helped develop a master’s degree program and the first social work doctoral program in the former Soviet bloc nations.

  • In the mid-1990s, a course in international social work was developed in the master’s program. That course is still being taught at the Jack, Joseph and Morton Mandel School today — learn more about how Mandel School students use virtual conferencing to connect with other students.

  • In the mid-1990s, Mandel School Professor Victor Groza brought students to Romania. In 2000, he took students to Belize.

  • In 1998, Mandel School faculty worked on a comprehensive plan that would place more emphasis on international social work; enable Mandel School students to add global dimension to their understanding of social welfare policies and programs; provide students with the capacity for analyzing international issues and their implications for social work practice; and offer opportunities for students to experience social work programs and practice outside of the U.S.,

  • CWRU Team to Help Develop Elder Care in Eastern Europe (1997).

  • In 2003, Professor Mark Fleischer brought students to the Netherlands.

  • In 2007, Professor Debby Jacobson took a leadership role as the Director of International Education Programs with the intent to oversee, coordinate, and standardize programs.

  • In 2007, the Mandel School received an award from the Council on Social Work Education for its international education program.

  • From 2007-2009, the Mandel School offered the Immersion Experience Program to El Salvador.

  • This program involved a partnership with the Mandel School and International Partners in Mission (IPM). Three trips were

  • offered during winter break. Students had an opportunity to take a course on El Salvadoran Women and Community Development. This course was designed to familiarize students with the impact of poverty and inequality on the lives of women and children in El Salvador, Central America. The trip included guided tours of neighborhoods and social institutions in and around El Salvador, lectures and discussions with university faculty, and non-profit leaders. The experience challenged students to think about their assumptions relative to El Salvador, its people and institutions, and its relationship to the rest of the world. It also allowed them to understand the strengths and weaknesses of social policies and practices, non-profits, and community and social development.

  • In 2010, Dr. Terry Hokenstad received a leadership award from the Council on Social Work Education for his role in international social work education. This is given to one individual each year.

  • Recently, Mandel School faculty collaborated with campus representatives to look into partner relationships with other schools and agencies to help achieve consistency across programs. Through the years, Mandel School courses have included trips to Kenya, the Dominican Republic, India, El Salvador, Poland, the Netherlands, Guatemala, Ecuador, Ukraine, and Greece.