Saint Rose students travel far and wide to learn about social issues – poverty, mental illness, geriatric care – that are universal. Now, the College social work department is extending its grasp with a course and overseas study trip that looks at homelessness in post-communist Romania.
“It’s about the disintegration of government there. The political and economic institutions have collapsed,” said Professor Richard Pulice, who chairs the social work department and does extensive research on social institutions across the world. “There is significant homelessness of children and families. And in Romania, homelessness usually means no shelter.”
The trip, May 15 to May 22, culminates a new spring semester class, International Social Work, (SWK) 380, which covers the roots and response to homelessness in the United States and Romania.
The class and service learning trip represent the program’s first visit to Eastern Europe. Pulice is seeking six to 10 students, who will work in Bucharest with a major provider of services to homeless individuals. They will assist at a medical clinic, medical and psychiatric vans, as well as at programs that aid homeless and drug addicted youth.
Pulice said the experience will be especially valuable to students in social work, psychology, mental health counseling and sociology.
He is also anxious to hear from students interested in an international social work class that takes up mental health and substance abuse treatment in the Netherlands. The service trip is slated for May 21 to 28 and students will visit programs, work with case managers and talk to recipients about their experiences. Saint Rose has built strong ties in that country, which includes formal affiliations with three universities.
Students in both courses may earn from one to three credits for the course and study trips. Graduate students who take part will be given greater responsibilities in both their clinical work and research.
For more information on either experience, contact Pulice at firstname.lastname@example.org