El Salvador: Social Work

A GVSU Faculty-led Program

  • El Salvador: Social Work Photo
  • El Salvador: Social Work Photo
  • El Salvador: Social Work Photo

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Tell me about this program

Open to: BSW and MSW Majors and other students with a genuine interest in Latin America

SAN SALVADOR & SANTA MARTA, EL SALVADOR: The goal of the program is to increase one's awareness of issues of social justice, peace, and human rights as they relate to social work in a two-thirds world country. You will learn about El Salvador's rich culture, the political- economic context for social welfare programs, community development, and the role of social workers in El Salvador.

You will be based in the capital city of San Salvador, but will also spend considerable time in other rural areas, cities and villages. For example, you will spend two days living with families in the rural community of Santa Marta. As part of the experience in Santa Marta, you may be involved in a service learning project. This project is likely to include work in a women owned and operated bakery and/or a project identified by the community. There will be meetings in San Salvador with agencies and organizations that work with people that have been affected by social issues such as immigration, sex work, gangs, gender, human trafficking and others. There will also be an opportunity to participate in a two day 'service placement' in a human service organization in San Salvador.


When can I go?

April 26 - May 10, 2015 (2 weeks)

Where will I live?

Program participants will live in a guest house in San Salvador and with host families in rural Santa Marta.

Who is eligible to participate?

This program is open to BSW and MSW students and other students who have a genuine interest in Latin America. Knowledge of Spanish is not required to participate in this program. Translation is provided. Minimum 2.5 GPA (undergraduates) or 3.0 GPA (graduates) required.

GVSU is happy to extend this opportunity to NonGVSU Students

How do I apply?

To apply for this program, log on to www.gvsu.edu/oasis to begin your online application.

APPLICATION DEADLINE (2015 Program): February 1, 2015

Non-GVSU Students: Visit www.gvsu.edu/studyabroad/nongvstudent for detailed information on how to apply. 

What credits will I receive?

Students will register for a total of three (3) credits

SW 354: International Service  (Undergraduates - 3 credits)
SW 630: Global Service Learning  (Graduates - 3 credits)

How much does the program cost?

Program Fee: $2,150

  • Included in Program Fee:
  • Round-trip airfare from Grand Rapids
  • All ground transportation
  • Accommodation and all meals
  • Course materials
  • Field trips
  • Visa (obtained at airport in San Salvador)
Other Expenses
  • GVSU tuition (3 undergraduate credits = $1,371 OR 3 graduate credits = $1,623)
  • Personal Expenses (Optional) ($400)
  • Recommended Vaccinations (Optional) ($375)
  • Additional snacks (Optional) ($150)
  • Passport ($140)
  • ISIC card (Optional) ($28)

Total Projected Cost (Program Fee + Other Expenses) = $4,764 (Undergraduates) OR $5,016 (Graduates)

Additional Program Cost Information

Cost Comparison for GVSU Cost of Attendance for Spring/Summer 2014, based on 1/2 Time Enrollment (In-State Undergraduate): $6,966

Financial Aid

Contact Nick Bromley in the Financial Aid Office at bromleni@gvsu.edu with questions. Include in the email your G-number and the name of your study abroad program. 

Non-GVSU Students: Non-GVSU students admitted for study abroad are not eligible for Financial Aid from GVSU. Check with your home school’s study abroad and financial aid offices for details on applying for financial aid from your home school toward study abroad program costs. 

Financial Aid FAQs


FACULTY-LED PROGRAM GRANT: up to $1,500. All degree-seeking students who apply to their faculty-led program by the priority deadline are automatically considered for a grant of up to $1,500 from the Padnos International Center. Students must have a current FAFSA on file to be eligible. No application required.

Visit www.gvsu.edu/studyabroad/scholarships for additional information on grants and scholarships.

Who can tell me more?

Faculty Director:

Julie Guevara
Associate Vice President for Academic & Student Affairs Professor of Social Work

2172 AuSable Hall
(616) 331-2400



Want to learn more about the director? 




All program information including courses, duration of program, dates, and other logistics are subject to change. Programs may be cancelled due to extenuating circumstances.